Wednesday, September 11, 2019

424. Advertising The Vale Press in The Studio

In blog 421 (Advertising The Vale Press Books in 1896) I wrote about the earliest advertisements for Vale Press books that appeared in weeklies such as The Saturday Review in March 1896, and I mentioned a slightly later advertisement in The Studio.

This advertisement appeared in the issue of April 15, 1896. At the end of each year, the instalments were bound together, and, as a result, single copies of this leading art magazine are rare. Morover, the advertising sections in the front and back were removed by the bookbinder, and most copies of The Studio in libraries and museums therefore lack the advertisements; a good reason to reproduce it today. It can be surprisingly hard to find a copy with the advertisements in place. The April 1896 issue had 16 pages of ads in the front and 4 pages in the back (numbered from Ad. I to Ad. XX). More ads were printed on the inside of the front cover, and on both sides of the back cover.

The Studio, April 15, 1896, page Ad. XI
The advertisement of the 'Vale Publications' appeared on page Ad. XI among advertisements for carved oak sideboards, lithographs and art books ('for the artist and student').

The text is reproduced after a page set in Vale Type. However, there is no separately published 'notice' or 'list' of books with this exact wording. Part of the text corresponds to that of a 'Notice' from January 1896, but the headline and intro do not appear in it.

The Studio, April 15, 1896, page Ad. XI

Notice (c January 1896)
The text and lay-out of the first column correspond exactly to the first four paragraphs of the Notice (but the last paragraph is missing). The second column begins with a text printed on the second page of the Notice, but the rest is new and does not appear in this Notice or in any other prospectus. However, the books mentioned in The Studio - from the Milton edition to The Passionate Pilgrim - are those that appear in the same order in The List of Books to be Published by Messrs. Hacon and Ricketts, at the Sign of the Dial, LII Warwick St. Regent Street. The List probably dates from February, and announces the Milton for March 1896; the other books would be ready in April and May (a claim that wasn't fulfilled). Although all these books are mentioned in the advertisement, the wording is different.

Notice (c January 1896)

The last lines - 'Prospectuses can be had on application [...]' - of course do not appear in the prospectuses themselves. At the Ballantyne Press (where the Vale Publications were printed), the text of the advertisement has been set specifically for this advertisement to display the Vale Type. It was then photographically reduced in size for a block (as illustrations were), and printed in The Studio.