Ambrose Blog

book reproduction, Limited Edition, fine printing

Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Victoria – Longest Reigning Monarch Book Set

Antique Book Reproduction by Royal Appointment

We are delighted to have produced a wonderful limited edition two-book set to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II becoming longest reigning Monarch, a copy of which has been presented in person to Her Majesty the Queen.

In 1897 a book was published by Illustrated London News to celebrate the record reign of Queen Victoria and the tremendous sociological and industrial changes that occured during her time on the throne. A copy was presented to Queen Victoria and subsequent copies were sold out within a few days. To celebrate the surpassing of this record by Queen Elizabeth, Ambrose Press have produced a reproduction of the original 1897 publication together with a brand new publication for Queen Elizabeth II, focussing on her life, reign and the groundbreaking changes in science, culture and communications that have taken place since her becoming queen in 1952.

These are beautiful, substantial publications. Large format, 400 x 300mm, case bound, each comprising of 68pp text on GF Smith Phoenixmotion 250gsm; QEII in the Xenon (brilliant white) shade and QV in the Xantur (off white). The covers are lined in Winter’s Regina cloth, foiled in gold. The text blocks are gilt edged in gold with burgundy/gold head and tail bands and gold index ribbon. The two books are contained within a rigid slipcase, Regina cloth onto board with gold foil.

The original book was produced using a combination of chromolithography and letterpress. The chromolithographic images are incredibly detailed and beautifully constructed, some comprising of ten or more different process colours, each laid down as a separate process; the craftsmanship is astonishing. Additional gold embellishments were added using a process known as bronzing (click for info), whereby gold coloured particles were applied using a printable adhesive. The gold decoration exists as part of the illustration, forming metallic elements of the illustrations themselves (think Gustav Klimt and you wouldn’t be too far off the mark).

We carefully dismantled the original QV book and scanned it at a massive 1200lpi, such was the detail contained within the engraved imagery of the original. Then we painstakingly separated the gold areas from the pigment areas to form multi channel RGB files for conversion to a bespoke, wide-gamut CMYK profile. Extensive retouching and proofing work was carried out before going to press using hard-dry low-tack 4col and metallic ink sets formulated specifically to run integrally with one another, no sealer was used during the process so to retain a feel of the paper and ink, the result being a near perfect reproduction of the original book.

Images of this book set will appear in our portfolio in the next few days. Copies of the new books can be purchased from ILN at the following site