Our philosophy

‘Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take the best that exists and make it better. When it does not exist, design it. Accept nothing nearly right or good enough.’

Sir Frederick Henry Royce

Following Sir Frederick Henry Royce’s motto, Nubes Argentea’s philosophy is to offer fine books reflecting the same quality as the subjects described. And if the subjects are ‘The Best Car in the World’, the attention to detail needs to be followed in every step. Particular attention is paid to research, started by Davide Bassoli over twenty years ago, and continuing with constant visits to different archives, including the Rolls-Royce and Bentley archive, preserved at the Hunt House, home of the Sir Henry Royce Memorial Foundation and Rolls-Royce Enthusiasts’ Club.

The research in primary sources such as the personal papers of former Rolls-Royce managers and employees, together with coachbuilder records has made possible a seamless account of the whole of the history, design, manufacturing processes, and period sales analysis. Nubes Argentea’s archive is constantly increased by the acquisition of period photographs and literature from other archives, the Internet, autojumbles, and auctions, while modern pictures are taken by the author travelling all over the world, allowing him to get a complete description of every model. In every book, cars pictured are always identified by their chassis number, thanks to the meticulous analysis of every detail of the subject.

As books are written with the aim of providing a definitive reference on the subject, they are made to last into the future. They are all printed in Italy, which is a leader in printing quality, in partnership with long established partners. Every printing process is personally followed by Davide Bassoli, in order to get the quality expected. Particular attention is paid to the images, all of high resolution and perfectly balanced, printed with stochastic screening, a process where halftone dot sizes can be as fine as 10 micrometres, giving the printing a quality comparable to that of photographic prints.

Old black & white images are an essential part of Nubes Argentea’s books, as direct witnesses of the periods described, and they are printed with duotone (black + grey inks) technology, enhancing further the halftones and the depth of the images. Only the best materials are used: premium quality paper, stitched paperback binding with ribbon bookmarks, cloth bound or leather bound hard covers depending on the edition. The paper in every book is protected with a transparent paint against yellowing and dirt.

Printed in very limited editions, the leather bound copies are handcrafted by a local binder with over fifty years of experience, and using old technics: every book is hand stitched, and left twelve hours under an old printing press to attach the leather cover. The title on the cover is made with silver hot foil embossing, and can be personalised with silver embossed initials or a chassis number on the slipcase.

The graphical layout on each book is created by Davide Bassoli: the correct matching between texts and photographs, the extensive use of tables, and the clear layout help the reader to better appreciate the history of the cars. In some books the colour chips for exterior paints and upholstery are reproduced, covered with a glossy or matt paint for better reproducing the actual finishing. In the book ‘The Early Days’, for a more detailed description of the subject, a number of period sales literature were reproduced, and a folding slipcase with envelopes has been created to contain all this material. To compensate for the lack of period images of certain mechanical components, for the book ‘Continental Journeys’ a cutaway of a chassis overlaid with a piece of acetate showing the coachwork has been created by an Italian artist.


Nubes Argentea

Davide Bassoli