Founded in 1863 by the Reverend Curwen, this iconic little fine press was first purposed to print sheet music for the time, and it is perhaps because of this unusual approach to print and design that later made it the pioneer of British modern design.
After Curwen Press split from the Curwen Company, it started diversifying its portfolio, specializing in typographic excellence, posters, prints and small books. It soon became a pioneer of type design and use, becoming the example of the iconic nouveau-modernist style of the early 1920’s onward.
Sadly, commercial success was ever unattainable to its small outfit, and although highly regarded they never had the resources to make an impact that their design deserved. To this day the Curwen Press is perhaps most collectible as regards the history of type design and development of the typographic arts in the British Isles. Especially useful are the guides and catalogs the Press produced every year detailing the fonts and design principles that they were currently favoring.
If your personal collection features the history of printing, typography or the modernist art and design movement, then there is never a better time to collect Curwen Press titles, as still the vast majority are quite inexpensive. Whilenot completely unique, they highlight a very important phase in the art and design movement, where it intersects with printing in the modern era.
Jean-Aubrey, G. Twenty Letters to Joseph Conrad. Curwen Press (1926).
Williams, Harold. Book Clubs and Printing Societies of Great Britain and Ireland. Curwen Press (1929). 750 copies
Huxley, Aldous. Holy Face and other Essays. Curwen Press (1929). 300 copies
Disraeli, Benjamin. The Infernal Marriage. Curwen Press (1929). 850 copies
Minchin, Captain H Cotton. The Legion Book. Curwen Press (1929). 600 copies
Carlyle, Thomas. Sartor Resartus, Limited Editions Club. Curwen Press (1931). 1500 copies printed for the Limited Editions Club
Bawden, Edward. Something to Think About. Curwen Press (1931).
Borrow, George. Lavengro. Curwen Press (1936). 2 vols; 1500 copies
Dumas , Alexandre. Camille. Curwen Press (1937). 1500 copies
Archibald, Eugenie. Catalogue of the William Inglis Morse Collection. Curwen Press (1938). 250 copies
Boswell, James. The Life of Samuel Johnson, Limited Editions Club. Curwen Press (1938). 3 vols; 1500 sets
Connolly, Cyril. The Unquiet Grave. Curwen Press (1944). 1000 copies
Bawden, Edward. The Arabs. Curwen Press (1947).
Corvo, Frederick Baron. Amico di Sandro. Curwen Press (1951). 150 copies
Rieu, E V. St Mark's Gospel. Curwen Press (1951). 1250 copies
Abbey, J R. Life in England in Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860. Curwen Press (1953). 400 copies
Sheridan, Richard Brinsley. The Rivals, the Limited Editions Club. Curwen Press (1953). 1500 copies with original copper etchings by Rene ben Sussan
Abbey, J R. Travel in Aquatint and Lithography 1770-1860. Curwen Press (1956). 400 copies
de Maupassant, Guy. The Tales of Guy de Maupassant, Limited Editions Club. Curwen Press (1963). 1500 copies
Sassoon, Siegfried. Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man. Curwen Press (1977). 1600 copies with 8 lithographs by Paul Hogarth; Limited Editions Club
Abbey, JR. Scenery of Great Britain and Ireland in Aquatint and Lithography. Curwen Press.