Los Angeles: [The Plantin Press,], 1955. One of 250 copies printed by Saul and Lillian Marks of this catalogue compiled by Dorothy Bowen. Seven of the plates in the present item appeared previously in the exhibition catalogue for the James R. Page collection of the Book of Common Prayer at the Huntington in June 1953, which was printed and bound in paper wrappers at the Plantin Press. The present item is a much more extensive version of the earlier catalogue, with the added fold-out plate. With 8 plates, including fold-out 16” by 11 ” facsimile of Queen Elizabeth’s 1573 Proclamation enforcing the Order of the Observance of the Book of Common Prayer. Title-page printed in red and black with architectural woodcut border. Decorative initials and side-notes in red throughout, plus a printed facsimile of Elizabeth’s signature. Printed on handmade paper. )With the bookplate of noted Palo Alto bookseller William Wreden to front pastedown. A bit of toning to edges of leaves but otherwise a fine copy of this masterful Plantin Press book. Blue-gray printed boards with red title and decorative border and white paper spine titled in red. In the original dustjacket (slight chipping, very good). Quarto. 67 pp. Item #17516
James Rathwell Page (1884 – 1962) was a book collector, the Chairman of the Board of the California Institute of Technology, and a frequent collaborator with Southern California printers like Saul and Lillian Marks, Ward Ritchie, and Grant Dahlstrom. In the “Postscript” to his Descriptive Catalogue, Page explains that his collection of the Book of Common Prayer was inspired by his lifelong commitment to the Protestant Episcopal Church, along with the artistry and craft of the books catalogued here. He also notes a “pleasant and contentious relationship” with Leslie Bliss, Carey Bliss, and bibliographer Dorothy Bowen.
Harmsen and Tabor, The Plantin Press, #121.