Tag Archives: Michael Twyman

The Typolithographic Press on White Lion-Court

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Lithography expert Michael Twyman called The Parthenon “remarkable for its ambitious and technically daring foray into typolithography.”



The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a complete run of The Parthenon, which is highlighted in Twyman’s chapter on lithographic incunables. He includes it as an “unusual early British work … which was the first journal to be produced anywhere entirely by lithography. Though it appeared much later than the other works discussed in this chapter, it seems appropriate to mention it with the incunables of lithographic book production because of its priority in periodical publishing and because of the particular techniques employed in its production.” -Michael Twyman, Early Lithographed Books (London: Farrand Press & Private Libraries Association, c1990). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) NE2295 .T99

parthenon5Twyman continues “It was published weekly in London by Black, Young, and Young of Tavistock street, Covent Garden and ran from 11 June 1825 to January 1926 [in Princeton’s copy all 16 issues are bound in one volume]. It was printed from stone by Ross and Co. at the Typolithographic Press, White Lion-Court, Wych-street, London, using their own special process which they called Typolithography.”

“The first few numbers of the Parthenon amply demonstrate the advantages of typolithography and include facsimiles of autographs, line sketches of works of art illustrating an outline history of Italian painting, and passages of music. The whole journal has the flavour of a letterpress production…

All the same, there must have been production problems because, without a word of explanation to the reader, the numbers from 6 onwards had their text matter printed letterpress to much the same design, with the non-text matter overprinted by lithography… “–Twyman


The Parthenon: a Magazine of Art and Literature (London: Black, Young and Young, 1825-1826). Title-page and preface and no. 1-5 printed from stone at the Typolithographic press./ Title-page has imprint: London : Printed from stone, At the Typolithographic Press, White Lion Court, Wych Street. Published by Black, Young, and Young, Tavistock street, Covent Garden, 1826./ At foot of p. 437: Printed by Ross and Co., at the Typolithographic Press, White Lion Court, Wych Street. Graphic Arts GAX 2013- in process