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Sir Gawain and the Green Knight title page

Photo(s) by mikeyashworth. Imported from Flickr on Apr 27, 2019. Artwork published in .
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight title page
Source: Uploaded to Flickr by mikeyashworth and tagged with “nicolascochin”. License: All Rights Reserved.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; printed by the Golden Cockerel Press, 1952; title page with illustration by Dorothea Braby.

The Golden Cockerel Press was one of the most noted English ‘fine’ press of the twentieth century, in production from 1920 until 1961. Under the ownership of Christopher Sandford between 1933 until 1959 it continued to produce many carefully designed and illustrated books. One of their most favoured artists of the period was Dorothea Braby (1909–1987).


  • Nicolas Cochin
  • Caslon


Artwork location

2 Comments on “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight title page”

  1. “Sir Gawain” is in caps from Nicolas Cochin Bold Open. Originally issued by Peignot & Fils in regular (1912), italique and blanc (i.e. open, also known as Mercure) styles, this family was expanded by the Caslon foundry with Bold and Bold Open styles, both in roman and italic cuts.

  2. Shortly before he died Sandford wrote an article on Eric Gill’s work for the Golden Cockerel Press before he bought it, although it covers his own work very briefly too: “Uninhibited by the strictures of some die-hard arts and crafts purists, I did not hesitate to use mechanical composition for a large proportion of the six score books I published during the quarter century that I ran the Press. The wide range of typefaces adapted for Monotype Composition by Stanley Morison gave me the variety of typographic effect that I so much desired.” He says he printed roughly a quarter of his books in Monotype’s Caslon, “including many in the 18-point which I was able to set mechanically” (unlike Perpetua which he says had to be hand-set at that large size). He also mentions using Monotype’s Cochin for one complete book.

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