John Donne



In de Bonnefant, 1985


Designed and printed by Hans van Eijk at In de Bonnefant, Banholt, Netherlands.

Published in an edition of 36 standard copies on mould-made paper and 4 specials on vellum.


And here we are again, back to the beauty of vellum. This time with an absolute gem from the Netherlands.

This exquisite booklet – the only book so far to have been printed on vellum by In de Bonnefant – is another example of a slight item standing up against the ‘big hitters’. Set in 8pt Palatino, this slim little volume may contain just seven poems and two extracts from sermons, but it is more than special enough to be regularly pulled from my shelves. Printed on thick manuscript vellum and bound in limp vellum with the title blocked in gold on the cover and along the slim spine, it’s a perfect example of the printer’s attention to detail, no matter how small the publication. It even comes in a little card slipcase!

My copy (as with the earlier listed Under The Barrage) is the one extra out-of-series ‘Archief’ vellum copy. It is not only a gorgeous little piece of fine press, but it also brings back fond memories of the day that I bought it, when I met up with its printer, Hans van Eijk, in Cambridge. We spent the afternoon trawling secondhand bookshops for goodies, followed by a visit to my favourite museum and gallery, Kettle’s Yard. It was just one of those good days, despite the fact that it ended up absolutely chucking it down on us, at which point I noticed Hans was wearing socks and sandals. Not particularly ideal for all the massive puddles we had to walk through!



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