Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Art of the Book - A Review of Some Recent European and American Work in - Typography, Page Decoration & Binding
Author: Newdigate, Bernard H., Cockerell, Douglas, Taylor, E. A., Deubner, L.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Art of the Book - A Review of Some Recent European and American Work in - Typography, Page Decoration & Binding" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



    THE ART OF THE BOOK


    THE ART OF
    THE BOOK

    A REVIEW OF SOME
    RECENT EUROPEAN
    AND AMERICAN WORK
    IN TYPOGRAPHY, PAGE
    DECORATION & BINDING

    CHARLES HOLME, EDITOR

    MCMXIV
    “THE STUDIO” LTD.
    LONDON, PARIS, NEW YORK



PREFATORY NOTE

The Editor desires to express his thanks to the following who have
kindly assisted in the preparation of this volume:—to the Trustees of
the Kelmscott Press for permission to reproduce the pages printed in
the three types designed by William Morris, and to Mr. Emery Walker
for the valuable assistance he has rendered in the reproductions of
these particular pages, and also the page of Proctor’s Greek type; to
Mr. Lucien Pissarro for allowing the three pages by the Eragny Press
to appear; to Mr. C. H. St. John Hornby, whose page by the Ashendene
Press has been especially set up for this volume; to Mr. Philip Lee
Warner for permission to show two pages by the Riccardi Press; to
Messrs. Chatto & Windus for the page by the Florence Press; to Messrs.
Methuen & Co. for the page printed in the “Ewell” type; to Messrs. H.
W. Caslon & Co. for the page of their new “Kennerley” type; to Messrs.
P. M. Shanks & Sons for the page of “Dolphin Old Style” type; to Mr. F.
V. Burridge for the two pages especially set up at the London County
Council Central School of Arts and Crafts; to Messrs. George Allen &
Co. for permission to reproduce the two pages designed by Mr. Walter
Crane; to Mr. Percy J. Smith for the book-opening designed by him; to
the Cuala Press, the Vincent Press, the Reigate Press, Messrs. B. T.
Batsford, Messrs. J. M. Dent & Sons, Messrs. George Routledge & Sons,
Messrs. Siegle, Hill & Co., for permission to show various pages from
their publications; and to Mr. J. Walter West, R. W. S., for the pages
designed by him.

The Editor’s thanks are due to the various bookbinders whose work has
been lent for illustration, and to Monsieur Emile Lévy for the loan of
the photographs of Mr. Douglas Cokerell’s bindings; to Mr. John Lane
for permission to illustrate the cover designs by Aubrey Beardsley; and
to Messrs. George Newnes for the end-paper design by Mr. Granville Fell.

The Editor is also indebted to the various Continental and American
publishers, printers, type-founders, bookbinders and book-decorators
who have kindly placed at his disposal the examples of their work shown
in the foreign sections; particularly to Herren Gebrüder Klingspor, the
Bauersche Giesserei, Herr Emil Gursch, Herr D. Stempel, Herren Genzsch
and Heyse, MM. G. Peignot et fils, Monsieur L. Pichon, and Monsieur
Jules Meynial for the pages of type especially set up for this volume.



LIST OF ARTICLES
                                                                  PAGE

    British Types for Printing Books.   By Bernard H. Newdigate      3

    Fine Bookbinding in England.        By Douglas Cockerell        69

    The Art of the Book in Germany.     By L. Deubner              127

    The Art of the Book in France.      By E. A. Taylor            179

    The Art of the Book in Austria.     By A. S. Levetus           203

    The Art of the Book in Hungary             ——                  231

    The Art of the Book in Sweden.      By August Brunius          243

    The Art of the Book in America.     By William Dana Orcutt     259



GREAT BRITAIN

BRITISH TYPES FOR PRINTING BOOKS. BY BERNARD H. NEWDIGATE


To judge rightly of the good or bad features of types used for printing
books, we should have some acquaintance at least with the earlier forms
from which our modern types have come. Let us therefore glance at the
history of the letter from which English books are printed to-day.

The earliest printed books, such as the Mainz Bible and Psalters,
were printed in Gothic letter, which in its general character copied
the book-hands used by the scribes in Germany, where these books were
printed. In Italy, on the other hand, the Gothic hand did not satisfy
the fastidious taste of the scholars of the Renaissance, who had
adopted for their own a handwriting of which the majuscule letters
were inspired, or at least influenced, by the letter used in classical
Rome, of which so many admirable examples had survived in the old
monumental inscriptions. For the small letters they went back to the
fine hand which by the eleventh and twelfth centuries had gradually
been formed out of the Caroline minuscules of the ninth and had become
the standard book-hand of the greater part of Latin Europe. When the
Germans Sweynheim and Pannartz brought printing into Italy, they first
printed books in a very beautiful but somewhat heavy Roman letter of
strong Gothic tendency. It seems, indeed, to have been somewhat too
Gothic for the refined humanistic taste of that day; and when they
moved their press to Rome, it was discarded in favour of a letter more
like the fashionable scrittura umanistica of the Renaissance. Other
Italian printers had founts both of Gothic and of Roman types. The
great Venetian printer Jenson, for instance, and many of his fellows
printed books in both characters; but the Roman gradually prevailed,
first in Italy, then in Spain and France, and later on in England.
In Germany, on the other hand, the cradle-land of the craft, Gothic
letter of a sadly debased type has held its own down to this day. Even
in Germany, however, the use of Roman type has gained ground of late
years, nationalist feeling notwithstanding.

