“Firsts” London’s Rare Book Fair

  The sign of the book fair the entrance of Battersea Park

 I have mentioned the book fair by ABA (Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association) in my blog several times.
(Please see my June 2013, May 2015 and May 2016 blog posts). The venue of the book fair use to be at Olympia in West Kensington. However, ABA changed their venue to the Evolution Center in Battersea Park last year. Last years theme for the fair was “Evolution” with the new venue I could feel the organiser’s enthusiasm. This year theme is “Firsts”, ABA had organised an exhibition ‘ Highlights from The John Wolfson Rare Book Collection’ with their charity partner Shakespeare’s Globe.
The new venue is still near my studio and during the 3 days of the fair there were a number of interesting demonstrations, workshops and lectures. Also, it was a good opportunity to see the gorgeous and beautiful books that are equally matched in the museum and fine art gallery pieces. I visited with my Chelsea class members and had a nice time there. The Royal Bindery had a stand, so we could see familiar faces again.

If you would like to know more about ABA, please visit the website as below.



ABA(稀覯書協会) の詳細に関しては上記ウェブサイトをご覧ください。

Battersea Park 

The Evolution Centre in Battersea Park 

The stand of Royal Bindery and the Shepherds, Sangorski & Sutcliffe 

Printing demonstration at the St. Bride Foundation's stand 

The card was printed from the original wood cut by Robert Gibbings  


The exhibition at Maggs Bros. Ltd.

   Maggs Bros.Ltd. in Bedford Square

Maggs Bros.Ltd. is one of the worlds largest and oldest antiquarian booksellers, established in 1853.
For a long time the shop was in Berkeley Square and it was well known as a haunted shop. I am not sure that it was true or not, however, in the last two or so years Maggs Bros Ltd have moved their premises to Bedford Square (Mags Bros.Ltd also have another shop in Mayfair). As I mentioned in the last months blog, Designer Bookbinders had an opportunity to exhibit works during the London Craft Week in the front room of the Magg Bros.shop in Bedford Square. A lot of people attended the private view with Rachel Ward Sale giving her first public address as the new president of DB. The exhibition was great success and the exhibition has been extended for a while.
Maggs Bros. Ltd has a modern, purpose built series of book shelves that offer an ideal display for books. There is no front glass, therefore people can see more detail of the books, also the binders will be able to handle and show their work to the guests. In addition the shelves and the room in general has high quality movable heat insulating spotlights that one is able to focus. The books were displayed relatively high, so the binders did not worry about wine from the guests during the private view. When I went to the exhibition the last day of London Craft Week, in spite of Sunday, visitors came to the shop.
If you would like to know more about Maggs Bros.Ltd., please visit the website as below.



The entrance of Maggs Bros.Ltd. 

The DB exhibition in the front room of the Magg Bros.Ltd. shop


The DB exhibition in the front room of the Magg Bros.Ltd. shop

The DB exhibition in the front room of the Magg Bros.Ltd. shop


London Craft Week


  For the last few years Designer Bookbinders have joined London Craft Week (LCW).  A couple of years ago, at St. Bride Foundation, I gave a demonstration (Please see April 2017 blog in this site). 
This year, the DB LCW committee has changed and the new committees have organised the event at new venues. 
First, DB will exhibit their works at Maggs Bros Ltd in Bedford Gardens during the LCFW and the day of events are held at “The Lib-rary” which is located in near Maggs Bros. “The Lib-rary” is a private members club. Fortunately, the new DB LCW committees are the members of the club therefore we will be held on the events there, non members can attend the workshops and events held there.
I will exhibit two books for the LCW exhibition, one book that I made long time ago and the other book I recently altered the front cover from the previous binding. This binding is about the Hawthorn and I had used several colours of the Japanese paper that the senior alumna of my former university had given me a few years ago. These Japanese paper are about B4 size and about 50 different colours. She bought these papers for long time ago therefore these types of colours are not available in the shops nowadays. I like these subtle colours that the old Japanese papers. 
The Hawthorn’s binding construction is Tekagami-jo (Japanese concertina style of the book form) and the front and back cover had decorated with paper onlays and inlays. I used some pastel and print on the paper that I used for the onlays and inlays then cut individually. I hope that the senior alumna likes my way of using for these paper.

LCW will held between 8th to 12th of May this year.
If you would like to know more about the LCW, please visit the website as below.


まず、DBはベドフォード・ガーデンズにある老舗の古書店Maggs Brosにて作品を展示することになり、イベントはMaggs Brosの近くの「The Lib-rary」で行われることになっています。「The Lib-rary」は会員制のクラブです。幸いにも新しい委員がこのクラブの会員なのでここでイベントを行うことができることになりました。そして会員ではない人もワークショップやイベントに参加することができます。


Japanese paper that I have used for the binding

Different colours of Japanese paper


The Royal Library and the Royal Bindery at Windsor

    Inside of Windsor Castle

The middle of this month, the Chelsea group (South West London Bookbinding Class) and myself visited the Royal Library and the Royal Bindery in Windsor Castle. One of our members kindly organised this event. Windsor Castle is very popular place, we had to wait for nearly one year from the booking date. So, our expectation became huge but out patience was rewarded. It was wonderful study tour.
First, we went to one of the solemn library rooms, there are several display cabinets for books and document, such as a score by Mozart. One of the cabinets has the beautiful clock that had moved from the Buckingham House. Then, we moved other room. The librarian had prepared some books for us that have included a relatively modern design binding. She had explained each book. One of the book that I was interested in that the front cover design is the symbol of Henry the VIII and the back cover design is the symbol of Catherine of Argon.
When the librarian’s explanation had finished, Head of the Royal Bindery collected us to move to the Royal Bindery which is very bright and completely different atmosphere to compare the Library. Three apprentices talked us about their projects and one of the senior bookbinder gave us a demonstration.
The Library does not allow take photographs for security and other reason but we could take some pictures in the bindery and outside of the Castle.  

If you would like to know more about the Royal Library, please visit the website as below.


そこでは図書館司書によって我々の見学のために用意された比較的近代のデザイン製本を含めた幾つかの本が並べられており、それぞれの本についての説明がありました。 私は表紙のデザインがヘンリー8世のマークを刻印、裏表紙のデザインはキャサリン・オブ・アラゴンのマークが刻印された本にとても惹かれました。 図書館司書の説明が終わった頃に製本所所長が我々を迎えに来られ王立製本所に移動しました。製本所はとても明るく図書室とは全く異なった環境でした。


The entrance to the Library

The tower building in Windsor Castle

The blocking machine in the Royal bindery (photograph by E. Donaldson)

The demonstration by the senior bookbinder (photograph by E. Donaldson)