Letterpress & Binding Studio

The Mouse & the Lizard

A tale of two bookplates
Charles van Sandwyk (Heavenly Monkey 2005)

In the early ’90s an American collector commissioned two etchings from Charles, to be used as bookplates. As the commission proceeded, the collector assembled an archive of drawings and various state prints and proofs. He subsequently asked HM to assemble this material into some kind of publication, along with a preface by the artist. Since the type would be set anyway, and van Sandwyk had a handful of extra copies of the etchings, the commission’s chronicle was published in an edition of 12 copies (10 x 10 inches, 22 pp.), each with seven original etchings (one hand colored) tipped in, and reproductions of two original sketches. (By comparison, the collector’s unique copy contained 15 etchings and two drawings.)

The text, including the artists’s two-page preface, was set by hand in 18-pt Perpetua, and printed on Arches Cover with the HM handpress. Calligrapher Martin Jackson rendered the title in each copy, the preface’s initial letter, and editioned the colophons. Nine of the 12 copies were bound by Claudia Cohen in full limp vellum (left over from her work on the Moser Bible), with a traycase.

Of the remaining three copies, two were sewn on purple vellum slips, and laced into a limp case made from Reg Lissel’s faux vellum paper. The third was bound in a similar manner but with a different wrap, which the artist embellished in watercolor.

The Mouse & The Lizard