The Roman type used by the early Italian printers is, then, the
prototype from which all other Roman founts are descended. Its
development may be traced through such Roman type as was used by Aldus
at Venice, by Froben at Basle, by the Estiennes in Paris, by Berthelet
and Day in London, by Plantin at Antwerp, by the Elzevirs at Leyden
and Amsterdam, and by printers generally right through the seventeenth
century and the greater part of the eighteenth. Through all these
years types still kept what modern printers call their “old-face”
character, which they had acquired from the scrittura umanistica of
the Italian Renaissance. In the seventeenth century the letters of the
Roman alphabet began to acquire certain new features at the hands of
the copper-plate engravers, who supplied the book illustrations of
the period. Working with the burin instead of the pen, they naturally
used a sharper and finer line and also modified somewhat the curves
of the letters, which tended to become more stilted and less open.
The tail of the “R,” for instance, which in Jenson’s type is thrust
forward at an angle of about forty-five degrees, at the hands of some
of the seventeenth-century engravers tends to drop more vertically, as
in the “R” of “modern” type, the development of which we are seeking
to trace. How far and how soon the lettering of the engravers of
illustrations came to modify the letters cast by the type-founders is a
question which invites further research. A material piece of evidence
is supplied by the “Horace” printed by John Pine in 1733. Instead of
being printed from type, the text of this book, together with the
ornaments and illustrations, was printed from engraved copperplates.
In date it was some sixty years prior to the earliest books printed
in “modern-faced” type in this country; yet in the cut of the lines
and the actual shape of the letters many distinguishing features of
the “modern” face may already be traced. What these features became
may be seen best by comparing an alphabet of the “old” with one of the
“modern” face printed below it:

[Illustration]

The “modern” tendency may be seen in certain features of the types
designed by Baskerville, who printed his first book in 1757; but it is
not nearly so pronounced as in Pine’s “Horace,” engraved twenty-four
years earlier. Baskerville’s editions had an enormous vogue, not only
in this country but on the Continent also, where they had considerable
influence on the style of printing which then prevailed. Amongst those
who felt this influence was Giambattista Bodoni, a scholar and printer
of Parma, which city has lately kept the centenary of his death. To
Bodoni more than anyone else the so-called “modern-face” is due. He
cast a large number of founts, narrow in the “set” or width of the
letters as compared with their height, and having the excessively
fine lines and the close loops and curves which are characteristic of
that face. Like Baskerville he printed his books with very great care
on a spacious page in large and heavily-leaded type; and although an
occasional protest was raised against the ugliness of his letter, his
books caught the taste of his day, and his type was copied by all the
English type-founders of the time. The new fashion completely drove out
the older tradition, which dated from the very invention of printing;
and from the closing years of the eighteenth to the middle of the
nineteenth century books were printed almost exclusively in
“modern-faced” type.

The older and more authentic letter had its revenge in 1843, when
the publisher, William Pickering, arranged with his friend Charles
Whittingham, the printer, to produce a handsome edition of Juvenal
as a “leaving-present” for Eton; and the book was to be printed from
the discarded type first cut by William Caslon about the year 1724.
Prior to that time English printers had gone to Holland for most of
their type; but Caslon’s types surpassed in beauty any hitherto used
in England, and the best English printing had been done from them till
near the end of the century, when they were driven out by the “modern”
face. Before the Juvenal was issued, a romance entitled “The Diary
of Lady Willoughby,” dealing with the period of the Civil Wars, was
also printed in old-faced type cast from William Caslon’s matrices,
so as to impart to the book a flavour of the period at which the
diarist was supposed to be writing. It was the day of Pugin and of
the Gothic revival; and the public taste was won by the appearance of
this book, printed in old-fashioned guise in the selfsame type which
had been cast aside half a century before. Type-founders are generally
quick to follow one another’s lead in new fashions; and before long
every type-founder in England had cut punches and cast letter in
that modified form of Caslon’s old-faced type which printers call
“old-style.” Mr. Adeney of the Reigate Press has used an “old-style”
fount in the extract from Camden’s “Britannia” reproduced on a very
small scale on page 57. The “old-style” character and the points in
which it is either like or unlike the more authentic old-faced letter
may be seen by comparing the two. The lower of these founts is the
“old-style”:

[Illustration]

[Illustration]

The favour which the revived “old-face” and the new “old-style”
letter won for themselves in the middle of last century has suffered
no diminution since. The ugly “modern-face,” which we owe to Bodoni,
is still used almost exclusively for certain classes of work and
alternatively for others; so that the printer is bound to be familiar
with all three. For book-printing at the present day the “old style”
and the “old-face” are used much more than the modern.

During the fifty years that followed the revived use of Caslon’s types
by the Whittinghams there is little else to record about the designs
of the types used for printing books, until about the year 1890, when
William Morris set himself to design type, fired thereto by a lecture,
given by Mr. Emery Walker, on the work of the Early Printers, to which
he had listened. In the “Note by William Morris on his aims in founding
the Kelmscott Press,” printed after his death, he writes of the
purpose which led him to print books, and of the character he sought
to give his letter: “I began printing books with the hope of producing
some which would have a definite claim to beauty, while at the same
time they should be easy to read and should not dazzle the eye by
eccentricity of form in the letters. I have always been a great admirer
of the calligraphy of the Middle Ages and of the earlier printing
which took its place. As to the fifteenth-century books, I had noticed
that they were always beautiful by force of the mere typography, even
without the added ornament with which many of them are so lavishly
supplied. And it was the essence of my undertaking to produce books
which it would be a pleasure to look upon as pieces of printing and
arrangement of type.... Next as to type. By instinct rather than by
conscious thinking it over, I began by getting myself a fount of Roman
type. And here what I wanted was letter pure in form; severe without
needless excrescences; solid without the thickening and thinning of
the line, which is the essential fault of the ordinary modern type and
which makes it difficult to read; and not compressed laterally, as
all later type has grown to be owing to commercial exigencies. There
was only one source from which to take examples of this perfected
Roman type, to wit, the works of the great Venetian printers of the
fifteenth century, of whom Nicholas Jenson produced the completest
and most Roman characters from 1470 to 1476. This type I studied with
much care, getting it photographed to a big scale, and drawing it over
many times before I began designing my own letter; so that, though I
think I mastered the essence of it, I did not copy it servilely; in
fact, my Roman type, especially in the lower case, tends rather more
to the Gothic than does Jenson’s. After a while I felt I must have a
Gothic as well as a Roman fount; and herein the task I set myself was
to redeem the Gothic character from the charge of unreadableness which
is commonly brought against it. And I felt that this charge could not
be reasonably brought against the types of the first two decades of
printing: that Schoeffer at Mainz, Mentelin at Strassburg, and Günther
Zainer at Augsburg, avoided the spiky ends and undue compression which
lay some of the later types open to the above charge.... Keeping my
end steadily in view, I designed a black-letter type which I think I
may claim to be as readable as a Roman one, and to say the truth I
prefer it to the Roman. This type is of the size called Great Primer
(the Roman type is of ‘English’ size); but later on I was driven by the
necessities of the Chaucer (a double-columned book) to get a similar
Gothic fount of Pica size.”

