The book is signed by John Mason, and numbered 142, of an edition of no more than 200. This particular copy was issued with five additional items, as described below.
Mason was active in the 1960s, right before a major revival of hand papermaking in Western art in the Seventies and Eighties. Mason’s colophon for another book comments that there were a handful of hand papermaking studios in England at the time. The practice of this craft is now widespread, with established organizations such as the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists.
The colophon reads as follows:
This is a Collection of Sheets of Paper which I made by hand, at my small Twelve by Eight Mill in Leicester, from fibres reduced from a variety of plants and fabrics. These papers I had printed by a number of outstanding craftsmen and at various Printing Schools in England. Commenced in 1958 the FIRST COPIES were not completed until the end of 1965. This is copy number 142.
John Mason Leicester 1966 [autographed signature]
Mason notes on an introductory page that “at the end of this copy I have added five extra interesting items.” These are:
- Introductory leaves of his first sample book, published by Maggs in 1959.
- Menu upon his 1958 election as a member of the Double Crown Club.
- Twelve by Eight Press contribution to Typophile Memorial Keepsake to Paul A. Bennett.
- Original sketch of trees, pen and ink by Rigby Graham.
- Specimen page from booklet on papermaking produced at Leicester College of Art by Douglas Martin.