THE BOOK OF PSALMS
Stichting De Roos, 1947
Designed by Jan van Krimpen at, and printed by, Joh. Enschedé en Zonen, Haarlem, Netherlands, for Stichting De Roos, Utrecht, Netherlands.
Published in an edition of 175 copies.
This beautiful edition of the Psalms is one of the finest examples of both the typography of Jan van Krimpen, and his Romanée typeface (in which this book is entirely hand set). The pages are a lesson to all typographers in the value of a simple and elegant setting. A book like this should not be on the receiving end of an overstated or fussy typographic treatment, and it certainly isn’t here. Respect is paid to the content with a clean, well designed setting, finely printed in a suitably ‘warm’ typeface on a very lovely Barcham Green handmade paper.
Knowing this book’s pedigree, and having seen images of it in the past, I knew that it would be a handsome item when I purchased it online, despite never having actually seen a copy. What I didn’t expect when it turned up was just how beautiful it was. To quote John Dreyfus on the edition:
“In no other setting can the inspiring and consoling quality of the psalms be equally enjoyed after they have once been read in this edition. It is the supreme example of Van Krimpen’s success in attaining beauty by skill and modesty in the discharge of his typographical skills.”
Curiously, there is no indication as to how many copies were printed, despite the colophon being signed and numbered by Van Krimpen. Looking online it seems that there were only 175, which is the standard number of copies for Stichting De Roos publications.
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