Samson Press, a lovely volume with Iain MacNab wood engravings

Now this I like!

Samson  Press, run in Surrey by Joan Shelmerdine and Flora Grieson produced 10 titles from 1930-1939. Post-war they only produced cards and the like, not books.

Nicht at Eenie: The bairns’ Parnassus with Wood-engravings [Signed] MacNab, Iain, 1932

A collection of rhymes in the Scots dialect. Melody lines are included for six.

Very rare private press publication, No. 126 of a limited edition of 150 for sale, signed (with dialect quote) by the artist Iain MacNab, and the book designer ‘Joan’ [Shelmerdine]; loosely-inserted is a single page with poem by William Dunbar and woodcut, signed on the back ‘with best wishes from Joan’, and stamped ‘The Samson Press’. Green boards worn and stained with splits to spine, internally predominantly very good. 37pp.

This title was re-printed in 1973.

MacNab’s first published work, of which there are not very many publications from him.  Iain Macnab of Barachastlain (21 October 1890 – 24 December 1967) was a Scottish wood-engraver and painter. As a prominent teacher he was influential in the development of the British school of wood-engraving. His pictures are noted for clarity of form and composition.

His concepts of the sense of motion which could be created by the shape of repetitive parallel lines were of profound influence, in particular in relation to the art of linocut – an art form which both he and Claude Flight pioneered at the Grosvenor School where with the teachers included Cyril Power and Sybil Andrews. His work was shown in the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale of 1930. A former student at Glasgow himself, Iain MacNab (1890 – 1967) had opened the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in Pimlico, London, in 1925.

Samson (1) Samson (2) Samson (3) Samson (4) Samson (5) Samson (6) Samson (7) Samson (8) Samson (9)


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