In our previous posts we have examined a number of different approaches to inexpensively building a private library, by--for example-- focusing on "obscure" subjects or authors. But there are a huge number of additional approaches one could take, and several of these involve the very means by which books are produced.
Most books, for instance, are printed on paper and bound, sometimes with illustrations. Each process used in book production--typography, paper making, binding, illustration--offers a discrete approach to building a private library. And, if you use the tips and strategies we have outlined in our numerous previous posts--many of which are reinforced by the plethora of links in both the left and right columns of this blog--any of these processes can lead to some very rewarding book collecting.
Take illustration: the codex form of books has been illustrated for well over a thousand years. Some of the world's most beautiful examples of "miniature art" are the magnificent painted initials and miniatures found in early manuscript books:
Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry, 15th century
Once books began to be produced from metal type, other attractive means of book illustration developed. Among such processes are woodcuts, wood engraving, steel engraving, intaglio, mezzotint, aquatint, chromolithograph and so forth:
Wood engraving by Thomas Bewick, 18th century
Over the next few posts we will examine several of these processes in more detail to show what is possible in terms of building a private library of illustrated books....