Grabhorn Press Bibliography Definition

Grabhorn Press

San Francisco, CA. Started in 1919 by Edwin and Robert Grabhorn, the press stayed in business until the death of Edwin in 1965. They bought the typefaces of John Henry Nash as well as developing their own. One of their major works was Walt Whitman's The Leaves of Grass, illustrated by Valenti Angelo. Many of Grabhorn Press' later works were under commission from the Book Club of California and also David Magee, San Francisco rare book dealer. In 1966, Robert Graborn partnered with Andrew Hoyem and they produced fine publications until Robert's death in 1973

Nineteenth Century Type Displayed in 18 Fonts Cast by United States Founders Now in the Cases of the Grabhorn Press.
Sold by David Magee. San Francisco. 1959. Grabhorn Press. 300 copies. Signed by E. Grabhorn and Robert Grabhorn.
Doomsday Books.
Paul Arthur Amadeus Niesenwurzel. Edited by Peter Bissenschwitz. The Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1928. 150 copies.
Traits of American Indian Life & Character.
By a Fur Trader. Editor Douglas S. Watson. The Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1933. Ephemera in front cover.
Journal Aboard the Louise.
A Pictorial Journal of a Voyage From San Francisco Bay to Dutch Harbor, Alaska Aboard the Three Masted Schooner Louise. Otis Oldfield. Introduction by Karl Kortum. Grabhorn-Hoyem. San Francisco. 1969. 400 copies.
An Original Leaf from Palou's Serra.(view photo)
An original leaf from Francisco Palou's Life of the Venerable Father Junipero Serra. 1787. Keepsake presented by the Roxburghe Club of San Francisco. 177 copies printed at Grabhorn Press. 1958.
The Life and Adventures of James W. Marshall.
The Discover of Gold in California. George F. Parsons. Introduction and notes by G. Ezra Dane. George Fields. San Francisco. 1935. Containing an original document of the gold rush period. #37 of 47 copies. Grabhorn Press. In cardboard case. With ephemera in front.
Phaedra.
Translated from the French of Racine. Agnes Tobin. Printed at Grabhorn Press for John Howell. San Francisco. 1938. 400 copies.
The Poet and the Messenger.
Milton S. Ray. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMXLV (1945). 250 copies.
The Revolt of a Tired Typesetter.
Two excerpts and a threnody. Roxburghe and Zamorano Clubs. 1958. Grabhorn Press. 200 copies.
Commentary of the Bibliography of Edgar A. Poe.
John W. Robertson. Russian Hill Private Press. San Francisco. 1934. Edwin and Robert Grabhorn. 350 copies.
Francis Drake & Other Early Explorers Along the Pacific Coast.
John W. Robertson. The Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMXXVII (1927). 1000 copies.
Soldiers of the Overland Being Some Account of the Services of General Patrick Edward Connor.
Fred B. Rogers. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1935. 1000 copies.
What Michael Said to the Census-Taker.(view PDF)
James Rorty. Grabhorn Press. MCMXXII (1922). 150 copies.
French Illustrated Manuscripts.(view photo)
H.C. Schulz. With an original leaf from a miniature book of hours. Printed for David Magee. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1958. 200 copies.
The Sermon on the Mount.
Designs by Stafford Duncan. Grabhorn Press. 1924.
The Tragedie of Antonie, and Cleopatra.
William Shakespeare. Illustrations by Mary Grabhorn. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMLX (1960). 185 copies.
The First Part of Henry the Fourth.
William Shakespeare. Illustrations by Mary Grabhorn. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1961. With ephemera.
The Tragedie of Julius Caesar.
William Shakespeare. Illustrations by Mary Grabhorn. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMLIV (1954). CLXXX (180) copies. With ephemera.
The Tragedie of King Lear.
William Shakespeare. Woodcuts by Mary Grabhorn. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1959. 180 copies.
The Tragedie of Macbeth.
William Shakespeare. Portraits by Mary Grabhorn. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMLII. 180 copies. Signed by Ed Grabhorn and Robert Grabhorn.
A Midsommer Nights Dreame.
William Shakespeare. Illustrations by Mary Grabhorn. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMLV (1960). 180 copies. Signed by E. Grabhorn and Mary Grabhorn. In cardboard case.
Original Leaves from the First Four Folios of the Plays of William Shakespeare:(view photo)
1623, 1632, 1663, 1685. Grabhorn Press for David Magee. San Francisco. MCMXXXV. 173 copies.
The Tragedie of Othello.
Drawings by Mary Grabhorn. Grabhorn Press for David Magee. San Francisco. MCMXXXV (1935). 185 copies.
A Tragedy of Richard III.
