Incline Press — The Book Decorations of Thomas Lowinsky
(Incline Press) The Book Decorations of Thomas Lowinsky. [By] Colin Myers. With a Memoir by Katherine Thirkell. And an Annotated Checklist by Oliver Clark. Oldham. 2001. 122p.13″ x 9″. 90 illustrations in total; including all his surviving unpublished illustrations, an autograph poem and an ink sketch, 2 woodcuts, all his patterned paper designs and publishers’ devices. 2 Double Crown Club menus are reproduced, one of which is hand colored as is the original. 35 illustrations in the text and tipped in full page facsimiles of a further 26, including another hand colored plate, matched with the original. Cloth spine and boards covered with a new printing of one of his Curwen designs. Text on acid-free Magnani paper, with facsimile pages and plates on a range of hand and mould made papers to approximate the originals. Slipcase. One in an edition of 250 copies. Fine.
Lowinsky was born in India; schooled at Eton; spent a year at Oxford; two at the Slade; followed by active service in France and Germany with the Scots Guards, where he also assisted … as a war artist: he was one of the circle of friends and supporters of Charles Ricketts, and a founding member of the Double Crown Club. A man of independent means, Lowinsky was also a man of independent mind. He was intimately involved with the production of most of the books he illustrated for he worked with his friends, as authors or publishers: Sacheverell and Edith Sitwell, Frederick Etchells of Haslewood Books, Oliver Simon at Curwen, Francis Meynell at Nonesuch, and through Albert Rutherston for the Shakespeare Head Press. Among the full page facsimiles are ten illustrated title pages, nine of them integrated with the full checklist prepared by Oliver Clark. There is also a previously unpublished studio portrait of Lowinsky, and a family group drawn by their friend, Albert Rutherston. Katherine Thirkell is the daughter of Lowinsky, and has introduced the book with recollections of life with him. A fine book on a long neglected figure in the British private press world of the first half of the Twentieth Century.