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Core Record

Collection Crafts Study Centre
Calligrapher Edward Johnston
Description Proof, on paper, one page, printed in black ink from a copper plate engraved after Johnston's design.
Part Of Series Diploma of Fellowship of the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London
Id Number Current Accession C.86.102.2
Subject calligraphy, proof
Measurements 53 x 34 centimetres
Material ink on paper
Ink black
History Proof for a broadside engraved after Johnston's design by George Friend. The first reference in Johnston's diary to his work on the Diploma of Fellowship of the Central School of Arts and Crafts appears on 28 December 1929, when he appears to have received a letter from Noel Rooke commissioning the work. Johnston was unable to deal with this until around 22 March 1930, when he ‘wrote experimental .. MS for N. Rooke (Diploma)'. This manuscript may be that now catalogued as C.86.102.i, which has annotations dated 9 August 1932. Nine days later, on 18 August 1930, Johnston wrote to Friend:
There is another matter, quite different, which I believe Mr Noel Rooke mentioned to you, a Diploma for the L.C.C. (to be written by me & engraved by you). I understand that you said you would require at least 3. weeks. There has been some mishap in informing me & I hear now that it will be wanted (the plate) by Sep 29 or Oct. 1. Is it possible for you to tackle this as well as the Kessler punches; If you think you can just manage I'll try to let you have the Vellum MS. for the Diploma before 1. Septr. Please understand you are to have a v. free hand in copying or “translating” my MS. into Engraving. (V&A, Box III.86.CC).
At the end of March 1930 a fee of fifteen guineas was agreed upon. Seven years later Johnston wrote, rather ruefully, ‘I'd not have touched it under £100 (this is literal)'. In his diary on 23 March 1937 Johnston wrote:
Hunting in this and 2 previous diaries for references to L.C.C. Diploma: the earliest and latest definite references I could find were 11 & 12 June 1931 (hunting for my draft manuscript), and 20 & 22 June 1935 ([sent] to Friend, pull cut and comments). The commission was evidently given me (by Noel Rooke) some time before June 1931. But I think the references in June '35 must refer to my afternoon spent in deciding the cutting of the plate and writing to Friend and to his reply saying the Note had been cut on directions by Noel Rooke …
Relevant extracts from Johnston's correspondence with the engraver, George Friend, appear in Edward Johnston: Lessons in Formal Writing, pp.207-209. The originals are in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Box III.86.CC.

Circa 6 May 1935; in his diary Johnston notes ‘found a ‘thanks' note scribbled in pencil on edge of proof', as on this copy. On 3 May Johnston had received an ‘Excellent pull of Diploma and note', and sent him a wire, congratulating him and asking for a duplicate pull. This arrived on 6 May.
Notes (plate 49.7 x 29.7 cm)
Rights Owner Andrew and Angela Johnston/Crafts Study Centre 2004
Style Period Period 1930s
Technique printing



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