William Shakespeare. Grabhorn Press. 1953. 180 copies. In cardboard case.
The Tempest.
William Shakespeare. Decorations by Mary Grabhorn. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMLI (1951). 160 copies.
The Taming of the Shrew.
William Shakespeare. Decorations by Valenti Angelo. Lewis Osborne. 1967. Grabhorn-Hoyem. San Francisco. 375 copies. With ephemera.
The Spanish Occupation of California Plan for the Establishment of a Government Junta or Council held at San Blas May 16, 1768 Diario of the Expeditions Made to California.
Translated by Douglas S. Watson & Thomas Workman Temple II. Grabhorn Press. MCMXXXIV (1934). 550 copies. In cardboard case.
The Silverado Squatters.
Robert Louis Stevenson. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMLII (1952).
Life Among the Indians or : The Captivity of the Oatman Girls Among the Apache & Mohave Indians.
Illustrated by Mallette Dean. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1935. 550 copies.
To H.D. Pillsbury.
Read at a dinner given by N.R. Powley in honor of H.D. Pillsbury upon his completion of forty years of service in the Bell System, August 21, 1938. Printed for Alfred Sutro at Grabhorn Press. San Francisco.
The Diary of Johann August Sutter.
Introduction by Douglas S. Watson. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1932. In cardboard case.
New Helvetia Diary.
A Record of Events Kept by John A. Sutter. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1939.
Agnes Tobin. Letters. Translations. Poems with Some Account of Her Life.
Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1958. 400 copies.
Letters From the Sandwich Islands.
Mark Twain. Introduction by G. Ezra Dane. Illustrations by Dorothy Grover. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1937. 550 copies.
Sundry Ballades.(view PDF)
Francois Villon. Printed for Albert M. Bender. 1922. Printed by E. & R. Grabhorn & James McDonald.
Henry R. Wagner's The Plains and the Rockies, a Bibliography of the Original Narratives of Travel and Adventure.
1800-1865. Revised and extended by Charles L. Camp. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1937.
California Maps.
Carl I. Wheat. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1948. 200 copies.
Reprint from "Essays for Henry Wagner."
The Life of Johann August Sutter.
Douglas S. Watson. Member of Roxburghe Club. 1932. Grabhorn Press.
A Survey of Modern Bookmaking.
Pages From Contemporary Presses of England. Illustrations by Valenti Angelo. Grabhorn Press. MCMXXXI (1931). 70 copies.
Neighbors of Yesterday.
Douglas S. Watson. Grabhorn Press. June 4, 1934. 100 copies. Signed by E. Grabhorn.
A Contemplation Upon the Mystery of Man's Regeneration in Allusion to the Mystery of Printing.
Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1927.
Books of the Gold Rush.
A Centennial Selection. Carl I. Wheat. The Colt Press. San Francisco. 1949. 500 copies. Grabhorn Press.
1540-1861 Mapping the Transmississippi West.
Carl I. Wheat. The Institute of Historical Cartography. San Francisco. Grabhorn Press.
Vol. 1. The Spanish Entrada to the Louisiana Purchase 1540-1840. (1957).
1540-1861 Mapping the Transmississippi West.
Carl I. Wheat. The Institute of Historical Cartography. San Francisco. Grabhorn Press
Vol. 2. From Lewis and Clark to Fremont 1804-1845. (1958).
1540-1861 Mapping the Transmississippi West.
Carl I. Wheat. The Institute of Historical Cartography. San Francisco. Grabhorn Press
Vol. 3. The Mexican War to the Boundary Survey 1846-1854. (1959)
1540-1861 Mapping the Transmississippi West.
Carl I. Wheat. The Institute of Historical Cartography. San Francisco. Grabhorn Press
Vol. 4. Pacific Railroad Surveys on the Onset of the Civil War 1855-1860. (1960).
1540-1861 Mapping the Transmississippi West.
Carl I. Wheat. The Institute of Historical Cartography. San Francisco. Grabhorn Press
Vol. 5. Civil War to the Geological Survey (Part 1). (1963).
1540-1861 Mapping the Transmississippi West.
Carl I. Wheat. The Institute of Historical Cartography. San Francisco. Grabhorn Press
Vol. 6. Civil War to the Geological Survey (Part II) (1963).
The Maps of the California Gold Region 1848-1857.
Carl I. Wheat. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1942. 300 copies.
The Pioneer Press of California.
Carl I. Wheat. Biobooks. Oakland, CA. 1948. Grabhorn Press. 450 copies. Handwritten note by Carl Wheat in front cover.
Leaves of Grass.
Walt Whitman. Woodcuts by Valenti Angelo. Random House, Inc. New York. 1930. Edwin and Robert Grabhorn. #35 of 400.
F. P. Wierzbicki's California as it is and as it may be or a Guide to the Gold Regions.
