History of Lettering printing

William Morris and his printing presses

The source of this article is a booklet called William Morris’s Printing Press, published by the William Morris Society at Kelmscott House in 1983. A limited edition, my copy is 142 of 300 (with a number printed on handmade paper and signed). The illustrations are by Rosalind Bliss. The booklet was printed on an Albion owned by Morris. In the text Anthony Eyre writes that of three presses run by Morris: one went to America; the second was bought by Ananda Coomaraswamy in 1907, used until 1910 and then made its way to Stratford for the Shakespeare Head Press, and put to use especially in the production by AH Bullen of the Stratford Town Shakespeare (a copy of which I have, and may write about at a later date). This press later went to Oxford before returning to Kelmscott. As for the third press? Eyre reports ‘whereabouts unknown’.

The typeface used is Monotype Van Dijck, set by hand.


4 replies on “William Morris and his printing presses”

Hi Erik – thank you for the information. If you can elaborate be most grateful. Kind regards John

Thanks Erik. From the text to the photo there appears to be a substantial element of doubt as to whether the press did indeed come from Morris. I would like to be able to read to brass plaque on the press. J

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