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Edmund New Oxford College Prints: Inception & Production

Edmund Hort New was an important early 20th century architectural artist and book illustrator. He was a great admirer of David Loggan’s copper engravings of Oxford Colleges, published in his Oxonia Illustrata of 1675, to celebrate the restoration of Charles II to the English throne. Oxford had been the Royalist capital during the Civil War.

 

Loggan’s views combined the facade of each college with a bird’s-eye view of the reat of the buildings and quadrangles hidden from the street view. Loggan personally drew each view, engraved the copper plates, and printed them himself..

 

New admired his skills immensely, and wanted to produce printed plates to show the architectural development of each college over the intervening 230 years.

 

Emery Walker was one of the few printers who had feet in both camps of Art & Crafts artists and commercial printing, with its modern technical developments. He created photo-engraved metal alloy plates from New’s pen & ink drawings, so that they could be printed on traditional hand-operated letterpress printers, as used by the Private Press publishers of the period, such as the Kelmscott & Doves Presses.

 

All the plates, produced betwwen 1905 and 1931, were destroyed in the blitz of the Second World War. It is unlikely that more than 200 copies of each view were printed. They are now rarer [and more expensive] than the 17th century Loggan engravings.

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