The Definitive Dwiggins no. 179—The Ninety-first Psalm
This post is part of a trio concerning handwritten booklets that W.A. Dwiggins created between 19o5 and 1913. For the other two see The Definitive Dwiggins no. 133 The Parable of the Prodigal Son and The Definitive Dwiggins no. 713 A Description of Christ.
Daniel Berkeley Updike of The Merrymount Press wrote to W.A. Dwiggins on July 5, 1906 asking him for a copy of the “Psalm,” saying that “I may be able to get you a little bit of work it if I can have a copy of it.”  The psalm in question was a small booklet Dwiggins had designed and hand-lettered entitled The Ninety-First Psalm. It had been completed in March of that year.  He supervised its printing at The Heintzemann Press in Boston and was planning to sell it himself.  Four days later, Updike, disappointed that it had no illustrations, returned the booklet to Dwiggins. 
How Dwiggins planned to sell The Ninety-First Psalm is unclear. No advertisements for it have been discovered and there are no contemporary references to it in publishing or printing trade publications. He probably intended to promote it via a mailer as he had with his colored woodcuts. Oddly enough, the Boston publisher Alfred Bartlett, who had eagerly grabbed Dwiggins’ calligraphic rendition of The Parable of the Prodigal Son the year before, did not publish or distribute it. 
Edwin O. Grover’s “friend”
In mid-August of 1906 Dwiggins wrote to Updike, asking him for advice about an offer to have his booklet reprinted as a greeting card by Edwin Osgood Grover (1870–1965) of Chicago. “He has always played a square game with me and I should be inclined to make a dicker with him if it could be done without disadvantage to myself,” Dwiggins said.  Grover was a partner in the educational publishing firm of Atkinson, Mentzer and Grover. On the side, he was the driving force behind The Craftsman’s Guild and The Canterbury Company, two intertwined Arts & Crafts-inspired ventures. Grover had established the Guild in Boston in early 1900 and then re-established it in the Chicago suburbs by December 1902.  Then, in mid-1905 he created The Canterbury Company to sell calendars and an “artistic line of postal cards, etc., with suitable holiday inscriptions.”  There is little doubt that Grover modeled this latter enterprise on his friend Alfred Bartlett’s business to which he had contributed since 1900. 
Apparently, Grover was making the offer on behalf of an unnamed “friend”. “The ‘friend’ is his sister, I think,” wrote Dwiggins to Updike, “who runs a little publishing business under the name of the Canterbury Press. That is merely a guess.”  This seems peculiar since there is no evidence that Grover’s sister, Eulalie Osgood Grover (1873–1958) was involved in The Canterbury Co. or The Canterbury Press.  She was the author of the popular “Sunbonnet Babies” series, starting with The Sunbonnet Babies’ Primer (1902), and of the first three volumes of The Art-Literature Reader series published by Atkinson, Mentzer & Grover. Her books were elementary readers aimed at young children and it seems extremely unlikely that she would have been interested in reprinting Dwiggins’ handlettered edition of The Ninety-First Psalm. The only conclusion that can be made is that Grover’s “friend” was a straw man for Grover himself, though why he felt he needed to resort to such a subterfuge is unclear. (Dwiggins’ reference to Grover having “always played a square game with him” is also unclear since this letter predates the earliest recorded job that Dwiggins did for Grover.) 
On August 22, 1906 Updike responded to Dwiggins’ request for advice by suggesting that he sell five hundred sets of sheets to Grover, explaining that “Then you know, too, just how many are printed, and how, etc. They might select wrong paper and do certain things to spoil it. Try to keep it in your own hands if you can.” As for pricing, the best he could suggest was that Dwiggins calculate a price based on a percentage of his own price.  The following day Dwiggins wrote the following letter to Grover, setting forth his conditions for the reprint:
I see know [sic] reason why I should object if he [Grover’s “friend”] will fulfil [sic] a few conditions which I would naturally care to see observed.
As to money consideration, would an arrangement for 10% of minimum selling price on a basis of 500 copies be satisfactory to your friend?”
