James J. Guthrie and The Pear Tree Press

James Guthrie ran this press from  1899 or 1905 depending on what you read to 1952. It was his personal vision throughout.  He previously produced items published by the Old Bourne Press, a private press founded in 1902, until he founded his own.  Examples can be seen here and a good summary of his work – https://www.senatehouselibrary.ac.uk/blog/special-collections-acquisition-elf

He was a poet and leading print-maker, with a particular love for intaglio processes, wood engraving and designing book plates. (see examples at https://archive.org/stream/analbumdrawings00presgoog) Sean Jennett noted that he latterly moved away from letterpress altogether: “Conscious of this downward tendency, which he seems to look upon as inevitable and irresistible, Mr. Guthrie, of the Pear-tree Press at Bognor, has renounced type altogether, and now prints books, like William Blake, from etched plates inscribed with his own fine book-hand. Such a method is, of course, not practicable for the vast majority of books, even if we were willing to forgo the many fine qualities which are presented in a well-printed book.” Sean Jennett really did not have a lot of time for the private press movement!  Those titles are very expensive, this is a more traditional 1910 production, this is a pretty bashed up book, various pages are uncut, always a bit sad to think nobody ever read the book. Printed for him by the Ballantyne press, it has a lovely engraved title page by Guthrie with his distinctive monogram.

pear2 pear3 pear4



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