- Petersham, MA: Lone Oak Press, 2015.
- oblong 8vo
- quarter cloth with decorated paper covered boards, paper label on spine
Price: $225.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 127762
First edition limited to 300 copies, of which this is one of 260 numbered copies bound thus. Accompanied by a letter from Abigail Rorer to Richard Schimmelpfeng thanking him for a generous order. The small church in the Gloucestershire village of Whittington in the U K has been part of the backdrop of British wood-engraver Miriam Macgregor's life since she lived, until recently, and still works int he village of Whittington. Miriam is an integral part of the Whittington Press, working with John Randle and providing illustrations for numerous books in addition to creating her own books, most recently Midwinter which chronicles a snowstorm in the village. American engraver, Abigail Rorer, came to know the church and village during her visits with Miriam and the Whittington Press after attending a number of Oxford Fine Press Book Fairs.
The idea of a small illustrated collaborative book ont he church was mutually conceived because both artists were drawn to the great age of the church and the beautiful sculptures, architectural details, and centuries of change and decay inherent in such an ancient building. The church abuts Whittington Court and Whittington Press and sits there alone in serene and quiet dignity, seemingly ignored by all the daily comings and goings around it.
The book will be designed and printed at Whittington Press by Patrick Randle of Nomad Letterpress and published by Abigail Rorer's The Lone Oak Press of Petersham, Massachusetts. The text will be a walk through and around the church with personal commentary, historical facts, and anecdotes.
At the back of the church on the left is a large stone Norman arch with two carved corbels, a type of bracket, opposite one another on the inner side of the arch. The far one is a male head and the near one is a femail head. Miriam chose to engrave the maile and I chose the femail. The sculptures are believed to have been done in the 1400s since the woman's horned headdress, or hennin, was the fashion of that time. It is probably safe to assume that they were man & wife.
The extraordinary thing about these two figures is that they are smiling. They seem quite happy in a very benign and contented way. The smiles bring them out of the realm of being merely cold stone sculptures and give them a humanity and contemporaneity. It makes me realize that human nature hasn't changed in the past six hundred years; their thoughts and emotions were probably very much like ours.