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Eric Gill and St Dominic's Press

Wood engraved portrait of a woman by Eric Gill entitled: ‘Mrs WWood engraved portrait by Eric Gill entitled: ‘Mrs WHilary Douglas Clark Pepler (1878-1951) founded St Dominic’s Press in 1915 in the hope of realising his idealistic dream of earning a living by hand craftsmanship.

His association with both Eric Gill and the prolific calligrapher and typographer Edward Johnston (1872-1944) went back to his days in the Hampshire House Workshops at Hammersmith. Both Gill and Pepler lived and worked in Ditchling, Sussex, where in 1920 they founded a Catholic community of craftsmen called the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic.

Gill’s association with the private presses was extensive. He designed the Perpetua typeface, which was used by the Golden Cockerel Press and by other private presses.

This collection of Gill’s wood-engravings reflects the high regard in which this medium was held within the private press movement, as the art form most akin to the process of hand printing. 

The opening reproduced here is of Gill’s engraving entitled ‘Portrait Mrs W’.

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