Golden Cockerel's Polite Erotica
Published to accompany a 2008 exhibit at the University of Alberta's Bruce Peel Special Collections Library, this catalogue explores one of the great British private presses and its contribution to the fine press movement. While the sixty books in the catalogue represent barely a quarter of Golden Cockerel's total output, the selection shows how the Press expressed its individuality and continued a tradition of fine book production against the odds. In using the words "endurance" and "distinction" in the title, the curator endeavoured to capture the resilience of the Press and the determination of its various owners to achieve an ideal. A great proportion of Cockerels were illustrated works, and many feature nude engravings, which were a further expression of the owners' ideas about bookmaking. The owners were not afraid to exercise their own tastes in the selection of designs and materials, and the enduring erotic theme increased the popularity of Cockerels with collectors.