(2) I should like to have the price no LOWER than my own: 75 cents a copy.
(3) In regard to paper, size, binding, etc., I should wish him to keep as close to the SPIRIT of my treatment as his estimate would permit.
(4) I should, of course, wish him to guarantee the return of the blocks in good condition, and a limitation of the copies issued to the specified number.
(5) The device on the title-page and the matter of the colophon are, or course, personal to myself. I should want to furnish DRAWINGS (gratis) from which he could make blocks for these places: his monogram or device or simply an ornament on title-page, and his own matter in colophon.
(6) He would, of course, give credit in his colophon for the source of the designs, etc.
I am particular in my stipulations for the reason that my own issue of 300 copies is not entirely subscribed and I want to safeguard the “tone” of the venture. But I feel safe in trusting it to your care. 
Rather than following Updike’s advice about selling sets of sheets, Dwiggins was offering to provide Grover’s “friend” with the process (or photoengraved) blocks of his lettering instead. What happened after this is unknown, but presumably Grover (or his “friend”) was unwilling to accept the conditions that Dwiggins laid down since the negotiations appear to have came to nought. There is no evidence that The Canterbury Press or The Canterbury Co.—or anyone else for that matter—issued Dwiggins’ handlettered text either as a booklet or as a greeting card in 1906 or 1907. 
Daniel Berkeley Updike and Carl Purington Rollins
Although The Ninety-First Psalm did not serve Updike’s needs in June, the booklet clearly impressed him. In the midst of his correspondence with Dwiggins about Grover’s friend’s offer, he and Carl Purington Rollins engaged in a short exchange about the booklet. “Dwiggins has most kindly sent me a set of his broadsides and a copy of that little ’91st Psalm’,” Rollins wrote to him on August 20, 1906. “I think they show the best work in lettering that I have seen for a long time. Has he a very great ability in that way, or am I too enthusiastic when I think that he has done work that is quite as good of its kind as anything you can find to-day? It seems to me he has the real feeling for his work.” 
Updike’s response was, as expected, tempered yet positive:
What you say about Dwiggins’ work is in the main true, but, like a baby, his eyes are bigger than his stomach; by which I mean that he sees more than he can perform. If his performance can equal his insight he may go far, but I agree with you that his best work has individuality and a kind of style, and this is shown in his lettering too. I think you are perhaps a little too enthusiastic, because there is some wonderful lettering done in England now. That he has real feeling and is a sincere straightforward sort of worker I am sure. I like him…. 
Updike’s assessment occurred at a moment when he was still testing Dwiggins out. As of August 1906 he had commissioned three jobs from Dwiggins and only one of them had met his expectations and been carried through.  But by January 1907 Dwiggins had become Updike’s favored artist, the person he turned to most often when he needed illustrations, ornament, lettering, or just some “carpentering” of a cribbed design. Rollins’ enthusiastic opinion surely encouraged him. 
The Village Press edition of The Ninety-First Psalm
Why did Dwiggins decide to print a version of The Ninety-First Psalm? He may have been influenced by his mother’s deep religious beliefs. Or he may simply have considered the text to be easily marketable. In this he may have been influenced by Frederic W. Goudy (1865-1947), his former teacher and mentor, who published an edition of The Ninety-First Psalm in October 1904. Dwiggins joined Goudy and his wife Bertha as a member of The Village Press that same month. Thus, he would have been very familiar with their edition. 
But Dwiggins made sure that his edition of The Ninety-First Psalm was visually different from Goudy’s. The most obvious aspect, of course, is the fact that it is not set in type but entirely hand-lettered. The text is principally in blackletter instead of roman. Furthermore, it is justified rather than set flush left, rag right. The opening initial H is roman in form instead of uncial and its decoration is denser and less botanical than the white-vine style so beloved by Goudy (and which Dwiggins himself emulated in his contribution to The Village Press edition of Rabbi Ben Ezra a year earlier). I believe Dwiggins concocted his H from seeing an intricate initial P in the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. 