Pages printed in each of Morris’s three founts of type are reproduced
here on pages 14, 15, 17 and 19. It is interesting to compare Morris’s
“Golden” type—so he called his Roman fount after the “Golden Legend,”
which he printed from it—with the Roman letter of the Italian
printers, which he studied with so much care before he began to design
his type. The “Golden” type is much heavier in face than, say, that of
Jenson; and it certainly lacks the suppleness and grace of the Italian
types generally. As a point of detail we may notice especially the
brick-bat serifs used on Morris’s capital “M” and “N,” giving a certain
clumsiness to these letters. The two Gothic letter founts which Morris
designed, on the other hand, must be regarded as amongst the most
beautiful ever cast. William Morris’s types should be judged on the
setting of richly decorated borders which he designed for his pages.
Adding to these the designs of Sir Edward Burne-Jones, engraved on wood
by W. H. Hooper, we have in the Kelmscott “Chaucer” the most
splendid book which has ever been printed.

The “Golden” type of the Kelmscott Press was copied freely in America
and sent back to the country of its birth under several different
names. In somewhat debased forms it had a vogue for a time as a
“jobbing” fount amongst printers who knew little or nothing of the
Kelmscott Press; but the heaviness of its line and also its departure
from accepted forms kept it from coming into general use for printing
books. The interest awakened by the books printed by William Morris at
Hammersmith tempted many more to set up private presses or to design
private founts of type when the work of the Kelmscott Press came to an
end after Morris’s death, which took place in 1896. Most of such founts
and the best of them followed more or less closely the letter of the
early Italian printers, which, as we have seen, are the prototypes of
our book letter of to-day. Even before the founding of the Kelmscott
Press Mr. Charles Ricketts had designed books, using some of the “old
style” faces which were in general use. When the Kelmscott Press books
appeared, he too was won over by what he called the “golden sunny
pages” of the early Italian printers, and designed for himself the
“Vale” type. In weight and general appearance it bears considerable
likeness to Morris’s “Golden” type, and in some ways is an improvement
on it. Mr. Ricketts afterwards had the same letter cast in a smaller
size for his edition of Shakespeare, whence its name of the “Avon”
type. He also designed another letter, the interest of which lies
in certain experiments towards the reform of the alphabet which it
embodies. In the “King’s” type, as Mr. Ricketts called it, many of the
minuscule letters, such as e, g, t, are replaced by small majuscules.
Such a departure from traditional use is too violent to give pleasure,
and only two or three books were printed in this letter. The three Vale
Press founts and also the punches and matrices were destroyed when the
Press ceased publishing.

Mr. T. J. Cobden-Sanderson and Mr. Emery Walker set up the Doves Press
at Hammersmith in 1900, and designed and got cast for themselves a
fount of type which follows Jenson’s Roman type very closely. It
differs from it chiefly in the greater regularity of its lines, and
also in the squareness and brick-bat shape of some of the serifs, which
are, however, less conspicuous than in Morris’s “Golden” type. The
Doves Press books, unlike those of the Kelmscott Press, are entirely
free from ornament or decoration, and owe their remarkable beauty to
what Morris styled the architectural goodness of the pages and also to
the fine versal and initial letters done by Mr. Edward Johnston and Mr.
Graily Hewitt. Later on we shall have something more to say about the
work of these men and their school.

The type of the Ashendene Press (p. 23) is modelled from that in which
Sweynheim and Pannartz printed books at Subiaco, and which, as we
have seen, they replaced by a purer Roman letter more in accord with
the humanistic taste of their day. Morris himself designed, but never
carried out, a fount of letter after the same fine model. It is a
Roman type, with many Gothic features. The folio “Dante,” the “Morte
Darthur,” the Virgil and the other books which Mr. St. John Hornby has
printed from it in black and red, with occasional blue and gold, are
superb examples of typography.

Mr. Lucien Pissarro’s little octavos have a certain personal charm of
their own distinct from anything that is found in the more weighty
volumes which have issued from the other private presses. The first
books which he produced at his Eragny Press were printed from the
Vale type belonging to his friend Mr. Ricketts. In 1903 he began
printing from the “Brook” type (pp. 25 to 29), which he had designed.
Although in this article we are concerned chiefly with his types, it
is impossible to withhold a tribute of praise for the graceful beauty
of these little books, which they owe even more to the admirable
way in which their different elements have been combined—type,
wood-engraving, colour, printing and binding, all of them the work of
Mr. and Mrs. Pissarro themselves—than to the individual excellence of
any one of them.

Mr. C. R. Ashbee’s “Endeavour” type was designed by him for use at
the Essex House Press, which he first established at Upton in the
eastern suburbs of London and afterwards removed to Chipping Campden in
Gloucestershire. It owes nothing to the types of the early printers,
and taken by itself is not pleasing; but it makes a very handsome page
when printed in red and black, as in the Campden Song Book. The type
was also cut in large size for King Edward’s Prayer Book, one of the
most ambitious ventures of any private press.

Mr. Herbert P. Horne has designed three founts, all of them inspired by
the Roman letter of the early Italian printers. The “Montallegro” type
(p. 265), the first in order of date, was designed for Messrs. Updike
and Co., of the Merrymount Press, Boston, and hardly falls within the
scope of this article. In 1907 he designed for Messrs. Chatto and
Windus a fount called the “Florence” type (p. 31), from which editions
of “The Romaunt of the Rose,” “The Little Flowers of St. Francis,” A.
C. Swinburne’s “Songs before Sunrise,” R. L. Stevenson’s “Virginibus
Puerisque” and also his Poems have been printed at the Arden Press
on behalf of the publishers. It is a letter of a clean, light face,
and in many ways might serve as a model for a book type for general
use. The capital letters used in continuous lines, as Aldus and other
great Venetians delighted to use them, are especially charming. Mr.
Horne’s Riccardi Press type (pp. 33 and 35) was designed for the Medici
Society, and many fine editions, amongst them a Horace, Malory’s “Morte
Darthur,” and “The Canterbury Tales,” have been printed from it. It is
a little heavier in face than its predecessor, the “Florence,” and is a
little further removed from the humanistic character. The type has also
been cast successfully in a smaller size.

