To mark the quatercentenary of the registration of Shakespeare’s First Folio at Stationers’ Hall on 8 November 1623, we’ve produced a limited edition print, replicating – as closely as possible – the processes that William and Isaac Jaggard relied upon over the two years it took them to print Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. The idea was to tell a 400-year story of literary publishing; the reality proved to be a series of headaches.
Based on a piece by Michael Dobson first published in the 15 November 2001 issue of the ‘London Review of Books’.
Printed by Nick Hand of the Department of Small Works, Bristol, on a replica 18th-century common press designed by Alan May in 2009, now housed at the University of Bristol (with the help of a 1960s FAG Swiss Proof 40 proofing press).
Set in Plantin and Times, cast by Ellen Bills for Nomad Letterpress on a Monotype Composition Caster, with an original woodcut illustration by Jon McNaught, based on the original cover design of the ‘LRB’, by Peter Campbell.
On Somerset Velvet White 250gsm paper from St Cuthberts Mill, with ink by Hawthorn Press, a mix of linseed oil-based black ink and a traditional recipe using galls from an 800-year-old oak tree on the Bristol Downs.
With the support of the Folio400 campaign.
Each print is numbered /400 and comes with a note outlining the processes that produced it. Prints will be shipped from 15 November.
Watch a trailer on our Instagram; a short film about the project will be released in a few weeks’ time.
Dimensions: 12.7 x 17.5 inches