Dwiggins mixed several calligraphic styles in lettering The Ninety-First Psalm. The cover is in rotunda; the title page is in classical roman capitals; the large initial H and three smaller initials (I, S, and B) are all classical roman capitals; and, finally, the text opens with classical roman capitals before shifting to a blackletter that is part textura and part rotunda but with roman capitals. The latter is brilliantly done. Note his precise use of upright d at the beginning and middle of words while curved uncialesque d appears only at the end of words. Moreover, his use of roman capitals with blackletter minuscules predated such experiments by Rudolf Koch and Hermann Zapf. Dwiggins created a blackletter hybrid that is very readable, yet retains a religious aura. 
Reed and Dwiggins
After negotiations with Grover broke down, Dwiggins turned to his art school friend John Reed (1880–1942) as a possible outlet for The Ninety-First Psalm. In the fall of 1906 the two men had begun discussing a publishing venture that would, like Alfred Bartlett’s business, deal in prints, broadsides, calendars, books, and other Arts & Crafts ephemera. During the course of their intertwined correspondence, Dwiggins told Reed that he was “sending some Psalms” along with the letter. Further on he wrote, “Sure! Prodigal Son for the first booklet.”  I think Dwiggins confused The Parable of the Prodigal Son with The Ninety-First Psalm and that he viewed the new Reed and Dwiggins enterprise as a well-timed outlet for the latter.  But little came of the joint venture between the two classmates and The Ninety-First Psalm was never published as a Reed and Dwiggins item.  How Dwiggins eventually distributed the edition remains unclear.
One intriguing aspect of the correspondence between Reed and Dwiggins is the inclusion on one page of a proof of the printer’s mark that Dwiggins used on the title page of The Ninety-First Psalm. Of the mark he wrote, “…[it] is an adaptation—with WD in the loop—of that ancient emblem of the craft that the national Biscuit Co[.] [Nabisco] uses, with so much good logic and delightful finesse, on the ends of its cracker boxes.”  Dwiggins’ version of the common orb-and-cross printers’ mark is distinctive in having the cross portion formed by three “leaves”. He probably got the idea from Petrus Liechtenstein Coloniensis, a printer active in Venice c.1497 to 1528. His mark is the only one I have seen with that distinctive “clover-leaf” design. It is reproduced in Early Venetian Printing Illustrated by Ferdinando Ongania (Venice: Ferd. Ongania, London: John C. Nimmo, and New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1895), a book that Dwiggins used as inspiration for a number of projects early in his career.  As far as I know The Parable of the Prodigal Son is the only time Dwiggins used the orb-and-cross mark.
The subtitle of The Ninety-First Psalm is interesting in that Dwiggins chose to copy the archaic typography and spelling of the original King James Version of the Bible (1611). Thus it says “Iames” instead of “James”. 
The three small decorative initials printed in red in The Ninety-First Psalm look, at first glance, to be cribbed from historical sources, but I have been unable to find an exact match for them in Early Venetian Printing Illustrated or any other contemporary source of reproductions of examples of early printing. I think that Dwiggins created his own variations on the numerous instances of roman capitals flanked by floral elements found in Ongania’s book.  Even if he had wanted to copy faithfully any of the woodcut initials he fancied in Ongania’s book, he would have been forced to reinterpret them to some degree given their poor reproduction.
The Heintzemann Press
As indicated by the colophon illustrated above, The Ninety-First Psalm was printed at The Heintzemann Press, the leading printer in Boston at the time. Dwiggins apparently supervised the printing closely suggesting that it was done during the period in 1906 that he rented desk space from Heintzemann. Dwiggins was struggling economically at the time which makes one wonder if he might have bartered design work in return for the printing. If so, that would explain the absence of Four Episodes from the York Mysteries of the Fourteenth Century and the Hutchings-Votey Organ Co. catalogue cover from his account books.  According to Dorothy Abbe, the binding of The Ninety-First Psalm was done by Dwiggins and his wife Mabel at their home. 