To the number of privately owned founts of type we must add the “Ewell”
(p. 37), designed by Mr. Douglas Cockerell for Messrs. Methuen and
Co., who will shortly publish the first book to be printed from it,
an edition of the “Imitatio Christi.” It is a heavy but very graceful
letter, based on one used by the Roman printer Da Lignamine.

One of the most interesting of the privately owned founts is the
“Otter” Greek type designed by the late Mr. Robert Proctor, and shown
in the page from the Odyssey printed on page 43. The Greek letter from
which most of our school classics are printed is a descendant of the
cursive type introduced by Aldus at the beginning of the sixteenth
century, and has the merit neither of beauty nor of clearness. The
majuscules are especially ugly, being nearly always of the “modern”
type which we owe to Bodoni. Proctor took as his model the finest of
the old Greek founts, which was that used in the Complutensian Polyglot
printed in 1514.

Amongst the types sold by the founders for general use none have
enjoyed such successive favour as Caslon’s “Old-Face” in its various
sizes; and it is a splendid tribute to the excellence of this letter
that at this day, nearly two centuries since it was first cut, it is
being used more than any other face of type for printing fine books.
This Special Number of The Studio is printed from Caslon’s “Old-Face”
type, as well as the pages, set up at the Central School of Arts and
Crafts, which are shown on pages 45 and 47. The fame of Caslon’s letter
brought other rivals into the field besides Baskerville. One of these
was Joseph Fry, a Bristol physician, who took to letter-founding in
the year 1764, and cut a series of type somewhat like Baskerville’s.
A few years later, however, the Caslon character seems again to have
recovered its old ascendancy, and Fry put on the market a new series
in acknowledged imitation of Caslon’s. Both these series of Fry’s have
been reissued within the last few years by Messrs. Stephenson and
Blake, of Sheffield, who, in 1906, bought the type-founding business of
Sir Charles Reed and Son, to whom Fry’s business had eventually come.
Like the revived Caslon “Old-Face” in 1843, these founts were cast from
the old matrices, or from matrices struck from the old punches, so far
as these had survived.

Since the “old-style” founts were designed about the middle of last
century, what new book types have been cast by the founders for use
by the printing trade generally have as a rule been mere variations
of letter already in vogue. The founders have drawn but little on the
wealth of beautiful book types which in the early printed books of
Italy are offered to anyone who has the good taste and the skill to
adapt them to modern needs. Messrs. Shanks and Sons, the type-founders
of Red Lion Square, have, however, gone to this source for their
“Dolphin” series (p. 41), which has many features of beauty to commend
it. It is based on Jenson’s Roman letter, somewhat thickened in the
line. The punches were cut by Mr. E. P. Prince, who also cut the
Kelmscott type and many others of the private founts.

Intelligent study of Italian models also gives us the “Kennerley” type
(p. 39), designed by the American Mr. Goudy, which Messrs. Caslon will
shortly put on the English market. This type is not in any sense a
copy of early letter—it is original; but Mr. Goudy has studied type
design to such good purpose that he has been able to restore to the
Roman alphabet much of that lost humanistic character which the first
Italian printers inherited from their predecessors, the scribes of
the early Renaissance. Besides being beautiful in detail his type is
beautiful in the mass; and the letters when set into words seem to
lock into one another with a closeness which is common in the letter
of early printers, but is rare in modern type. The “Kennerley” type
is quite clear to read and has few features which by their strangeness
are likely to waken the prejudice of the modern reader. Since the first
Caslon began casting type about the year 1724, no such excellent letter
has been put within reach of English printers.

So large is the proportion of books which are now set in type by
machinery that, however much our sympathies may make us prefer the
hand-set book, we cannot but be concerned for the characters used
in machine composition. Type set by machinery generally seems to be
inferior in design to that set by hand; but the inferiority is in the
main accidental, and is probably due to a lesser degree of technical
skill shown either in the designing or in the process of punch-cutting,
which is itself done by machinery. One or two admirable faces of type
have, however, been produced by the Lanston Monotype Company for
setting by the monotype machine. One of these is the “Imprint” type,
adapted from one of the founts used by Christopher Plantin, the famous
printer of Antwerp, in the late sixteenth century. The letters are bold
and clear, and pages set in them are both pleasant to look at and easy
to read. At the same time the type is sufficiently modern in character
not to offend by any features unfamiliar to the ordinary reader.

No art can live by merely reviving and reproducing past forms, and in
reviewing the share taken by the type-founders of the past and of the
present in the art of the book one cannot help considering by what
means and from what quarter good types are to be designed and cut in
the future. We have seen that the early printers took their inspiration
from the best of the contemporary book-hands. The invention of
printing, however, killed the art of the scribe, and with it perished
the source whence during the ages past life and beauty had been given
to the letters of the alphabet and to the pages in which they were
gathered. Henceforth the letters were cast in lead, and there was no
influence save the force of tradition to make or keep them beautiful.
Whatever change they underwent was for the worse, unless indeed it
was a mere reversion to forms or features which for a while had been
abandoned.

