R. L. Allan moves to London, an American West binding, raw aluminum pens, and a hands-on look at the St. John's Bible

A lot of good stuff for this Friday:

R. L. Allan and Son is moving to London. The buzz this week: R. L. Allan is relocating from Glasgow to London. The rumored move is now official with this week's announcement on the Allan blog. Nicholas Gray is handing over the reins of the venerable institution to his nephew Ian Metcalfe and his wife Dominique. Ian will be familiar to Bible Design Blog readers as director of publishing at Hodder Faith, the subject of a recent post. Follow the link for the full announcement, and keep an eye on Bible Design Blog in the weeks to come for more info from Ian about the bright future of R. L. Allan.

Let me also take this opportunity to thank Nicholas Gray for his outstanding service to this community over the years. If you've ever felt that rush of emotion on first handling a beautiful Allan edition, you have Nicholas to thank for that. He has done so much to keep the quality Bible publishing flame alight, and deserves our deepest gratitude.

Put on your spurs. Eliot Kang has reviewed a Leonard's Book Restoration binding, the American West III style, and he's auctioning the final result on eBay to raise funds for missions.

You had me at raw aluminum. For those of you who share my fountain pen obsession, FPGeeks has posted a review of the Kaweco AL Sport in high gloss raw aluminum. I bought one of these pocket pens when they first became available, and highly recommend them. Now if only someone would figure out how to bind a Bible in raw aluminum! Seriously, I've posted photos on my other blog illustrating how the raw finish develops a patina over time, so if you're interested, check them out: You Can Take (Pens) With You.

And finally ...

The St. John's Bible up close. The St. John's Bible is on tour, and if it happens to come to your area, I strongly recommend taking a look. Thanks to Jason Engel, I was able to get my hands on the Gospel & Acts volume and take the photos below, which do no justice at all to this beautiful edition. (In my defense, I was using a point-and-shoot camera, and was so overwhelmed by the pleasure of seeing the volume in person that I almost forgot to take pictures entirely.) The whole story of the St. John's Bible, and the various editions available, can be found on the official website. In a nutshell: it's a modern NRSV produced in the pre-Gutenberg scribal fashion by calligraphers and artists. The copy in the photos is part of a painstaking facsimile called the Heritage Edition.

Before handling the Heritage Edition, I thought this dining table was large. Not anymore.

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Simply breathtaking.

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Thanks to Jason Engel for making this close-up look possible. Jason is one of the Heritage Program's traveling ambassadors, and I'm sure he would be happy to answer questions in the comments.