In 1985, I opened a bookshop & gallery in Ludlow, and sold the Edmund New prints there, along with other engravings and lithographs for the next 20 years.
After finally retiring in March 2013, David Carey, who lives nearby, suggested that we might form a company to sell the remaining Edmund new Oxford College engravings via a website. This we have now done.
In 1905 the cost of such a print was 21s which would equate to over £100 today, and the few remaining original prints now command prices of between £300-500 if they can be found at all.
Oxford College Fine Prints are indistinguishable from the 1905 Print's (a very limited number of which Oxford College Fine Prints also hold) and cost only £150.00 (including postage and packaging to the UK and Europe). As such they represent not only substantial value for money but also a chance to acquire a high quality exclusive item with assured provenance. They represent a potential investment opportunity since these prints are also limited in quantity (presently around 40 copies each of 19 of the Oxford Colleges) and it is uncertain whether another hand-pressing will be undertaken. If more prints are made from the plates it will entail increased costs, due to the sourcing and cost of high quality hand made paper, making it unlikely that any future prints will be available at the same low price.
In the late 1970’s, when I leased shop premises on the wrong side of Magdalen Bridge [!Cowley Road!] I discovered a large cache of the original Edmund New College prints in a series of plan chests in the basement of a Modern Art Gallery on the High Street, near Brasenose College. This shop had been some years before a Fine Art Gallery, but had been taken over by a proprietor who was not interested in trying to display or sell them.
They had all been deposited on a sale or return basis by a descendant of the artist's.
I approached him, and he was willing to let me have the collection on the same understanding: I was to mount & frame the prints at my expense, and pay him a commission at regular intervals on those which I successfully sold through my bookshop.
This collection included about a third of the original engravings by New, but 1 copy of each of the others had been reserved, presumably with the idea of reprinting them in the future.
In 2004, the owner of the collection sold them all to me, although by this time there were only duplicate copies of 6 of the Colleges.
Over the next couple of years I gradually had made 19 metal plates of those Colleges I had run out of, [or were about to], from the single copies that had been retained, by the same process originally used by Emory Walker to reproduce Edmund New’s pen & ink drawings, so that I could have them printed on a hand-press, as the originals had been.
After leaving school David travelled worldwide for a few years as a failed rock and roll star, before joining the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy to train as a pilot. Thereafter he flew S-61 (Sea King) Helicopters to off-shore oil and gas platforms from the Shetland Isles.
David retrained as a doctor in the mid 90s and served with the British Army for 10 years as a surgeon before returning to the Royal Navy as a Specialist in Aviation and Diving Medicine. During that time he served on operations and embarked on ships with Naval Air Squadrons, the last being HMS Ark Royal. David retired to Shropshire as a Commander in 2012.
Presently he is a Medical Consultant and Director of Templar Medical which provides specialist medical services. In 2012 David compiled and edited, ‘Ludlow Food Heroes’, a book in aid of the charity Help for Heroes. It was then that he met Kenneth Swift and became interested in the works of Edmund New, having already been a collector of fine art, antiques and vintage wine.
Born in the perfect year, 1943, to be a benficiary of the Beveridge Report. Working-class background, free highly academic Grammar School & University education.
Never wanted to leave academia, but after three atempts at a PH.D., and approaching 30, had to face the fact that I would never complete one, and that I had to face the dreadful prospect of making a living.
With no cash, and no resources apart from a large collection of paperback books, I embarked on a “career” as a bookseller. Starting in a one-room shop on Cowley Road, I eventually secured a long lease on The Turl Cash Bookshop. I was a bookseller!
In 1985 I opened a bookshop & gallery in Ludlow, where I continued to trade for another 20 years. Then I sold the shop & retired to my present apartment and sold my remaining books and prints via the internet.