Conscious of this downward tendency, which he seems to look upon as
inevitable and irresistible, Mr. Guthrie, of the Pear-tree Press
at Bognor, has renounced type altogether, and now prints books,
like William Blake, from etched plates inscribed with his own fine
book-hand. Such a method is, of course, not practicable for the vast
majority of books, even if we were willing to forgo the many fine
qualities which are presented in a well-printed book. Neither is
any such counsel of despair warranted, for of late years the art of
the scribe itself has been renewed; and most readers of The Studio
know something of the fine work done by the school of calligraphy
established some ten years since by Mr. Edward Johnston, and still
carried on by his pupil Mr. Graily Hewitt at the Central School of
Arts and Crafts in Southampton Row, London. May not the printer look
to that school as the source whence the type-designer and type-founder
shall learn to design and cut beautiful letter for his books? Not
indeed that type-letter should be a mere reproduction of any written
hand; rather must it bear nakedly and shamelessly all the qualities
which the steel of the punch-cutter and the metal from which it is
cast impose upon it. It must be easy to read as well as fair to look
on, and besides carrying on the traditions of the past must respect
the prejudices of the present. But only a calligrapher whose eye and
hand have been trained to produce fine letter for the special needs of
the printed book can have knowledge of the manifold subtleties of such
letter and power to provide for them in the casting of types. If the
writing schools can turn out such men, they will deserve well of all
those who are interested in the art of the book. That our hope need
not be vain is shown by the fact that calligraphers trained in the
methods of the school have gone to Germany, and have there profoundly
influenced the production of modern types; and the supreme irony of it
all is that German type-founders are sending to England new types which
draw their inspiration from a London school of which the English and
Scottish type-founders seem never even to have heard.

_Note_—In the course of the preceding article the writer has had
occasion to refer frequently to the type of Nicholas Jenson in its
relation to the modern British founts. The Editor has therefore
included amongst the examples shown a page from the “Pliny,” printed by
Jenson in 1476, for purposes of comparison and reference. It will be
found on page 21.

[Illustration]

[Illustration: (_Reproduced by permission of the Trustees of the
Kelmscott Press_)

KELMSCOTT PRESS: PAGE FROM “THE WORKS OF GEOFFREY CHAUCER” PRINTED IN
THE “CHAUCER” TYPE DESIGNED BY WILLIAM MORRIS. ILLUSTRATION BY SIR
EDWARD BURNE-JONES, BART., BORDER AND INITIAL LETTER BY WILLIAM MORRIS]

[Illustration: KELMSCOTT PRESS: PAGE FROM “THE TALE OF BEOWULF” PRINTED
IN THE “TROY” TYPE DESIGNED BY WILLIAM MORRIS (REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION
OF THE TRUSTEES OF THE KELMSCOTT PRESS)]

[Illustration: KELMSCOTT PRESS: PAGE PRINTED IN THE “GOLDEN” TYPE
DESIGNED BY WILLIAM MORRIS (REPRODUCED BY PERMISSION OF THE TRUSTEES OF
THE KELMSCOTT PRESS)]

[Illustration: PAGE FROM THE “PLINY” PRINTED AT VENICE BY NICOLAS
JENSON IN 1476]

[Illustration: ASHENDENE PRESS: PAGE PRINTED IN GREAT PRIMER TYPE
MODELLED UPON THE TYPE USED BY SWEYNHEIM AND PANNARTZ AT SUBIACO IN
1465]

[Illustration: ERAGNY PRESS: OPENING PAGE OF THE
“AREOPAGITICA” PRINTED IN THE “BROOK” TYPE, WITH BORDER AND
INITIAL LETTER DESIGNED BY LUCIEN PISSARRO]

[Illustration: ERAGNY PRESS: PAGES FROM “SONGS BY BEN JONSON” PRINTED
IN THE “BROOK” TYPE DESIGNED BY LUCIEN PISSARRO]

[Illustration: ERAGNY PRESS: OPENING PAGE OF COLERIDGE’S “CHRISTABEL”
PRINTED IN THE “BROOK” TYPE, WITH BORDER AND INITIAL LETTER DESIGNED BY
LUCIEN PISSARRO]

[Illustration: FLORENCE PRESS: PAGE FROM BOCCACCIO’S “OLYMPIA” SET IN
ENGLISH TYPE DESIGNED BY HERBERT P. HORNE, AND PRINTED AT THE ARDEN
PRESS, LETCHWORTH, FOR MESSRS. CHATTO AND WINDUS]

[Illustration: RICCARDI PRESS: PAGE FROM “SONNETS OF SHAKESPEARE”
PRINTED IN 14 AND 11 POINT CAPITALS DESIGNED BY HERBERT P. HORNE.
BORDER FROM BERNARD PICTOR AND ERHARDT RATDOLT’S “APPIANUS,” 1477]

[Illustration: RICCARDI PRESS: PAGE FROM WALTER PATER’S “MARIUS THE
EPICUREAN,” PRINTED IN 11 POINT FOUNT DESIGNED BY HERBERT P. HORNE]

[Illustration: ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY PRESS: PAGE FROM THE “DE IMITATIONE
CHRISTI” PRINTED IN THE “EWELL” TYPE DESIGNED BY DOUGLAS COCKERELL FOR
MESSRS. METHUEN AND CO.]

[Illustration: PAGE PRINTED IN THE “KENNERLEY” TYPE, 14 POINT, DESIGNED
BY FREDERICK W. GOUDY AND CAST BY H. W. CASLON AND CO. LTD. INITIAL
LETTER BY PAUL WOODROFFE, LENT BY THE ARDEN PRESS]

[Illustration: PAGE PRINTED IN THE “DOLPHIN OLD STYLE” TYPE, 12 POINT
DESIGNED AND CAST BY P. M. SHANKS AND SONS]

[Illustration: OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS: PAGE FROM THE “ODYSSEY,”
PRINTED IN THE “OTTER” TYPE DESIGNED BY ROBERT W. PROCTOR]

[Illustration: LONDON COUNTY COUNCIL CENTRAL SCHOOL OF ARTS AND CRAFTS:
PAGE FROM EDMUND SPENSER’S “FOUR HYMNS ON EARTHLY AND HEAVENLY LOVE
AND BEAUTY” PRINTED IN CASLON TYPE. WOODCUT INITIAL BY W. F. NORTHEND,
STUDENT]

[Illustration: LONDON COUNTY COUNCIL CENTRAL SCHOOL OF ARTS AND CRAFTS:
PAGE FROM “AUCASSIN AND NICOLETTE,” IN OLD FRENCH, PRINTED IN CASLON
TYPE, WITH DECORATIVE HEADING]

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE BY WALTER CRANE FOR THE FIRST BOOK OF “THE
FAERIE QUEENE” (SIZE OF ORIGINAL WOOD-ENGRAVING 10 × 7½ INCHES)

(_Reproduced by permission of Messrs. George Allen and Co. Ltd._)]

[Illustration: (_Reproduced by permission of Messrs. George Allen and
Co. Ltd._)

FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATION BY WALTER CRANE FOR THE FIRST BOOK OF “THE
FAERIE QUEENE.” (SIZE OF ORIGINAL WOOD-ENGRAVING 9½ × 7½ INCHES)]

[Illustration: BOOK OPENING DESIGNED BY PERCY J. SMITH]

[Illustration: DESIGN FOR A TITLE-PAGE BY REGINALD L. KNOWLES. PUBLISHED
BY MESSRS. GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, LTD.]