Alfred Bartlett edition of The 91st Psalm (1909)
Dorothy Abbe says, “Alfred Bartlett must have admired this little book,” Dorothy Abbe writes of The Ninety-First Psalm, “but found it too chaste for his clientele; three years later, under his imprint, the same text appeared, each page surrounded by a heavy border which rendered it totally devoid of the charming simplicity of the earlier version.”  It is surprising that Bartlett was never involved in the publication or distribution of The Ninety-First Psalm in 1906, but I think Abbe’s explanation is wrong. Bartlett published many items that were aesthetically chaste, including Dwiggins’ edition of The Parable of the Prodigal Son in 1905. I suspect that he asked Dwiggins to add the decorative borders to the pages as a means of distinguishing his edition from the 1906 one.
Dwiggins created the the border, lettering for a new cover and title page, and a special imprint for Bartlett in February and March 1909.  There is evidence that he originally attempted to make a light Renaissance architectural border, but that the idea was abandoned in favor of the dark Venetian one. Whether the change was made by Dwiggins or requested by Bartlett is unknown.  Its darkness may have been considered to be more appropriate for a Biblical text than an architectural one. Although Abbe found the border “devoid of charming simplicity,” it is unlikely that Dwiggins thought so. The design fits with the large interlaced initial P and the smaller initials, and matches the weight of the blackletter text. Dwiggins created the original border based on ones found in Ongania’s book, the same source he used for the initials.  He cobbled together floral motifs, urns and fountains, dolphins, ribbons, shields, and skulls,.
The white-on-black Venetian border was not the only change that Dwiggins made in 1909 to his 1906 version of The Ninety-First Psalm, though it was the most dramatic. He also revised the cover, the title page, and the colophon page. On the cover the title—with “Ninety-First” changed to “91st”—was lettered in chaste classical Roman capitals, replacing the red Rotunda of the earlier edition. The title on the title page dropped the archaic “IAMES” and the ligatured “THE”. It now read:
THE 91ST PSALM / REPRINTED FROM / THE KING JAMES / VERSION · DRAWN / BY W.A. DWIGGINS / PUBLISHED BY / ALFRED BARTLETT / BOSTON
Oddly, the publication date was not included on the title page, though there was plenty of room. It does appear, however, on the verso as part of the copyright. A beribboned shield with the initials AB in classical Roman capitals replaced the colophon. This is the only known use of this Bartlett “imprint”. Why it was not placed on the title page is unclear.
The 91st Psalm lacked a colophon, but some information about its production appeared in a 1918 catalogue of The Cornhill Company, a successor to Bartlett’s publishing concern. Copies of the booklet were still available for sale and they were described as printed in red and black on “toned” paper:
…from process blocks after hand-lettering by Mr. W.A. Dwiggins, with ornamental initials. An arabesque border is repeated on the six text pages. Bound in white paper boards with green cloth back, with side title printed in green. 
The “toned” paper was made by Van Gelder. “Process blocks” refers to photoengraved blocks, indicating that Dwiggins’ lettering was not cut in wood. There is no mention of the printer or the size of the edition.
The three-year lapse between Dwiggins’ 1906 edition of The Ninety-First Psalm and Bartlett’s edition of The 91st Psalm was undoubtedly due to the time needed to insure that the former was sold out or nearly so. That would imply that Dwiggins struggled to sell his copies. Bartlett must have also had difficulty selling his edition since copies were still available for sale nine years later.  Maybe the two men should have published The Twenty-Third Psalm instead.
1. See Daniel Berkeley Updike to W.A. Dwiggins 5 July 1906, Letter 108:9 in Folder 108, Box 69, The Merrymount Press Correspondence, The Merrymount Press Collection, The Henry E. Huntington Library.
2. The Ninety-first Psalm: Reprinted from the King Iames Version (Hingham Centre, Massachusetts: Will Dwiggins, 1906). The booklet does not appear in Dwiggins’ account books, but Ruth Noble says that it was printed in March. She presumably got this information directly from Dwiggins whom she telephoned and wrote to for corroboration of items on a list of his books she was compiling. See the typescript “W.A. Dwiggins” in Folder 41, Box 2, Ruth Noble Papers (Ms. Am. 1423), Boston Public Library. The typescript is undated, but based on the items included, it was compiled between 1941 and 1942. This edition of The Ninety-First Psalm was never copyrighted.
3. The colophon reads, “The 91st Psalm / The text drawn by Will Dwiggins under whose supervision the book was printed at The Heintzemann Press Boston.” The Heintzemann Press, founded by Carl Heintzemann (1854–1909) in 1879, was considered to be one of the two leading printing firms in New England at the time. The other was The Merrymount Press. The booklet was probably printed during the time that Dwiggins had “desk space” three days a week at the press. Mabel Dwiggins indicates the year was 1906, but does not specify any months. See the typescript “W.A.D.” Sec. 5 May ’58 by Mabel H. Dwiggins, p. 4 in Folder 1, Box 8, C.H. Griffith Papers, Margaret King Library, University of Kentucky.
4. See Daniel Berkeley Updike to W.A. Dwiggins 9 July 1906, Letter 108:10 in The Merrymount Press Correspondence, Folder 108, Box 69, The Merrymount Press Collection, The Henry E. Huntington Library. Updike had confused The Ninety-First Psalm with The Parable of the Prodigal Son. Dwiggins subsequently sent him a copy of the latter on July 10, 1906.
5. Sometime between December 1905 and March 1906 Dwiggins printed a second list of items he was selling. It included three prints and five quotations: a woodcut portrait of Eugene Field, and two color woodcuts (“The Sea-Fight” and “Wind: Winter”); two quotations from Walt Whitman, the Song from Pippa Passes by Robert Browning, “Sermons in Stones” from As You like It, and Proverbs 15:17. Notably, the list does not include The Ninety-First Psalm. An annotated copy of the list is in the box of Dwiggins ephemera (Wing f zP 983 .D94) at The Newberry Library. It was probably sent by Dwiggins to John Reed as part of their discussion about establishing a publishing concern. I mistakenly attributed the list to Boston publisher Alfred Bartlett in The Definitive Dwiggins no. 48. Alfred Bartlett’s 1906 catalogue, printed on September 5, 1906, offers six quotations designed, lettered and printed by Dwiggins for sale, but makes no mention of The Ninety-First Psalm. See a copy of the catalogue in Folder 1, Box 40, 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library; and job no. 3874 in Job Book no. 9 (May 1906–January 1907), pp. 5 and 170, The Merrymount Press Collection, Henry E. Huntington Library.
6. See W.A. Dwiggins to Daniel Berkeley Updike 18 August 1906 (Letter 108:17) in The Merrymount Press Correspondence, Folder 108, Box 69, The Merrymount Press Collection, The Henry E. Huntington Library.
7. Edwin O. Grover’s early life and career are not fully (or entirely accurately) described in the Wikipedia article or in the Rollins College profile of him. Grover was born in Minnesota but grew up in New England. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1894 where one of his classmates was Alfred Bartlett. In February 1900, after several years as an agent for Ginn & Co. in the midwest, he moved from Minneapolis to Boston to become an assistant editor at the publisher’s home office. In November of that year Grover was appointed editor-in-chief of the educational department of Rand McNally & Co. in Chicago and he moved there by January 1901. During his brief time in Boston Grover established The Craftsman’s Guild, dedicated to publishing books that were entirely handlettered and illuminated. The first one was Two Lyrics by Rev. John Tabb—lettered by T.B. Hapgood and illuminated by Emilie Marthecia Whitten—completed in December 1900. The Guild’s address was 21 Cornhill, Boston where Alfred Bartlett had his publishing business. But by the end of 1902 its address was Highland Park, a suburb of Chicago where Grover lived. See The Boston Directory Containing the City Record, Directory of the Citiizens, Business Directory and Street Directory, with Map vol. XCVIII… (Boston: Sampson & Murdock, 1902), p. 402 for the 21 Cornhill address; and The Critic: An Illustrated Monthly Review of Literature, Art and Life vol. XLI, no. 6 (December 1902), p. 576 and The Dial vol. 33, no. 395 (December 1, 1902), p. 414 (advertisement) for the first mentions of the Highland Park address. A separate (and more detailed) post on Grover and his complicated relationship with Dwiggins is in progress.
8. The earliest reference to The Canterbury Company is in a letter from his Dartmouth College classmate and close friend Alfred Bartlett in which the latter says, “I hope that your Canterbury enterprise will be eminently successful. Please tell me more about it.” See Alfred Bartlett to Edwin O. Grover 2 November 1905 in Correspondence 1905–1909, Alfred Bartlett Papers (Ms 859), Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College. This description of The Canterbury Company’s goods comes from The Independent vol. LIX, no. 2976 (14 December 1905), p. 1384. Later the company expanded its activities to include the sale of handmade children’s toys.
9. Grover and Bartlett were classmates at Dartmouth in the early 1890s and close friends thereafter. Grover was the editor of the first incarnation of Bartlett’s Cornhill Booklet (1900–1905). He also wrote several of Bartlett’s “dodgers,” including the first one and “The School Teacher’s Creed.” The latter was republished in the Cornhill Booklet vol. II, no. 4 (October 1901) and then extensively quoted in journals and newspapers throughout the United States for many years after. According to School and Home Education (September 1904), p. vii, 15,000 copies of the creed were sold in four years. For more on Bartlett, Grover and the Cornhill Booklet see “The Cornhill Booklet, 1900-1914” by Ellen Mazur Thomson in Printing History new series no. 9 (January 2011). Bartlett was not upset that Grover was imitating his business model. “There is certainly room for you to do business as well as myself, and I do not blame you for going into it,” he wrote to his friend. “I know that you simply could not help it. Your things are splendid and I hope they succeed.” See Alfred Bartlett to Edwin O. Grover 1 December 1905 in Correspondence 1905–1909, Alfred Bartlett Papers (MS 859), Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College.
10. Grover’s offer was in a letter, now lost, that Dwiggins enclosed with his letter to Updike. See W.A. Dwiggins to Daniel Berkeley Updike 18 August 1906 (Letter 108:17) in Folder 108, Box 69, The Merrymount Press Correspondence, The Merrymount Press Collection, The Henry E. Huntington Library.
11. The only evidence I have found of The Canterbury Press are three books published after September 1905: Kaskaskia: A Tale of Border Warfare in Illinois by Laura Dayton Fessenden (Highland Park, Illinois, 1905); The Turnleys by Parmenas Taylor Turnley (Highland Park, Illinois, 1905), a genealogical book; and William the Silent and His Times by Albertus A. Pfanstiehl (Privately printed, 1905). The Hathitrust copy of Kaskaskia has a Library of Congress copyright stamp dated September 27, 1905, and William the Silent has a Christmas 1905 imprint. Although the books are undoubtedly connected to Grover, neither his name nor his sister’s appear any of them. However, Ralph I. Lee is credited with the title page design of Kaskaskia in The Inland Printer vol. XXXVI, no. 3 (December 1905). p. 439. In 1906 The Inland Printer listed the location of the press as Evanston, Illinois. Dwiggins may have been thinking of The Canterbury Classics book series published by Rand McNally & Co. which included several of Eulalie Osgood Grover’s “Sunbonnet Babies” books.
12. The first entry for a job linked to Grover in Dwiggins’ account books is for the design of a letterhead for The Craftsman’s Guild. See 12 September 1906 in Folder 2, Box 8191), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library. But it is very possible that Dwiggins did work for Grover during the brief period from January 1901 to April 1903 when they were both living in Chicago. Any such work would likely have been for Rand McNally & Co. There are no surviving account books for Dwiggins’ work prior to July 1905.
13. See Daniel Berkeley Updike to W.A. Dwiggins 22 August 1906, (Letter 108:18) in Folder 108, Box 69, The Merrymount Press Correspondence, The Merrymount Press Collection, The Henry E. Huntington Library.
14. See W.A. Dwiggins to Edwin O. Grover, 23 August 1906 (Item 975 859) in Correspondence 1905–1909, Edwin O. Grover Papers (MS-857), Rauner Special Collections Library, Dartmouth College. The first condition is not numbered.
15. See Carl Purington Rollins to Daniel Berkeley Updike 20 August 1906 (Letter 341:3) in Carl Purington Rollins Folder, Box 104, The Merrymount Press Correspondence, The Merrymount Press Collection, Henry E. Huntington Library. At this point Rollins had met Dwiggins, but the two had not yet become close friends and colleagues.
16. See Daniel Berkeley Updike to Carl Purington Rollins, 22 August 1906 (Letter 341:4) in Carl Purington Rollins Folder, Box 104, The Merrymount Press Correspondence, The Merrymount Press Collection, Henry E. Huntington Library.
17. The one successful job was Dwiggins’ binding design for Great Riches by Charles W. Eliot (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell & Co., Publishers, 1906). The rejected jobs were Smith of Bear City and Other Frontier Sketches by George T. Buffum (New York: The Grafton Press, 1906) and The Life of Benvenuto Cellini edited and translated by John Addington Symonds (New York: Brentano’s, 1906). None of the three jobs are listed in Dwiggins’ account books. However, they appear in various documents in The Merrymount Press business records at the Henry E. Huntington Library.
18. It is telling that the next job Updike offered to Dwiggins following his exchange with Rollins was lettering diplomas for the Boylston Medical Society. See job ticket no. 3948 (6 October 1906) in The Merrymount Press Job Ticket Collection, Boston Athenaeum.
19. The Ninety-First Psalm: From the Text of the Authorized Version of the English Bible (Hingham, Massachusetts: The Village Press, 1904). Although the book was published in October 1904, the colophon states that it was printed a year earlier in October 1903. See A Bibliography of The Village Press 1903–1938 by Melbert B. Cary, Jr. (New York: The Press of the Woolly Whale, 1938), p.61. That Dwiggins was definitely familiar with The Village Press edition is confirmed by Catalogue of Bible Translations: A Classified Bibliography of Versions and Editions Including Books, Parts, and Old and New Testament Apocrypha and Apocryphal Books by William J. Chamberlin (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1991), p. 11 which mentions a copy “sold by W. Dwigging [sic], 1906”. Oddly, Chamberlin’s book ignores Dwiggins’ two editions of The Ninety-First Psalm and his edition of The Parable of the Prodigal Son. An anonymous reviewer in The Literary Collector vol. ix, no. 2 (January-February 1905), p. 76 praised The Village Press for its “well-designed and well-printed books in the very pleasing Village type designed by Mr. Goudy,” but complained that it printed “the same very good but reprinted-to-repletion pieces of literature on which nine-tenths of the individual presses of two nations [England and the United States] think they must cut their teeth.” With The Ninety-First Psalm Dwiggins seems to have been guilty as well of this charge.
20. Hypnerotomachia Poliphili by Francesco Colonna (Venice: Aldus Manutius, 1499), p. ii. Dwiggins probably saw the initial P in Early Venetian Printing Illustrated by Ferdinando Ongania (Venice: Fedr. Ongania, London: John C. Nimmo, and New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1895), p. 145.
21. For the rotunda calligraphy on the cover of The Ninety-First Psalm Dwiggins cribbed letters from several sources in Alphabets Old & New by Lewis F. Day (London: B.T. Batsford, 1902): the N and R from Plate 64, the T from Plate 69, and some of the minuscules from Plate 71. See The Definitive Dwiggins no. 177 and The Definitive Dwiggins no. 177 addendum no. 1 for more details and relevant images.
22. See pp. 2 and 7, chain letter between W.A. Dwiggins and John Reed October–November 1906 in Folder 2, Wing MS 12, The Newberry Library. That part of the chain letter by Dwiggins is dated “Saturday Oct 20” without a year indicated, but October 20 fell on a Saturday in 1906. The year is confirmed by Reed’s response to p. 7 which is dated “11/14/06”.
23. The notion of publishing The Parable of the Prodigal Son as the first item on the Reed and Dwiggins list makes little sense since the booklet had been published by Alfred Bartlett in 1905 and was still being offered for sale in 1906. See The Definitive Dwiggins no. 133.
24. There are no known published items with a Reed and Dwiggins imprint. However, several items discussed in the chain letter were printed and it is unclear if Dwiggins printed them for himself or as part of their joint business. But The Ninety-First Psalm is not one of them. Bruce Kennett says that Alfred Bartlett distributed the 1906 edition of The Ninety-First Psalm. See W.A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design by Bruce Kennett (San Francisco: Letterform Archive, 2018), p. 56 caption. There is no documentary evidence to support his claim. The booklet is not listed in Bartlett’s 1906, 1907 or 1908 catalogues; and it does not appear in an advertisement for “The Bartlett Publications” in Walden’s Stationer and Printer (4 November 1907), p. 59.
25. p. 5, chain letter between W.A. Dwiggins and John Reed 20 October  in Folder 2, Wing MS 12, The Newberry Library.
26. See Early Venetian Printing Illustrated by Ferdinando Ongania (Venice: Ferd. Ongania, London: John C. Nimmo, and New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1895), p. 45. For other examples of orb-and-cross printers’ marks see especially pp, 212-215. Also see Printers’ Marks: A Chapter in the History of Typography by William Roberts (London and New York: George Bell & Sons, 1893), pp. 23–27.
27. The opening page of the King James Version of the Bible (London: Robert Barker, 1611) starts with “TO THE MOST / HIGH AND MIGHTIE / Prince, IAMES by the grace of God / King of Great Britain, France and / Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c.” Dwiggins may have seen a copy of the Bible in Updike’s possession or he may have been influenced by the title page (which includes portraits of “Iames,” and “Iohn,” and “Ioseph”) reproduced in The Practice of Typography: A Treatise on Title-Pages by Theodore Low De Vinne (New York: The Century Co., 1902), p. 61.
28. See Early Venetian Printing Illustrated by Ferdinando Ongania (Venice: Ferd. Ongania, London: John C. Nimmo, and New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1895), pp. 53, 59, 65–66, 71, 78–79, 81, 84, 86, 91, 93, 95–96, 106, 112, 117, 130–131, 135, 137, 143, 160, 191 and others. The majority of these initials are muddily reproduced.
29. I don’t know when in 1906 Dwiggins worked on the Hutchings-Votey Organ Co. catalogue cover, but his design of The York Mysteries coincided closely with the printing of The Ninety-First psalm in the spring. See The Definitive Dwiggins no. 178.
30. Typescript biography of WAD by Dorothy Abbe, p. 5. The typescript is in Folder 181, Box 31, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
31. Typescript biography of WAD by Dorothy Abbe, p. 5. The typescript is in Folder 181, Box 31, 2001 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
32. See the account book entry for 17 February 1909 in Folder 2 and the invoice for 26 March 1909 in Folder 1, Box 81(1), 1974 W.A. Dwiggins Collection, Boston Public Library.
33. A copy of the 1906 edition of The Ninety-First Psalm (item 15.22) in the Dorothy Abbe book collection at the Boston Public Library has a Humanist architectural border, sketched in pencil, added to the title page. Unfortunately, I do not have an image of it to include here.
34. See Early Venetian Printing Illustrated by Ferdinando Ongania (Venice: Ferd. Ongania, London: John C. Nimmo, and New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1895), pp. 81, 83, 88, 103–105, 142, 164, 174, 177, 179, 181, and 189. It is possible that Dwiggins copied or adapted the border from a single source, but I have yet to find one that closely matches his design.
35. This description comes from Trade List and Catalog of The Cornhill Company (Boston: The Cornhill Company, 1918). The printer may have been The Merrymount Press which printed Bartlett’s catalogues, some of his bibelots, and several of his greeting cards, but I have no documentation of this.
36. See Trade List and Catalog of The Cornhill Company (Boston: The Cornhill Company, 1918).
The 1906 edition of The Ninety-First Psalm is item 06.01 in The Books of WAD: A Bibliography of the Books Designed by W. A. Dwiggins by Dwight Agner (Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Press of the Nightowl, 1974). There is no mention of the 1909 edition.