Monday, 24 October 2011

I am delighted that John Holder has received the rare accolade of an honorary doctorate from Anglia Ruskin University. John has illustrated some great Folio books over the years (including the Hippopotamus shown here), and is a fine musician to boot. Here’s a moody picture of the artist.  The citation describes him as: ‘a veteran illustrator who is known internationally for his phenomenal creative talent.  He specialises in classic pen drawing with a generous twist of humour and these intricate, expressive and evocative drawings have been acclaimed by art critics from every corner of the globe.’ In an earlier post I mentioned that we were working on a complete facsimile of South Polar Times, the in-house magazine of Captain Scott’s Antarctic expeditions. Devising a suitable box has been quite a challenge: it has to hold the twelve books in an upright position and protect them from damage, and we have tried to find which evokes the style and materials available to the expedition. After a few prototypes, we came up with this one, in rough canvas.  There’s a lot of interest building up around this publication, which will appear early next year in what promises to be a blizzard of activity around Scott’s centenary, centred on a big exhibition at the Natural History Museum. Last week was the Frankfurt Book Fair, at which we have had a stand for the past three years.  It gives a rare opportunity to chat with some of our German members, whose enthusiasm for Folio and for British culture in general is inspiring.  The main reason I go to Frankfurt is to meet with some of the European facsimile publishers, and look at each other’s latest offerings.  Here is one of the most elaborate bindings I came across this year. It is for a manuscript known as the Speyer Pericopes, and is constructed from various metals – the central figure is gilded – and numerous gems. The book is selling for around €20,000.  (If anyone would like to know more, just let me know, and I’ll put them in touch with the publishers.)