[Illustration: REIGATE PRESS: TITLE AND OPENING PAGES DESIGNED BY W.
BERNARD ADENEY]

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE OPENING OF THE FICTION SECTION OF “EVERYMAN’S
LIBRARY” DESIGNED BY REGINALD L. KNOWLES FOR MESSRS. J. M. DENT AND
SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE OPENING OF THE POETRY SECTION OF “EVERYMAN’S
LIBRARY” DESIGNED BY REGINALD L. KNOWLES FOR MESSRS. J. M. DENT AND
SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: “FELLOWSHIP” BOOK. TITLE AND OPENING PAGES DESIGNED BY
JAMES GUTHRIE LETTERING BY PERCY J. SMITH. PUBLISHED BY MESSRS. B. T.
BATSFORD LTD.]

[Illustration: FRONTISPIECE TO AYMER VALLANCE’S “OLD COLLEGES OF
OXFORD” DESIGNED BY HAROLD NELSON FROM SUGGESTIONS BY AYMER VALLANCE
PUBLISHED BY MESSRS. B. T. BATSFORD LTD.]

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY CHARLES ROBINSON FOR MESSRS J. M.
DENT AND SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY AUBREY BEARDSLEY FOR MESSRS. J.
M. DENT AND SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: ILLUSTRATION AND PAGE OF TEXT FROM “ROBIN HOOD BALLADS.”
DESIGNED BY R. JAMES WILLIAMS. PUBLISHED BY THE VINCENT PRESS]

[Illustration: DESIGN FOR A TITLE-PAGE. BY THOMAS DERRICK.
PUBLISHED BY MESSRS. SIEGLE, HILL AND CO.]

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE AND PAGE OF TEXT DESIGNED BY J. WALTER WEST]

[Illustration: CUALA PRESS: PAGE DESIGNED BY CHARLES BRAITHWAITE]



FINE BOOKBINDING IN ENGLAND.

BY DOUGLAS COCKERELL


Fine or “extra” binding as it is called in the trade implies that the
craftsman has done his best with the best materials. It may be plain
or decorated, but whatever work there is should be the best of which
the craftsman is capable. Printed books are largely machine-made
productions, and it would seem reasonable that machine-made books
should have machine-made covers, and it is in such covers or “cases”
that most of our books are issued. There is a general feeling that
the cost of the binding should bear some relation to the cost of the
book; but since books are turned out by the thousand from the printing
press, and fine bindings can only be made singly and laboriously by
hand, it is inevitable that in most cases such a binding costs much
more than the book it covers. This has probably been the case since
the invention of printing cheapened books, and yet there have always
been people who valued certain books highly enough to have them well
bound and decorated. For a true book-lover does not value a book at the
price it costs, and he may wish to have the words of a favourite author
enshrined in a precious cover. Some books by their nature and use call
for lavish treatment. Books used for important ceremonies, such as
altar books or lectern Bibles, can quite well be covered with ornament,
provided this ornament is good. They will be but a spot of gorgeousness
in a great church or cathedral, and should be judged in relation to
their surroundings and not as isolated articles.

There is a fashion now to value decoration in inverse ratio to its
quantity, and demand that it should be concentrated on spots, leaving
the greater part of the surface of articles bare. This is quite a
reasonable way to treat a binding, but it is not the only way. A
satisfactory binding can be made with little or no ornament, and
there is then little fear of a disastrous failure. To cover a book
all over with gold-tooled decoration is a more difficult thing to do
satisfactorily, but it can be done, and, if well done, is well worth
doing.

At the present time there are many binders working in England who are
capable of turning out work of the highest class, and fortunately
there are book-lovers here and in America with the taste and means to
commission such work. Probably, if a man were bold enough to spend
five or ten thousand pounds on binding the finest books that are being
produced at the present time, he would find, if the money were wisely
spent, that he had got a library that would be celebrated all over the
world. There is an interesting revival in the use of arms-blocks on
bindings, and when certain modern libraries come to be dispersed their
owners will be remembered by their books in the same way as are the
original owners of the many armorial bindings that have come down to
us from the past.

There are some qualities that are common to all well-bound books.
Of course abnormal books have to be treated specially, but it may
generally be said that every leaf of a book should open right to the
back. This means that all single leaves and plates should be attached
by guards, and that no overcasting or pasting-in should be allowed,
and it also means that the back should be truly flexible. The sections
should be sewn to flexible cords or tapes, the ends of these should
be firmly attached to the boards, and the back should be covered with
some flexible material, such as leather, which, while protecting the
sewing-thread or cord, shall itself add to the strength of the binding.
A fine binding will have many other features added by way of refinement
or elaboration, but unless it has these qualities it is likely to be an
unsatisfactory piece of work. A well-bound book should open well and
stay open, and shut well and stay shut. The binder can bind any book so
that it will not open, but there are some books that he cannot bind so
that they will open and shut “sweetly.”

