Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Bagel - An Early Contre Coup Press Book

Here's a very early effort, published when I was still using the Cerberus Press imprint. The pamphlet is entitled "A Brief Treatise on the History & Technique of the Bagel", written by Theophile Homard and published in University City, Missouri in 1981. This was the fifth publication of the Press, all of which had been small pamphlets bound in wrappers. This pamphlet is 8 inches tall by 4 inches wide with 8 pages. The book was set in the Kennerley typeface with display in Goudy Handtooled and printed on Basingwerk Parchment paper, sewn into Fabriano Ingres Heavy wrappers. The item was issued in an edition of 35 copies. I was heavily into breadmaking at the time I printed this one, and I had come up with a recipe for whole wheat bagels that was really great - I enjoyed the process of making bagels, boiling them before baking and all. So I thought that it might be fun to print my recipe and directions. And while I was at it, I could write up a little essay on how the bagel was originally developed. Unfortunately, my research didn't really turn up definitive information on the history of the bagel, so I asked the erstwhile Theophile Homard to make up a story of how the bagel was invented, and printed that. I don't know if people reading this little pamphlet actually believed the story, but who cares? I fiddled around with the ornaments that surround the opening title, and ended up turning the ornament on a 45-degree angle and creating a little cartouche. I was still in the process of teaching myself how to operate the press, so the presswork on this one leaves something to be desired.