Hunter, Dard. Before Life Began 1883-1923. Cleveland: The Rowfant Club, 1941. Limited to 219 copies, of which this is #212. Designed by Bruce Rogers, and signed by him at colophon. Inscribed on the front free endpaper by Dard Hunter: "Inscribed for my friend Charles E. Pont by Dard Hunter December 10, mcmlviii". Full page profile watermark of Hunter, followed by a page of paper watermarked with the name "DARD HUNTER". Original vellum-backed decorative boards with gilt title to spine, with cover paper made by Veronica Ruzicka. Top edge gilt. Pont's small bookplate to front pastedown. Measures approx. 6.25" x 9". Includes original brown rag paper dust jacket. Slight rubbing to bottom edge.
“In 1941 Rogers designed Before Life Began, for the Rowfant Club of Cleveland, Ohio, an autobiography of Dard Hunter, historian and practitioner of papermaking by hand. The book was printed at the Press of A. Colish on paper handmade at Hunter’s own mill in Lime Rock, Connecticut, set in Bulmer type ... The attractive cover paper was made by Veronica Ruzicka” (Blumenthal).
"Charles Ernest Pont (6 January 1898 – 28 July 1971) was a French-born Swiss-American artist and Baptist minister. Although his ministerial career was not particularly noteworthy, he was a prolific artist in many media including watercolor, printmaking, oil, pen and ink, and pencil. His framed art not only hangs in hundreds of private and public collections, but can also be found in many realms of graphic design, including book and magazine illustration, greeting cards, sign painting and calligraphy, murals, typographic design, and decorative papers. While his style evolved with the times in which he lived, and was particularly influenced by modernism in the 1930s, he is best known for the fine precision of his prints and the realism of his watercolors" (Wikipedia).