Number 8 Grabhorn Press Rare Americana Series. Introduction by George D. Lyman. The Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1933. Drawings by Valenti Angelo. In cardboard case.
Gold Rush Steamers [of the Pacific].
Ernest A. Wiltsee. The Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1933. 500 copies. In cardboard case.
The Fisherman and his Soul.
Oscar Wilde. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1939. Illustrations by Mallette Dean. Printed for Ransohoffs. 200 copies.
The Fisherman and his Soul.
Proofs. Title, First Page, Colophon. Loose Leaf. 7 pages.
Echoes of the Horatian Year.
Henry Woods. S.J. Varsi Library. University of Santa Clara. MCMXXXVI (1936). Grabhorn Press. 200 copies.
Bibliography of the Grabhorn Press 1915-1940.
Heller & Magee. Elinor Raas Heller. David Magee. Mimeographed. Bound by McCune.
Catalogue: A Bookman's Library Fine Western Press Books.
Sale 191. Nov. 20, 1982. California Book Auction Galleries. San Francisco & Los Angeles. (Checklist of Grabhorn & Book Club of California to 1982).
Grabhornia.
A Grabhorn Index to Dawson's Book Shop. "Gutenberg to Grabhorn" and Edwards and Williams "One Hundred and One Grabhorns" together with Huntington Library, "The Work of the Grabhorn Press." Dawson's Book Shop. Los Angeles.
Catalogue of Grabhorn Printing.
List 60. Chiswick Book Shop. NY, NY.
The Subtyl Historyes and Fables of Esope.
Translated out of Frensshe into Englysshe by William Caxton at Westmynstre in the yere of oure Lorde MCCCLXXXIII. The Grabhorn Press of San Francisco. MCMXXX (1930). Initials and decorations by Valenti Angelo. #64 of 200. Signed by Edwin Grabhorn. It is in a case made by Dr. McCune.
The Modern Writer.
Sherwood Anderson. The Lantern Press. San Francisco. MCMXXV. Gelber, Lilienthal, Inc. #48 of 50 printed on Japan Vellum.
Nearer the Grass Roots.
Sherwood Anderson. The Westgate Press. San Francisco. 1929. Typography by the Grabhorn Press. Woodcuts by John Ira Gannon. #225 of 500. Signed by Sherwood Anderson.
Around the World in San Francisco.
Leonard Austin. Foreword by Louis Adamic. Pictures by Pauline Vinson. Published by James Ladd Delkin. Stanford University. 1940. 500 copies printed at the Grabhorn Press. November 1940.
Oedipus.
T.E. Bach, Art. Cantab. Three cantoes. The Grabhorn Press. MCMLXII (1962). Designed and illustrated by Mary Grabhorn. 115 copies. With ephemera.
The Peyote Ritual. Visions and Descriptions of Monroe Tsa Toke.
Grabhorn Press, San Francisco. 1957. 325 copies.
California's Pictorial Letter Sheets 1849-1869.
Joseph Armstrong Baird, Jr. David Magee. San Francisco. 1967.
The Book of Job.
Printed by Edwin and Robert Grabhorn. August 1926. Frontispiece by Valenti Angelo. #107 of 210 copies.
The Book of Ruth.
Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. November 1949. Illustrated by Valenti Angelo. 150 copies.
The Duke of Sacramento.
A Comedy in Four Acts. Warren Baer. The Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1934. 550 copies.
Memoirs of Edward Bosqui.
Foreword by Harold C. Holmes. The Holmes Book Company. Oakland, CA. 1952. Printed by Grabhorn Press. 350 copies. In cardboard case.
John Bradford's Historical Notes on Kentucky From the Western Miscellany.
Compiled by G.W. Stripp in 1827. Introduction by John Wilson Townsend. Arvilla Parker- Drawings. Douglas S. Watson - Editor. The Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1932.
Reminiscences and Incidents of Early Days of San Francisco (1845-50).
John Henry Brown. Introduction by Douglas Sloane Watson. The Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1933. In cardboard case.
San Francisco Old & New. Marion Brown.
Pictured by Jean Williamson. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMXXXIX (1939). #210 of 500. Signed by Marion Brown and Jean Williamson.
The Journey of Francisco Vazaquez De Coronado 1540-1542.
Translated and edited by George Parker Winship. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1933. 550 copies.
Speaking at Seventy.
Mary E. Bulkley. Gelber, Lilienthal, Inc. MCMXXXI (1931). Printed at Grabhorn Press. #176 of 250.
A Defense of the Dilettante.
George Chambers Calvert. Printed by Edwin and Robert Grabhorn at Studio Press. Indianapolis. December 1919. #8 of 200.
Collector's Choice.
An Exhibition of Representative Examples From the Collections of Members of the Roxburghe Club. Compiled by Kenneth Carpenter. Grabhorn Press. 1960.
Catalogue of Some Five Hundred Examples of Printing of Edwin and Robert Grabhorn 1917-1960 Two Gentlemen from Indiana Now Resident in California.
Offered for sale at the Bookshop of David Magee. 1961. Hardcover.
