"Roy has lived most of his life in the West Country, starting an apprenticeship in engraving at the age of sixteen. He eventually left the British Admiralty's Hydrographic Office (the department responsible for producing charts for navigation) four years ago, after a career in engraving and cartographic duties, and as training officer responsible for teaching draftsmanship to naval and HO staff. He now concentrates on producing a wide range of pictorial subjects and botanical studies as limited editions, by the ancient and now relatively rare medium of line engraving. With a growing reputation for engraving based on heraldic designs, commissions for armorial bookplates are awarded in increasing numbers.
Other work varies considerably, and includes the restoration of historic engravings and etchings, re-strike printing of earlier engravings, giving demonstrations and delivering lectures and participating in the activities and organization of the Hilliard Society, the Somerset Guild of Craftsmen and the Bookplate Society. He was asked by the British Broadcasting Corporation for advice on how James McNeill Whistler would have produced his hydrographic scenes while employed by the US Coast and Geodetic Survey, and was then invited to recreate the process for the camera as "Whistler's Hands" - engraving and printing - in a program about Whistler's life in the BBC "Omnibus" series.
Participation in international bookplate and small graphics exhibitions and art exhibitions has been rewarded by a number of awards and commissions.
Roy exhibits in Holland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and the Ukraine, where prints of bookplates and limited editions are also held in art galleries, museums, universities, libraries and private collections. He is producing limited editions of pictorial line engravings which are sold through exhibitions and galleries throughout the UK and parts of Europe and the USA."
In 1995 I visited the late Brian North Lee and he gave me the newest of his many personal bookplates.It was engraved by Roy Cooney.
At the time I was searching for someone to design my first bookplate and I contacted Mr. Cooney. The theme I choose was a waterwheel that had been engraved by Henry Dawkins.
I like all my bookplates but this is still my favorite.
Here are a few of the Roy Cooney bookplates and engravings from my own collection:
Roy sent the following note along with the wasp engraving shown below:
"One of my limited editions for your retention!This Queen Wasp died on my window-sill.I drew the image straight on the copper and then engraved it"
Follow this link for many more images and a checklist of Roy Coooney's bookplates.
See you again nexr week.