Skip to the good stuff!


Signs & Wonders

Ethan Lipton


Esoteric themed devices of Erhardt Ratdolt, Ouroboros Press and Three Hands Press.


1:15-2:45 pm  saturday, october 8

William Kiesel: Printers Devices in Esoteric Publishing  Robert Cagna: “Secret” Engraving Marks and Other Mysterious Printing on Postage Stamps   Pamela Barrie: Emblem & Mechanism: George Clymer’s Columbian Press as Neoclassical Hieroglyph

William Kiesel vividly brought his topic to life through several visual examples. He  showed some devices with which many in the audience were familiar dating back to beginning of printing, such as the saddlebags of Fust and Schoeffer and the anchor and dolphin of Aldus Manutius. He discussed some of the early symbolism and common device ideas. Kiesel covered the meaning of several devices through examination and analysis, elaborating on those things that influenced names and symbols and going into some detail. Kiesel shifted the discussion to both the historical and contemporary examples of printer’s devices used in occult and esoteric publications. Kiesel drew the audience in by explaining how these symbols were chosen and their meanings related to the work produced by individual presses. Watermarks in esoteric and occult publishing were also briefly discussed along with the potential impact of new technologies and the relative ease and simplicity of publishing and what a device might disclose about the nature of the kinds of work they produce. Future plans for research and sources of more information were also presented.  [Read more]