Bookbinding is only one part of the larger craft of book production,
and to obtain a perfect book it is necessary that the workers in each
branch of the craft should have a common ideal of what a book should
be, and that each should do his part in such a way that this ideal may
be attained. Unfortunately it too often happens that the printers are
quite content if their printing looks perfect as it comes from the
press, with the result—through errors in the choice of paper or the
number of leaves to a section—that the bookbinder has unnecessary and
sometimes unsurmountable obstacles put in his way. A book that will
not open freely and that gapes like a dead oyster when it ought to be
shut is not pleasant to use, and when these faults are noticed the
binder generally gets the blame. Sometimes he deserves the blame, for
the fault may be his, but more often than not the fault lies with the
paper. To open a book a certain number of leaves of paper must be bent,
and if the paper is so stiff that a single leaf will not fall over by
its own weight, the book cannot be made to open quite satisfactorily
if bound in the ordinary way. By swinging each leaf on a guard it is
possible to bind a pack of playing-cards into something like a book
which will open and shut freely, but that this _can_ be done is no
excuse for the production of books which necessitate this drastic
treatment before they can be bound satisfactorily.

William Morris, when he founded the Kelmscott Press, did more than
revive fine book-printing; he established a tradition for books that
were eminently bindable, and the presses that followed his lead kept up
the tradition; so that we have in England a large number of beautifully
printed books that are worthy of the best binding, and that impose no
unnecessary difficulties on the binder.

Mr. Cobden-Sanderson did much to revive the use of the tight or
flexible back. In this style the leather is attached directly to the
back of the sections, and so helps to hold them firmly together. All
leather-bound books had tight backs until about a hundred years ago,
when the hollow back came into general use. A tight back should throw
up when the book is opened; that is to say the back, convex when the
book is shut, should become concave on the book being opened. This
causes a certain amount of creasing in the leather, and this creasing
is not good for gold tooling; but with a well-bound book the damage
is not serious, and important constructional features must not be
sacrificed for the sake of the decoration.

The hollow back does not crease the leather, and so is preferred by
finishers, and besides it is easier to cover a hollow back neatly than
a tight one; but the strain of opening and shutting, which should be
distributed evenly across the back, is in the hollow back thrown on
the joints, with the result that the leather is apt to break at these
places unless specially strengthened, as is the case with well-bound
account books.

While “flexible” backs that are truly flexible are undoubtedly the
best, some binders line up their backs so stiffly under the leather as
to allow little or no movement when the book is opened. This avoids the
creasing of the leather and leaves the decoration uninjured, but the
book will not open freely, and there is no virtue in such a tight back.
Leather is chosen for binding because of its toughness and flexibility,
yet binders deliberately sacrifice this last quality in order to obtain
extreme neatness or to hide faults in the forwarding.

It is the fashion in some quarters to admire as the perfection of
craftsmanship an exact and hard square edge to the boards of a book.
This can only be got by paring the leather down till it is as thin as
paper and has consequently very little strength. A softer, rounder edge
is natural to a leather-covered article, and it is unreasonable to
expect the qualities of a newly planed board in a material so wholly
different in character. The edges of the leather-covered board should
have a distinctly flat face, and clumsiness will be avoided by any
good craftsman. It is only the extreme sharpness, so much admired by
unknowing people, that is objectionable.

In the treatment of the edges of the leaves fashion has gone to two
extremes: some book-lovers demand that the edges should be entirely
uncut, while others require them to look like a solid piece of metal.
The rough edges, or “deckle,” on handmade paper is a necessary defect
due to the way the paper is made. These rough edges were always trimmed
off by the early binders because they were unsightly, difficult to turn
over, and harboured dust. Some of the shorter leaves would usually be
left untrimmed. Such short leaves are known in the trade as “proof,”
_i.e._ proof that the book has not been unduly cut down. To gild a
book-edge absolutely solid the binder must cut down to the shortest
leaves and so often has to reduce the size of the book unreasonably;
but an acceptable compromise between entirely uncut edges and solid
gilding can be arrived at if the sections of a book to be finely bound
are trimmed singly and gilt “in the rough” before sewing. This enriches
the edges but does not disguise their nature nor necessitate their
being unduly cropped.

In recent times there has been much good work done in England in the
investigation of bookbinding materials. The Royal Society of Arts
Committee on “Leather for Bookbinding” has established standards of
leather that have made it possible for binders to procure skins that
are uninjured in the process of manufacture, and bookbinding leather of
the very highest class is now being produced in England. The leather
manufacturers are able to dye leather any reasonable shade without the
use of sulphuric acid, and it is only some of the lighter fancy colours
that are unprocurable in “acid free” leather. That these “fancy” shades
are unprocurable in uninjured leather is a distinct gain, as they
mostly fade, and books bound in such leather seldom look as if they
were intended to be used.

There are various ways by which leather-bound books may be decorated,
but tooling, either in gold or blind, is by far the commonest, and it
is tooled bindings that we are considering here. “Blind” tooling is the
impression of hot tools on the leather. The most satisfactory tools for
blind work are those cut die-sunk like a seal. These, by depressing
the ground, leave the ornament in relief. Tools for gold work are cut
so that the ornament with the gold is depressed below the surface of
the leather. These tools may be used without gold, but blind tooling
produced in this way has little of the character associated with this
work when it was at its best, _i.e._ up to the end of the fifteenth
century. Gold-tooling came to Europe from the East, and preserved
a tradition of Eastern design for a very long period. The English
gold-tooled bindings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries are
often strangely Eastern in the style of the decoration.

The ornamentation of fine bindings reached almost its lowest ebb in
England about the middle of last century. Of technical skill there was
never any lack, but decoration had lost vitality, and the ornamental
bindings of this time are for the most part copies or parodies of the
work of earlier binders. William Morris designed a few very beautiful
gold-tooled bindings which were covered all over with the impressions
of tools, each one of which represented a complete plant. His friend,
Mr. Cobden-Sanderson, who gave up the practice of the law to learn the
binder’s craft, produced books that are unsurpassed in the delicate
beauty of their decoration. Before his time there had been few attempts
to combine tools to form organic patterns. Mr. Cobden-Sanderson’s tools
were very elementary in character, each flower, leaf or bud being the
impression of a separate tool. These impressions were combined in
such a way as to give a sense of growth, and yet in no way overlapped
the traditional limitations and conventions of the craft. Mr.
Cobden-Sanderson got his results by sheer genius in the right use of
simple elements. He used inlays very sparingly, and his finest bindings
depend entirely on the effect of gold on leather. The style of design
which he founded has spread throughout the trade, mainly through the
teaching at the various technical schools, and it is now comparatively
rare to find an elaborate binding of recent date without some attempt
having been made to connect the tools so that they together form an
organic whole.

