Golden Cockerel press produced beautiful handmade limited editions of classic works produced to the very highest of standards. The type was hand-set and the books were printed on handmade paper, and sometimes on vellum. Illustrators included Eric Gill, Robert Gibbings, John Buckland Wright, Blair Hughes-Stanton, Agnes Miller Parker, David Jones, Mark Severin, Dorothea Braby, Lettice Sandford, Gwenda Morgan, and Eric Ravilious.
Phase 1 from 1920 when Golden Cockerel was started by Harold (Hal) Midgley Taylor. Their first publications included Adam & Eve & Pinch Me, short stories by a new author, A. E. Coppard. Initially a co-operative, by 1921 the press employed its first 3 staff, and in 1923 published the first illustrated book.
In the golden era from 1924 Robert Gibbings took the helm.It was under Gibbings that the Golden Cockerel typeface was designed by Eric Gill in 1931. He engaged the leading designers of the era. 71 titles were printed, with runs of between 250 and 750.The major titles were the four volume Canterbury Tales (1929 to 1931) and the Four Gospels (1931), both illustrated by Eric Gill.
In 1933 Christopher Sandford, Owen Rutter, and Francis J. Newbery led the third phase in which the press became a publishing house.Sandford introduced colour illustrations, anathema to private press purists, along with lithography and colour collotype.Around 120 works were published during this era.
In the final phase from 1959 to 1961 with Thomas Yoseloff, just 4 titles were produced, apparently due to difficulty in sourcing the necessary fine bookcraft skills.