Books On Books Collection – Bruce Rogers

Champ Rosé (1933)

Champ rosé: wherein may be discovered the roman letters that were made by Geofroy Tory and printed by him at Paris in his book called “Champ fleury” (1933)
© Bruce Rogers
Bound by Peter Geraty at his Praxis Bindery in 1988. Red goatskin with green morocco panel gold tooled with the Roman Capitals GT (for Tory) and BR (for Rogers); BR’s IOU in a Tory-like cube is gilt on the lower cover; red & gold endpapers; cloth tray case with red leather label. Acquired from The Veatchs, 11 June 2021.
Photo: The Veatchs. Reproduced with permission.

Rogers constructed the IOU device in a joking Depression-era homage to Tory. Referencing the mythological tale about Jupiter, Juno and poor IO who was turned into a cow, Tory maintained in Champ Fleury that all the Roman letters were fashioned from the “I” and the “O.” By placing Roger’s IOU on the back cover, binder Peter Geraty doubles Rogers’ pun on the debt to Tory’s “letterology”. Both Geraty and Rogers are acknowledging a debt to Tory as a book designer.

Adding to his joke, Rogers printed the whole of Champ Rosé in red, which Geraty follows. Rogers explained the red ink in his poor man’s Champ Fleury “as in these aforesaid days of hardship & depression much Book-Keeping is being written down in red…perhaps it would be better for Book-Selling too if Printing were done in that cheerful colour.…”

Geraty’s binding was part of the 1989 Guild of Book Workers exhibition.

Photos: The Veatchs.

Photos: Books On Books Collection.

The Books On Books Collection also holds a copy of George B. Ives translation of Champ Fleury, designed, typeset at printed by Rogers.

Further Reading

Abecedaries I (in progress)“, Books On Books Collection, 31 March 2020.

Geofroy Tory”. 18 June 2021. Books On Books Collection.

Bruce Rogers and His Centaur”. September-October 2006. Harvard Magazine.

The Bruce Rogers Collection”. Last updated 27 May 2021. E.H. Little Library, Davidson College.

Kelly, Jerry, and Misha Beletsky. 2016. The Noblest Roman: A History of the Centaur Types of Bruce Rogers. Boston: David R. Godine.

Updike, Daniel Berkeley. 1939. The work of Bruce Rogers: jack of all trades, master of one : a catalogue of an exhibition arranged by the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Grolier Club of New York. New York: Oxford University Press.