Catalogue of Some Five Hundred Examples of Printing of Edwin and Robert Grabhorn 1917-1960 Two Gentlemen from Indiana Now Resident in California.
Offered for sale at the Bookshop of David Magee. 1961. Soft cover.
Chronology of Twenty-five Years / The Roxburghe Club of San Francisco 1928-1953.
Grabhorn Press. 1954. 200 copies.
James Cook Surveyor of Newfoundland Being a Collection of Charts of the Coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Introduction by R.A. Skelton. David Magee. San Francisco. 1965. In cardboard case.
California in 1851 The Letters of Dame Shirley.
Two Volumes. Introduction and notes by Carl I. Wheat. The Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1933. In cardboard case. Includes a sheet of manuscript in the hand of Dame Shirley and a facsimile of her signature.
Commonwealth v. Gordon, et al.; The Opinion of Judge Bok. March Eighteenth, 1949.
Grabhorn Press. Printed for Blanche and Alfred Knopf . Christmas 1949. 500 copies. In cardboard case.
Winston Churchill Speeches 1940.
Addresses delivered in the year nineteen hundred and forty to the people of Great Britain, of France, and to the members of the English House of Commons, by the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Ransohoff: San Francisco. MCMXXXX (1940). Grabhorn Press. 250 copies. In cardboard case. With note to McCune from David Magee placed in front cover.
The Comedy of Dante Alighieri.
Three Volumes. Translated by Mary Prentice Lillie. Grabhorn Press. MCMLVIII (1958). Copyright Mary Prentice Barrows.
Narrative of "Cheyenne" Dawson (Overland to California in '41 & '49 and Texas '51).
Introduction by Charles L. Camp. Drawings by Arvilla Parker. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. May 1933. Number 7 of the Rare Americana Series. With ephemera.
Alonzo Delano's Pen-Knife Sketches or Chips of the Old Block.
Grabhorn Press: San Francisco. 1934. 550 copies.
A Sojourn With Royalty and Other Sketches by "Old Block."
Collected and Edited by G. Ezra Dane. George Fields of San Francisco. 1936. Grabhorn Press. 550 copies.
Phoenixiana A Collection of the Burlesques & Sketches of John Phoenix Alias John P. Squibob.
Edited by Francis P. Farquhar. San Francisco. Grabhorn Press. 1937. #5 of 550 copies. Third Series of Rare Americana.
Dedication of the Palomar Observatory and the Hale Telescope. June 3, 1948.
California Institute of Technology. Grabhorn Press.
A Descriptive & Printed Catalogue of Books, Pamphlets, and Maps Relating Directly or Indirectly to the History, Literature, and Printing of California & Far West.
The Holmes Book Company. Oakland, CA. 1948. In cardboard case.
A Visit to the Russians in 1828.
An Episode From the Narrative of Auguste Bernard Duhaut-Cilly. Translated from the French by Charles Franklin Carter. Silverado: Bohemian Grove. 1946.
The Diary of Philip Leget Edwards.
The Great Cattle Drive From California to Oregon. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. 1932. Number 4, Rare Americana Series. In cardboard case.
Fages-Serra Letters.
A.D. MDCCLXXII. (Letters of Captain Don Pedro Fages & Junipero Serra). Grabhorn Press. December 23, 1936. 110 copies.
Fine Printing and Bookbinding from San Francisco and its Environs.
Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMLXI (1961). A representative exhibition for the Grolier Club selected and catalogued by David Magee.
Eden Anto.
Antonio Fogaszzaro. Translated by Theodore Wesley Koch. Illustrated by Rene Gockinga. The Roxburghe Club of San Francisco. Grabhorn Press. 1930. #191.
Wah-To-Yah & The Taos Trail, Prairie Travel and Scalp Dances.
Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMXXXVI (1936). Number 3 of Rare Americana Series.
The History of Type & Printing in Easy Lessons Embellished with Effigies of Some of the Practitioners in This Ancient Art.
Imprinted for MacKenzie & Harris, Inc. Typographers & Typefounders. Illustrated by Mallette Dean. From Gutenberg to Grabhorn. 6 series of advertisements: (I am Johann Gutenberg. I am Robert Estienne. I am Bill Claxton. I am Nicolas Jenson. I am Peter Schoffer. I am Aldus).
Jeans Sans Terre Landless John.
Yvan Goll. Preface by Allen Tate. Grabhorn Press. San Francisco. MCMXLIV (1944)
A Grab(horn) Bag Original Pages.
Found by excavators at 642 Commerce Street, San Francisco. Pages from various books printed at the Grabhorn Press 1928-1940.
A California Gold Rush Miscellany comprising the original journal of Alexander Barrington.
Explanatory text by Jane Bissell Grabhorn. Grabhorn Press. 1934.
The Fine Art of Printing: An address by Edwin Grabhorn.
Before Roxburghe Club of San Francisco at its meeting in the Allied Arts Guild, Menlo Park, California, May 15, 1933.
