Nested head to toe in this box are De Luxe wooden cases ingeniously designed to preserve the limited edition of Very Heath Robinson. Folded over the waiting hardback books and tied Heath Robinson-style with knotted string, they become rare woodbacks. The first 20, batch produced and finished by hand, go on sale today.
The limited edition of Adam Hart-Davis’s ‘whopping (1.9 kg), wonderful new book’, as one reviewer has called it, will be capped at 200 copies. Each volume is bound in Cherry Red cloth, blocked in silver, signed and numbered by the author and supplied with a matching-number print.
To keep the binding free from dust and scuffing, we commissioned the De Luxe Edition case from the Imperial College Advanced Hackspace (ICAH), a vibrant community of over 2,000 makers, hackers, inventors and entrepreneurs who pride themselves on turning ideas into reality. ICAH produced blueprints, prototypes and a small initial batch of De Luxe cases. We were then ready to go into production with Good Empire, a laser-cutting company based at Empire Arches in Streatham, south London, over which the railway used to deliver coal to the adjacent Streatham Pumping Station. The trains still run above, now carrying commuters to and from central London.
Since 2011, the founding director Joely Brammer and her team, including a very knowledgeable Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pepsi, have expertly laser-cut and engraved all kinds of materials including wood, acrylic and leather. For our De Luxe Edition, they manufactured the cases from birch wood, sanded them smooth and sealed them with a solution of vegetable oils and waxes.
So far we have received 100 copies of the Very Heath Robinson limited edition from the printers. Books 1, 2 and 3 have been reserved for the author Adam Hart-Davis, the Foreword writer Philip Pullman and the Art Director Richard Ward. Books 4 to 16 were sent out as rewards to the most generous backers of our Very Heath Robinson Kickstarter campaign.
The next 20 sets, numbered from 17 to 36, are now offered to collectors, lovers of fine editions, Heath Robinson enthusiasts and anyone looking for a memorable gift. For full details, see Very Heath Robinson De Luxe Edition.