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The Ideal Book – In Pages for Bookbinders

This is a facsimle letterpress edition of T.J. Cobden-Sanderson's seminal essay, The Ideal Book or Book Beautiful: A Tract on Calligraphy, Printing and Illustration, and on the Book Beautiful As a Whole. It is in almost all respects, a facsimile the original Doves Press edition (albeit with two added pages of historical material and a colophon). This is the unbound letterpress pages only, intended for other bookbinders who want to create their own edition. The in-pages version is limited to no more than 50 copies.



  • This is a line-by-line recreation of the original essay as published by The Doves Press in 1900, utilizing the first edition's size, typeface, punctuation, and layout. This edition is letterpress printed on a Heidelberg Windmill press by Tristan Reader of Ampersand Book Studio at Betts Printing in Tucson, Arizona. Photopolymer plates were prepared by Boxcar Press of Syracuse, New York.
  • The paper is Zerkall Frankfurt paper, a laid paper similar to that used by the Doves Press. This is some of the last paper made by the 500-year-old Zerkall Mill in Germany, as it was destroyed by flooding in 2021.
  • The In-Pages version includes:
    • A facsimile of the original essay, including the title page, the nine pages of the essay, and the original colophon;

    • Two pages of historical notes;

    • A colophon of this edition; and

    • Eight (8) blank sheets for use as endpapers.

  • If you are planning to bind this book using the Doves Press limp vellum style, we highly recommend the detailed instructions available from Karen Hanmer who has done extensive research into the binding structure. These instructions are available directly from her website: https://karenhanmer. com.


Learn more about the design and creation of our edition of The Ideal Book on the Ampersand Book Studio Substack

The Ideal Book – In Pages for Bookbinders

  • Free standard shipping within the U.S. included. For international rates, please contact us.

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