Catalogue of an Exhibition of the Typographic Work of Jane Grabhorn in the Albert M. Bender Room of the Stanford University Libraries March 4 to April 7, 1956.
500 copies.
The Compleat Jane Grabhorn.
A Hodge-Podge of Typographic Ephemera. Three Complete Books, Broadsides, Invitations. MCMLXVIII (1968).
California's Medical Story.
Henry Harris, M.D. J.W. Stacey, Inc. Printed by Grabhorn Press. 1932.
The Tame Trout A Tale of the Maine Woods Narrated by Ed Grant.
Grabhorn Press. 1939.
A Tribute to Edwin Grabhorn & the Grabhorn Press.
James D. Hart. Grabhorn Press. The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. 1969. 1000 copies. With ephemera.
Dickens in Camp.
Bret Harte. With foreword by Frederick S. Myrtle. John Howell. San Francisco. 1922. Printed by Edwin Grabhorn. #130 of 350 copies.
The Lost Galleon.
Bret Harte. Silverado Squatters Camp. Bohemian Grove. 1953. 300 copies. With map inside back cover.
Some Reflections of an Early California Governor Contained in a Short Dictated Memoir by Frederick F. Low, Ninth Governor of California.
Sacramento Book Collectors Club. MCMLIX (1959). Printed at Grabhorn Press. 310 copies. With ephemera.
The Golden Touch.
Nathaniel Hawthorne. Drawings by Valenti Angelo. Grabhorn Press. MCMXXVII (1927). In cardboard case. 240 copies.
Mliss, a Story by Bret Harte.
Grabhorn Press. MCMXLVIII (1948). Illustrations by Mallette Dean. 300 copies.
The Luck of Roaring Camp.
Bret Harte. Ranshoffs. San Francisco. MCMXLVIII (1948). Printed by Grabhorn Press. 300 copies.
Bibliography of the Grabhorn Press 1915-1940.
Elinor Raas Heller & David Magee. Grabhorn Press. MCMXL (1940). 210 copies. In cardboard case.
A History of Susanna.
Grabhorn Press. Engravings by Mallette Dean. 400 copies.
The History of Type & Printing in Easy Lessons Embellished with Effigies of Some of the Practitioners in This Ancient Art.
Imprinted for MacKenzie & Harris, Inc. Typographers & Typefounders. Illustrated by Mallette Dean. From Gutenberg to Grabhorn. 6 series of advertisements: (I am Johann Gutenberg. I am Robert Estienne. I am Bill Claxton. I am Nicolas Jenson. I am Peter Schoffer. I am Aldus). Carbon of letter to Carroll Harris from Dr. McCune in front cover.
The Southern Mines of California : Early Development of the Sonora Mining Region.
Robert Evelyn Holmes. Grabhorn Press. 1930. #5 of 250. Signed by Roberta Evelyn Holmes.
Hymns to Aphrodite.
Grabhorn Press. October 1927. 200 copies.
In Memoriam Edwin Grabhorn 1889-1968.
Printed for the Roxburghe Club of San Francisco. Grabhorn Press. 1969. 150 copies.
Joan the Maid of Orleans Being that Portion of the Chronicles of St. Denis Which Deals With Her Life.
Translated by Pauline B. Sowers. Roy Vernon Sowers: San Francisco. Printed by Grabhorn Press. 1938. With ephemera.
In Memoriam Louis E. Goodman 1892-1961.
Roxburghe Club of San Francisco. Grabhorn Press. 1963. 200 copies.
Joaquin Murieta the Brigand Chief of California a Complete History of His Life From the Age of Sixteen to the Time of His Capture and Death in 1853.
Grabhorn Press. 1932.
Two Odes.
John Keats. Printed at Grabhorn Press for Albert M. Bender. MCMXXVI (1926). 160 copies.
Book Ballades for Roxburghers.
Written by A. Lang, Esq. Imprinted for Albert M. Bender. 50 copies.
Hearn and His Biographers.
The Record of Literary Controversy. Oscar Lewis. The Westgate Press: San Francisco. 1930. Printed by Grabhorn Press. 350 copies. In cardboard case.
California in 1846.
Described in Letters from Thomas O. Larkin. Notes and introduction by Oscar Lewis. Grabhorn Press. 1934. 350 copies. In cardboard case. With ephemera.
A.M.B. Some Aspects of His Life and Times Begun in Playful Mood for His Entertainment on His 75th Birthday.
Written by Oscar Lewis. Grabhorn Press. 1941. In cardboard case. With drawing in back cover.
Bibliography of the Grabhorn Press 1940-1956.
With a Checklist 1916-1940. Dorothy and David Magee. Grabhorn Press. MCMLVII (1957). 225 copies.
The Voiage and Travaile of Sir John Maundevile, Kt. Which Treateth of the Way to Hierusalem and of Marvayles of Inde with Other Ilands and Countryes.
Illuminated by Valenti Angelo. Random House. New York. MCMXXVIII (1928). Printed by Edwin and Robert Grabhorn. In cardboard case.
The Banditti of the Plains or the Cattlemen's Invasion of Wyoming in 1892.
Written by A.S. Mercer. Illustrations by Arvilla Parker. Printed for George Fields of San Francisco. Grabhorn Press. MCMXXXV (1935).
Naval Sketches of the War in California.
Drawings by William H. Meyers. Introduction by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Random House. 1939. Grabhorn Press. 1000 copies. With Ephemera.
Back to Top

