Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Masters Of The Colour Print - E. A. Verpilleux (The Studio Ltd,1927)

Having told LJ to send in a search party if I had not returned within 30 minutes, I entered the bibliographic domain. Such a precaution was necessary, believe me, for in that place there are many perils. For instance, I could be crushed beneath books which stand more precariously than a house of cards. The shop is small, yet the density of paper within and the volume of words and images they contain are such that it seems quite possible to become spellbound and lost in time, for all time. There is order, or rather, remnants of order abandoned long ago once the shelves became full and chaos began its reign. It is reminiscent of that popular TV programme, The Hoarder Next Door, no less, and therein must lie the appeal for the collector, who may identify with, or feel superior to, the owner, depending on their own domestic disorder. 

In blatant defiance of the pristine environment common to high street booksellers, this place flies the flag of anarchy, revelling in it's disarray. Likewise, it defies the digital domain more intensely than even the normal bookshop, for what could be more contrary to the click of a purchase and words on a screen than this? Here one must soil the fingers in search of treasure, and heave books aside which are not even stacked, but lay sprawled where the last book hunter left them. 

As for those who work here, 'eccentric' does not do one of them justice. On my last visit, he declared his sole purpose to be to 'Just get rid of the stupid books'. He was wily  applying cunning reverse psychology by suggesting I would probably find nothing, to which I replied by letting him know I understood the game he was playing. A good half-hour's worth of such banter ensued. 

This day, there was no time for banter. I made for a shelf where I had suspected there were treasures on my last visit before running out of time. Sure enough, I found a collection of prints by E.A. Verpilleux, but no sooner had I pulled it from the shelf than the cover became detached. Having flicked, I noted the price, a mere £4.50, but had the audacity to suggest a reduction due to its condition. The assistant agreed to lower that sum by one pound, having asked another in the shop who had decided that price. He suggested someone else. I knew I had found a bargain, despite its condition. As you can imagine, I left the shop a happy man. Since the prints are pasted onto the pages, I decided to leave them framed. I do hope you enjoy them. 'St Paul's From Cheapside' was the first colour print ever exhibited at the Royal Academy. All reproductions are 'Blackmore Tintex Prints - a new method unique in the history of colour printing'. So now you know.  

St Paul's From Cheapside

St Pancras Station


The River From Waterloo Bridge

The Last Furrow

Evening On The Bure

The Sower

Entrance To The British Museum

1 comment:

  1. These are so beautiful. Well worth the risk of death by book avalanche and definitely worth the £3.50.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...