Pennyroyal Caxton Bible

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Thanks to the generous donation of Bruce and Suzie Kovner, the Princeton University Library is the proud new owner of the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible, designed and created by Barry Moser [seen above]. Moser spent four years crafting the 232 relief engravings that illustrate this Bible. Printed in a deluxe limited edition by the Pennyroyal Caxton Press, Moser’s Bible is also available in a trade edition released by Viking Studio, which can also be found in Princeton’s collection.

The Holy Bible: Containing All the Books of the Old and New Testaments. Book designed and illustrated by Barry Moser; printed by Bradley Hutchinson and Harold McGrath; bound by Claudia Cohen and Sarah Creighton; and type designed by Matthew Carter. North Hatfield, Mass.: Pennyroyal Caxton Press, 1999. Graphic Arts Collection. Limited edition, copy 142 of 400. Gift of Bruce and Suzie Kovner.

“The Pennyroyal Caxton Bible was designed & illustrated by Barry Moser. It was composed & printed folio by Bradley Hutchinson at his press in Austin, Texas …
The presswork commenced in the spring of 1997 and completed in the autumn of 1999. The text follows that of Frederick Scrivener’s 1873 critical edition of the Cambridge Paragraph Bible of the Authorized English (King James) version….
The paper is Zerkall Bible. The paper for the special copies was made by Kathryn and Howard Clark at Twinrocker Handmade Papers in Brookston, Indiana. The watermarks were designed by the illustrator based on 16th century French models. The illustrations were engraved in resingrave …
The blocks were cast by hand for Mr. Moser by the inventor of the medium, Richard Woodman of Redwood City, California …
The typefaces are Galliard, Mantinia, & Mantinia Greek designed by Matthew Carter of Cambridge, Massachusetts, based on models by Robert Granjon & Andrea Manmets …
The bindings are from the combined workshops of Claudia Cohen and Sarah Creighton in Easthampton, Massachusetts. The prints that accompany the special copies were printed on hand-made Japanese Kitakata by Harold McGrath.”

Watch the documentary A Thief Among the Angels, made by Doug and Jason Kessler in 2001. “The film tells the story of Barry Moser… a master book designer, illustrator, publisher and virtuoso wood engraver. Now, he has completed the project of a lifetime, a limited edition Bible. It is the only Bible of the 20th century to be illustrated by a single artist, who believes “the problems of good and evil are still to be fought today”. …After being brought up in a southern fundamentalist background, Moser became disillusioned with the church and moved north, studying printing and typography at the Gehenna Press. His own Pennyroyal Press has published books like Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. He also designs for other publishers, such as Arion Press for whom he did Melville s Moby-Dick.”

(Via Graphic Arts)

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