Collection of 5 items: TYPE FACES (Beran/Franciscan Press) | THE HEATHEN CHINEE (Harte) | THE OUTCASTS OF POKER FLAT (Harte) | DESIGN (Mangan) | THE STORY OF TELEGRAPH HILL: A Bit of Old San Francisco (Ryder).
San Francisco: Franciscan Press | Bray & Beran | Beck-Gerlach Printing Company, Inc. | L'Esperance, Sivertson & Beran, 1930 | 1931 | 1948. First edition of each. Collection of books published, designed and/or printed by San Francisco printer Christopher “Chris” Raymond Beran who, it would seem, quietly worked in the trade for decades without quite making his mark. Little can be found on him online other than unsubstantiated attributions of the poem “What Is a Friend?” (“...I will tell you. It is a person with whom you dare to be yourself...”) and a 2014 California Historical Society blog entry by Jaime Henderson noting that according to an undated announcement of the opening of the Franciscan Press “Beran started his printing career at the turn of the century, designing type for Denver mining companies” and “favored a decorative typography style, which he brought to San Francisco with the opening of the Johnck, Beran & Kibbee foundry in 1920.” Collection includes the following: 1) TYPE FACES [of the] FRANCISCAN PRESS: Lynn Hagemann & C. Raymond Beran, Typographers, Printers, Lithographers. San Francisco: no-date. Small 4to, 40 pages including covers; printed on both sides of stiff cardstock; in “patent spiral binding” fashioned so as to allow for the addition of extra pages. Very good or better with light staining to outer pages and letter “B” cut from p. 37 also taking out an “S,” p. 38. No copies located on OCLC. Rare. 2) THE HEATHEN CHINEE by Bret Harte. San Francisco: Bray & Beran, (1930). First edition thus. Originally published in 1870. “Composition and design” by C. Raymond Beran; illustrated with woodcut by Edgar Vaughan Simpson. Small 4to string-tied quarter stiff orange paper over thin folded gold paper covers with Chinese characters printed in black along “spine”; text printed on 10 pages of double leaves folded Chinese style and decoratively ruled in red with Chinese characters in margins. Very good with light vertical crease throughout (from folding) most noticeable on covers which are lightly rubbed. Scarce. OCLC locates only 16 copies. 3) THE OUTCASTS OF POKER FLAT by Bret Harte. San Francisco: Beck-Gerlach Printing Co., 1931. First separate publication of Harte’s oft-filmed short story that first appeared in 1869 in “Overland Monthly” magazine. Small 4to (7 x 9.75”) stiff, green, string-tied paperwraps printed in orange and black with 3” fold-over at top revealing a pasted-on “deuce of clubs” – the playing card that figures prominently in the story’s denouement. Frontispiece woodcut illustration by Alex Stern; “typographically designed and executed” by C. Raymond Beran; 10 unnumbered leaves including blanks (story is 9 pages). Near fine with touch of minor creasing and few small edge tears. Scarce. OCLC locates only 10 copies. 4) DESIGN by James Mangan. San Francisco: L'Esperance, Sivertson & Beran, 1948. First edition thus. Published January 1948, presumably as a New Year’s greeting. Slender 24mo paperboards, gray dust jacket (illustrated with hand holding the title on front) with flaps pasted inside covers; designed by Richard Lemen; not paginated. Interesting in that although Beran is a principle of the publishing company, it's clearly not reflective of any other work by him. Near fine. Scarce. No copies located on OCLC. 5) TELEGRAPH HILL: A Story of Old San Francisco [cover title], by David Warren Ryder. San Francisco: L'Esperance, Sivertson & Beran, 1948. Slender, small 8vo flexible boards, tan dust jacket with flaps pasted inside covers; double leaves folded at top and printed and pasted in such a way that only the ornamental initials for each recto appears on the opposing verso (not always successfully but visually appealing nonetheless); "Format by 'Chris' Beran"; not paginated. Very good with tear at bottom front corner repaired with small bit of archival tape on verso, light stain to unprinted spine which also shows a few nicks and tears. Scarce. OCLC locates only 15 copies. An interesting assemblage documenting the design efforts of an early 20th century San Francisco printer.