Wednesday, March 23, 2016

243. Vale Press Vine Borders (6)

The last of the vine borders designed by Charles Ricketts for the Vale Press was only partially new. Published in the last book of the press, the 1904 bibliography of the Vale Press, the border consists of two parts on facing pages.

Charles Ricketts, vine border for A Bibliography of the Books Issued by Hacon & Ricketts (1904)
The border on the right hand page, enclosing the beginning of the text, had been used before, in the 1902 edition of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat (1901). 

Charles Ricketts, vine border for Omar Khayyam, The Rubaiyat (1901)

For the left hand page a new border had to be designed, because the original one for the Rubaiyat enclosed a large wood-engraving and a title shield, measuring 170x108 mm. The wood-engraving for the bibliography, illustrating the sign-board painted by Shannon for the Vale Press shop, is much smaller: 123x71 mm. It could of course have been larger, but apparently Ricketts did not want this. The proportions were different and the sign-board would not have fitted the available space. Comparing the two wood-engravings, the length was 1,3 to 1 while the width was 1 to 1,5. In the bibliography Ricketts could have added some sort of small title shield as well but he decided not to do this.

The left hand border in the bibliography is not simply a mirror image of the re-used border, and it is designed to look as an harmonious part of one large border that stretches over two pages. It shows, that, although Ricketts had decided to close down the Vale Press, he didn't refrain from new designs and from improving older ones.