Les Sardines A L'Huille by Glynn Boyd-Harte is regarded as one of the outstanding auto-lithographed books of the twentieth century. The original edition of just 70 copies is virtually unobtainable now, so this is of course a facsimile edition.
After graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1973 Boyd-Harte established a flourishing career as an illustrator, poster designer and painter. Illustration was enjoying a revival during the 1970s, and Boyd Harte’s work, with its rich vein of irony and technical perfection soon found an audience. At his degree show, the film maker and publisher Jonathan Gili spotted a drawing of a Staffordshire cottage which in turn led to the publication by Warren Editions of Murderers’ Cottages (1976) a black-humoured chapbook. This began a lasting association with Jonathan Gili and Warren Editions, and Glynn was to illustrate a number of deluxe artists books for the Press. These were commissioned in small editions, in the main as gifts for Warren Editions and friends, and have since become extremely collectable and scarce.
Sardines A L’Huile is one of the most desirable of these books, arising from Glynn and Jonathan’s shared love of printed ephemera, and in particular the vibrant labels found on the Sardine tins of France and Portugal, avidly collected by both. The original lithographs for the book were printed at the Curwen Studio, and Glynn’s enthusiasm for lithographic printing, combined with the subject matter was the perfect pairing.
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