High House Press – beautiful books from a hobby press 1924-1943

A small press that was set up by a school master, James Edwin Masters, in 1924 and was located in the High Street in Shaftesbury, Dorset; taking its name from the building it was located in.  All the work at the press was done by Masters, and his wife Beatrice who is credited with the type-setting in many of the books.  In 1937 the press moved to Westbury-on Trym near Bristol, and work continued until Masters died in 1943.  Around 43 publications in all were produced, high quality.

More at: http://www.dorsetlife.co.uk/2008/07/shaftesbury-and-the-high-house-press/

Examples:

Arcades by John Milton, 1930.  Limited edition of 100 copies on hand-made paper with red colophon, this is No 26. Highly stylised and colourful paper covered boards with title on spine. Beautiful little book.

High1 High2 High3 High4

20 Songs by William Shenstone, 1926

37 pages including woodcut decorations by Philip Ainsworth; bound in patterned paper-covered boards with a plain brown buckram spine and a printed label on the front panel. #60/192

High5 High6 High7 High8 High9

Three Hundred and Sixty-Five Short Quotations from Horace: With Modern Titles and Varied Metrical Versions in English by H. Darnley Naylor, 1935

Published by (Shaftesbury: The High House Press: 1935) Edition limited to 215 numbered copies, of which this is copy No. 41 (numbered by hand, but only the first fifteen copies were signed or on hand made paper). Quarter cloth decorated boards pp. viii, 93. Fore & lower edges uncut. Looks pretty much unread, pristine condition, like the little leaves round the page numbers!

horace1 horace2 horace3 horace4 horace5

On moving to Westbury, production became more modest it seems, card covered pamphlets rather than books, this is a pretty one from 1937.

Number 69 of 115 copies handset in Monotype Bembo and printed on handmade paper. Sewn into Italian fancy paper wrappers, maroon, grey, white and black, in a geometric design. Slight browning to front endpaper.

 

 

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