The Grabhorn Press was one of the foremost American producers of finely-printed books from the early 1920s to the mid-1960s. Their fine printing establishment is documented in a comprehensive public exhibition on view at the Grolier Club from May 13 to August 1, 2015. The more than one hundred books and objects on display—selected from a corpus of over 650 books and countless ephemera—offer unprecedented insight into the Grabhorn Press’s remarkable contribution to the art of the book. Curated by Andrew Hoyem, the publisher at Arion Press who was affiliated with the Grabhorns from 1964 to 1973, and associate curator Dr. Simran Thadani, the show is enhanced by important letters, design mock-ups, photographs and other archival material drawn primarily from Hoyem’s collection, and from the archives of the Grabhorn Institute. 

Based in San Francisco, the Grabhorn Press was a descendant of the “arts and crafts” movement started by William Morris in England for the revival of fine printing in the late nineteenth century. Before and during the Grabhorns’ time, there were others in the United States who inherited, practiced, and innovated upon the “arts and crafts” ideals. What set the Grabhorns apart from other Americans of their era were the variety, quality, and quantity of their accomplishments.

The brothers Edwin and Robert Grabhorn came to San Francisco in 1920, with printing experience but scant schooling. Highly intelligent, both had a keen aesthetic sense and were voracious readers; they immediately stood out for their exuberant and adventuresome approach to bookmaking, captivating the city’s already well-established bibliophile population with their imaginative and colorful books. 

