“The Kelmscott Chaucer was printed in two columns on handmade paper with specially designed large gothic type in red and black, with 87 woodcut illustrations. Results 1 – 30 of 91 The Kelmscott Chaucer by Geoffrey Chaucer and a great selection of related books, art and collectibles available now at by Geoffrey ChaucerThe Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, which took four years to complete, was a masterpiece of book design and is acknowledged widely as the .

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Kelmscott Press, Pages taken from an original vellum copy of Chaucer’s Works. Morris and Burne-Jones had met more than 30 years previously when they were in the same college at Oxford. Why not arrive early and head for lunch at the amazing Edwardian Tea Roomsthen afternoon tea at the end – what a day out!

Inspired by the hand presses of kelmscottt 15th century, Morris supervised all details of production, including the choice of ink and paper, the design of the type and the use of ornaments and illustration. Sign out or go to My Account. Of the paper copies and 15 vellum copies of the Chaucer, the Petersons have documented approximately two-thirds of the total.

Morris spent four years working on the book. One of copies on paper, this being one of 50 examples in the Doves binding, bound in the year of kemscott after a design by William Morris, reinterpreting a binding by Ulrich Schreier on a Koberger Bible.

A comparison of Edward Burne-Jones’s original drawing with the final wood engraving in the Chaucer shows how much work had to be done to translate the delicate shaded drawing into a version with strong lines that could be engraved.

Shoulder and side titles printed in red and the whole printed in two columns in Chaucer type designed by William Morris. Leave a bid with us. Edward Burne-Jones’s original sketch of the “Prioress’s Tale”. The finest copies come in an elaborate pigskin binding, also designed by William Morris and one of these books printed on vellum weighs 13lb.


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Clarendon Press, – Peterson, William S. The most ambitious and magnificent book of the Press, the Kelmscott Chaucer was four years in the making. The Kelmscott Chaucer is often referred to as one of the most beautiful printed books in existence.

Clarendon Press, – Sparling, H.

The Kelmscott Press Chaucer()

The opening title page of the Kelmscott Chaucer is representative of all of Morris’ ideals of the book. As the artist worked he increased the number of proposed illustrations from 48 to 60 to 72 to 87, and Morris accepted each change. A work described as ‘perfect Formatting by George P. Excellence in design and print A lifetime of artistic endeavour The Kelmscott Press marked the final great adventure of William Morris into the creative arts.

For general information about the library and our collections, contact us For questions about the exhibit, please email Doug McElrath or call Readers may wish to visit the firm’s website, www.

A Crowning Achievement | William Morris’s Kelmscott Chaucer

Ideas for illustrations gradually increased as did the time taken to produce them. The idea that type should complement print is nothing new; the Nuremberg Kelmscott of four centuries earlier shared the same basic concept.

Discover more about the life and times of Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Click to download information leaflet. The University of Maryland Libraries recently acquired a previously undocumented copy of the Chaucer.

Lyon & Turnbull | Kelmscott Chaucer | Auction

Sachs in memory of Howard J. Catterson-Smith, with Burne-Jones chauxer supervising every detail. It was not a private press in the strictest sense of the word as Morris did employ workers but it only published limited editions of material he chose and he had full control of every aspect of production.


Its intentions, however, were very much rooted in the early kelmscoott of the printed book. However, in order to get a true picture of the original founts, Morris would have the text photographed and enlarged.

At the same time, Morris felt no restraint in using the latest methods and technologies of the time. His old friend Edward Burne-Jones, with whom he had read Chaucer aloud when they were students at Oxford, provided 87 illustrations.

It embodied his love of medieval literature and art, as well as his love of beauty. Burne-Jones worked on the Chaucer designs only on Sundays when Morris, his life-long friend, would visit to talk as he drew. Tours commence at The contrast between thick and thin strokes is very consistent across the page, between the type, the prints, the ornate decorative frame, and the initial caps and words.

Of the sixty-six books produced between and by far the grandest was the Kelmscott Chaucer. Fine art prints to purchase.

Edward Burne-Jones called the book ‘a pocket cathedral – it is so full of design,’ and ‘the finest book ever printed; if W. He admired early calligraphy and typography, saying: The Kelmscott Press Chaucer.

The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer, which took four years to complete, was a masterpiece of book design and is acknowledged widely as the zenith of 19th-century book production.

Some of the features of this unusual book include: