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A Chink in the Armour

Philip Pullman – À Outrance – Ruscombe Art Edition

Philip Pullman & Chris Hicks

Some of the world’s finest designer bookbinders were commissioned to produce fifteen individual hand-bound copies. All offer exceptionally beautiful one-off examples of how each artist interpreted the book. Each has been meticulously printed letterpress by hand on traditional cast iron Heidelberg Press on paper handmade at the famous Ruscombe Mill in France. This copy was exhibited in Oxford University’s Bodleian Library.

Chris was inspired to design a binding that would harmonise with the wood engravings. He developed a simple binding in white deerskin with onlays in morocco and tooling in silver. The deerskin is an unusual leather for binding and has a somewhat unevenly marked surface that suggests a snowscape. The black inlay of a line of mountains and the silver tooled dots as stars enhanced this idea. Chris has added a line of bear footprints in silver and a further onlay in red to suggest the blood of the battle. The bright endpapers add a further touch of colour as a foil for the mainly black and white theme of the binding and the book itself.


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