Primitive Papermaking.

Chillicothe: Mountain House Press, 1927.

Price: $6,000.00

About the item

First edition, Copy No. 95 of 200 signed and numbered by Dard Hunter. Photogravure frontispiece, 48pp. of text & [27] pp. of mounted specimen leaves, bark samples, photographs, etc. 1 vols. Folio. Loosely laid in the original portfolio of linen and boards, printed paper label on upper cover. Spine of portfolio a little worn and soiled, joints starting, the usual occasional (and unavoidable) offsetting from some samples, but altogether a near fine copy of one of Hunter's scarcest and most desirable books, his third. Ransom Check List 5.

Item #38431

William Joseph "Dard" Hunter was an American authority on printing, paper, and papermaking -- he was particularly focused on hand-made paper and traditional Western and non-Western papermaking. He learned extensively about the history of papermaking around the world, and applied the skills he acquired to make his own paper at a paper mill he owned. In the winters, when the paper mill could not be operated, he cut his own type. Several of his books were printed at his own press: this is one of them.
This volume was Hunter's first on non-Western papermaking, and focuses largely on the production of 'tapa' in the Pacific and in Southeast Asia. 'tapa' is often referred to as bark-cloth by Western explorers and observers, but the process of making it most closely resembles the Western process of creating paper, as it is produced by beating the fibers of the inner barks of trees into sheets. The craft Hunter observed had already disappeared in many places Hunter visited in the early twentieth-century, and some of the samples included were old at the time of the book's production.
Hunter gathered the materials for this painstakingly produced book over a period of ten years, with specimens from Tahiti, the Cook Islands, the Fiji Islands, Tonga, Hawaii, and Mexico. A magnificent book, genuinely rare and desirable.