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Course & Subject Guides

Found Treasures, Spring 2014 @ Pitt Special Collections: Ashendene Press

This library guide is an overview of the Special Collection's exhibit, "Found Treasures," a selection of works that represent major fine and private presses held by Special Collections.

Ashendene founder, C.H. St. John Hornby

From The Ashendene Press. By Colin Franklin. Dallas: Southern Methodist University, 1986.

Example of Wood Engraving

From Les Amours Pastorales De Daphnis Et Chloe. From J. Amyot's Translation [of the work by Longus]. Reprinted and edited by Paul-Louis Courir. Ashendene Press, 1933.

About Ashendene Press

  • Founded in 1895 by Charles Henry St. John Hornby in Chelsea, England.
  • Operation of press continued until 1935, but ceased operation between 1915-1920 due to WWI.  
  • Ashendene resurrected the Subiaco typeface, an Italian type created in the 1460s.
  • The press functioned as a subscription service, selling small print runs and books.
  • Books were often illustrated with colored intials and leather tooled bindings.
  • Dante's Divine Comedy is considered the masterpiece of the press, printed in three volumes between 1905-1905.
  • Bibliographer Colin Franklin remarks, "One quality of a private press in the printer's own choice without reference to any public, and this characterizes the whole story of the Ashendene Press."

Example of a "Printer's Device."

Example of Subiaco Typeface

From (Bible) The Wisdom of Jesus, The Son of Sirach, Commonly Called Ecclesiasticus. Ashendene Press, 1932.

Additional Resources