Over the course of the next 45 years, their enormously varied output demonstrated the brothers’ keen sense of design and mastery of historic and contemporary modes of typographic expression. By 1921, the Grabhorns had already printed a book for the Book Club of California, the organization that would become their primary client. One of their landmark books was H. M. T. Powell’s The Santa Fé Trail to California 1849-1852 (1931). Powell travelled from Illinois to San Diego along what is now called the Southern Emigrant Trail, then back home via Panama, Nicaragua, and New Orleans. This chronicle was printed for the first time by the Grabhorns. 

Most of their work was contractual, with the proviso that they were entrusted with design authority. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1928) was the second book published by Random House. The publisher, Bennett Cerf, made a casual visit to the Press in 1928, just as the Grabhorns completed printing The Voiage and Traveile of Sir John Maundeville, and was so taken with the book that he bought the entire edition and had the title page reprinted to change the publisher’s name. Cerf commissioned several deluxe limited edition books, including the Grabhorn masterpiece, Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1930). Widely recognized as a monument of twentieth-century fine printing, it was a winner of the AIGA Fifty Books of the Year. The 430-page folio volume with thirty-seven woodblocks took more than a year from inception to completion. It sold for $100.00 a copy just before the Great Depression put a damper on fine press printing and rare book collecting. 

The Grabhorn Press was also a publisher, notably of rare Americana and of the plays of Shakespeare. A Midsommer Nights Dreame, the fifth in the series of plays, is a small quarto with vibrant bursts of color to the text provided by Mary Grabhorn’s six square linoleum-block illustrations.

The Grabhorns admired the work of Bruce Rogers and considered themselves his “best students,” although they were never to meet him. They practiced what Rogers called “allusive printing,” in which the selection of type, decoration, and page layout allude to aspects of a book’s contents. They assembled remarkable holdings of type for hand composition, favoring the types of Frederic W. Goudy, who designed the Press’s private type, Franciscan. 

The Grabhorn Press staff was always small: just one or two typesetters and pressmen, plus a bookbinder or two. Considering how few people worked at the Grabhorn Press, it is amazing how many books were produced annually. Its bibliography lists 654 titles—an average of 14.2 books per year, over one a month. These figures do not include pamphlets, ephemera, stationery, and other job printing that was regularly done.

National recognition came early and often: a gold medal from the American Institute of Graphic Arts (1926); an exhibition at the Huntington Library (1945); and an exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution that travelled to Indianapolis, Washington, D. C., and San Francisco’s de Young Museum (1961-1963).

The Grabhorn Press closed in December 1965. The following summer, Robert and Jane formed a partnership with Andrew Hoyem, called Grabhorn-Hoyem, that lasted until their deaths in 1973. The imprint was changed to Arion Press, which has gone on to publish more than one hundred books. Located in the Presidio of San Francisco, the vast and distinctive holdings of type and equipment assembled by Edwin and Robert Grabhorn form the core collection of a working museum of printing and the book arts launched in 2001. Named in their honor, the non-profit Grabhorn Institute is devoted to education and the preservation of the nation’s most complete and fully functioning letterpress printing operation that includes a type foundry and hand bookbindery. The Grabhorn Institute is one of the supporters of this exhibition.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, with photographs of the Grabhorns and their associates and ten color plates of Grabhorn Press books. 

FORTHCOMING EXHIBITIONS:

  • September 16-November 21, 2015. “Alice in Translation.” Curated by Jon A. Lindseth and Alan Tannenbaum.
  • December 9, 2015-February 6, 2016. “The Grolier Club Collects II.” Curated by Eric Holzenberg and Arthur Schwarz.

Image: Leaves of Grass, Comprising All the Poems Written by Walt Whitman, Following the Arrangement of the Edition of 1891-92. Woodcuts by Valenti Angelo. New York: Random House, 1930. 

0 thoughts on “Grabhorn Press Bibliography Definition”

    -->

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *