Limited Edition of forty-nine copies signed and numbered.
The Tower of London is over nine hundred years old and has been at the centre of some of the most important events in the history of the British Isles. Originally built as a power-base by William the Conqueror, it has been used by monarchs down the centuries, each adapting the Tower to his or her own particular needs. This alphabet book shows the variety and scope of the Tower’s history, some parts being well known, others less so.
I devised the binding to reflect aspects of the Tower’s use and history. The pages are secured with 9ct. gold rings, echoing the regal nature of the Tower as well as its use as a prison for high-ranking subjects. The rings are laced into the covers with strips of vellum, a durable material in use for centuries.
The cover is of red English calf leather, blind tooled in a medieval style with a gilt rose. The rose has been part of Royal English coats of arms, ever since they came into use. The covers fasten with a leather loop and knot.
The text is laser printed in black on cream Zerkall mouldmade paper, in a typeface called Delphin, which has similarities to early Norman French script. The alphabet letters are screen printed in gold and black.
There are nine hand-coloured illustrations, and one printed in gold, showing aspects of the Tower buildings, incidents and occupants. Letter K folds out to show a list of Kings and Queens and the dates of their reigns. There is a foldout plan of the Tower and a copy of an early print showing Lady Jane Grey about to be beheaded on the scaffold. The fate of Gruffud, who fell to his death trying to escape, is shown in the frontispiece and the second elephant to appear in England takes up the rear under Z for Zoo. Also illustrated are a 'Beef Eater' and the ravens in the Tower.
A black and gold printed slipcase protects the book which measures 23/4" x 2 7/8". There are 70 pages. Price CA$ 445.00