Ce­cil Court, Lon­don

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Fashion - - CREATIVE FLOW -

My grand­fa­ther gave me a book on but­ter­flies I would never part with. It has the tears, the rips, the smell. If I could make a can­dle that smelled of old books, I would. There’s noth­ing more ro­man­tic than a li­brary. I need to be sur­rounded by old books. I re­ally love the li­brary at Chatsworth House [pic­tured, right]. I love that there are so­fas and it’s darkly lit, with walls and walls of books.

Near the Na­tional Por­trait Gallery is a row of bookshops on a lit­tle street [Ce­cil Court, pic­tured, right]. I walked past a win­dow and saw a Bar­bara Hepworth cat­a­logue, and I ended up see­ing 20 other things you’ve never even heard of. I like that process, whereas the in­ter­net al­lows you to see only what your brain has told it to. I’ve found some in­cred­i­ble books over the years. I bought a col­lec­tion that be­longed to Vanessa Bell for £100, and in­side was a book about Matisse an­no­tated by Clive Bell. There’s Vanessa Bell [writ­ing] to Leonard Woolf and Clive Bell; ev­ery Christ­mas there’s Happy Christ­mas from Dun­can Grant. As ob­jects they are in­cred­i­ble. I’ve put one up for sale on the web­site [pic­tured, right, j-w-an­der­son.com].

When you are ob­sessed by some­thing, you will starve for a month to have it. I have done that many a time. I re­cently did it with the Kelm­scott Chaucer [pic­tured, right]. Be­fore Wil­liam Mor­ris made the book, which is ridicu­lously ex­pen­sive to buy – like mu­seum kind of prices – they did two pi­lot pages, to pro­mote the idea of the book. A dealer I go to had one of these sin­gle pages. It’s one of my favourite pieces of ty­pog­ra­phy. [Mor­ris] was an in­cred­i­bly cre­ative per­son and in ty­pog­ra­phy in many ways it sym­bol­ised the per­fect page.

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