The use of composite tools (that is, tools which form a whole design
in themselves and do not bear any definite relationship to one
another) is now restricted to cheap bindings. The corners and centres
on the backs of school prizes are familiar, if degraded, examples of
the use of such tools. Together with the Cobden-Sanderson style of
decoration there has been a marked revival of the use of interlacement
in gold-tooled designs. Interlaced gold lines, if not so intricate
as to be bewildering, may be very beautiful, but in this, as in most
other crafts, the highly-skilled workman loves to attempt the almost
impossible, and some of the recent interlaced patterns fail on account
of their over-elaboration and consequent restlessness.

Mr. Charles Ricketts designed some very notable gold-tooled bindings
for the Vale Press. These bindings have hardly received the attention
they deserve, and the style has not spread to any extent, possibly
because Mr. Ricketts’ refinement and delicacy in the use of fine
lines are not easy to acquire. These bindings have an architectural
quality that places them in a class by themselves. Mr. Cobden-Sanderson
and Mr. Ricketts, in their entirely different styles, have shown
that gold-tooling may be extremely beautiful as decoration without
overstepping the traditional limits of the craft, and in the case of
the most successful bindings now being produced these traditional
limits have been recognised. Gold-tooling is by its nature a limited
means of expression, though exactly where the limits lie must be a
matter of feeling and taste rather than of knowledge. Certainly in some
of the elaborate bindings now being produced the limits of the craft
have been passed, and while serving to show amazing dexterity on the
part of the finisher, these bindings are less successful artistically
than many that are less ambitious in technique.

There is no clearly marked school of blind-tooling at present, though
here and there the method has been used with success. Mr. William
Morris designed a notable binding in white pigskin for the Kelmscott
“Chaucer.” Many copies were so bound at the Doves Bindery, but most of
the attempts that have been made to carry out work in the same style
have been comparatively unsuccessful.

There have been a good many efforts made to revive modelled
leather-work as a means of decorating books, but although this method
is capable of producing very fine results, most of the binding in
modelled leather shown in recent exhibitions cannot be said to be
successful. Any work that has to be done on the leather before the book
is bound is almost doomed to failure, because leather which is modelled
before binding cannot be handled by the binder with the freedom that is
necessary if he is to make a workmanlike job of the covering. It is,
however, possible to put quite sufficient relief in modelled leather
after a book is bound, if the leather be reasonably thick; indeed high
relief for most books is objectionable.

Many of the old bindings had fine metal mounts and clasps. If clasps
are used on modern books, as a rule they should be flush with the
sides, so as not to scratch their neighbours when taken in and out of
shelves. Raised clasps and bosses are only suitable for books that are
expected to stand permanently on a lectern.

In criticising decorated bindings there is a danger of falling into the
common error of generalising from isolated instances. You cannot put
too much ornament on a thing as small as a bookcover if
the ornament is good enough. A book well bound in beautiful leather may
be perfectly satisfactory and beautiful by virtue of good workmanship,
fine material and colour. A binding covered with fine gold-tooling
may be just as restful and far more beautiful, but while there is
comparatively little scope for failure in the plain binding, there
are appalling pitfalls if the cover be lavishly decorated. There are,
of course, all sorts of degrees of decoration between an absolutely
plain binding and one covered entirely with gold, but there are some
qualities common to most successful tooled ornament.

There are few bindings that are quite successful unless the ornament
is arranged on a symmetrical plan. Any attempt to portray landscape,
human figures or naturalistic flowers is almost doomed to failure.
Gold-tooling is not a suitable medium for rendering such subjects.

Lettering should be well designed and free from eccentricities. The
problem of lettering a long title across a narrow back may necessitate
ungainly breaking of words, but where this is done it should only be
done from obvious necessity, and the reasonable necessity for this
fault should be apparent. To letter books in type so small as to be
quite illegible, lettering that looks from a short distance like a
gold line, is more unreasonable than almost any breaking of words that
allows the use of letters of a larger size.

Fine binding is an expensive luxury but not an unreasonable one
compared with many others. We have now in England a school of really
fine binding, and the most reasonable and unobjectionable form that
luxury can take is the use of beautiful things in everyday life. If a
book is well bound and well decorated it is fit to use, and in choosing
a book to be expensively bound it would be better to choose the book
most often used than one which would be put away unopened. Most fine
bindings would be greatly improved by use, and the reasonable using of
them would give immense pleasure, a pleasure that would justify the
binder’s care and trouble and the purchaser’s outlay. The use of a
beautiful thing gives a far higher form of pleasure than does the mere
sense of ownership.

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE PIGSKIN, WITH HERALDIC BORDER
ENCLOSING A PANEL OF FLORAL DESIGN AND BACKGROUND OF POINTILLÉ. BY
KATHARINE ADAMS]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING WITH GEOMETRICAL BORDER IN POINTILLÉ BY
KATHARINE ADAMS]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BROWN MOROCCO, WITH INLAY, GOLD TOOLING,
OAK SIDES AND LEATHER CLASPS. DESIGNED AND TOOLED BY L. HAY-COOPER
FORWARDED BY W. H. SMITH AND SON

(_In the possession of the Grey Coat Hospital, Westminster_)]

[Illustration: (_In the possession of Lambeth Parish Church_)

BOOKBINDING IN GREEN MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING DESIGNED AND
TOOLED BY L. HAY-COOPER, BOUND BY S. BARNARD]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN WHOLE CRUSHED CRIMSON LEVANT MOROCCO,
WITH VELLUCENT PANELS AND GOLD TOOLING. DESIGNED BY H. GRANVILLE FELL,
EXECUTED BY CEDRIC CHIVERS OF BATH]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN DONKEY HIDE, WITH VELLUCENT PANEL AND
GOLD TOOLING DESIGNED BY O. CARLETON SMYTH, EXECUTED BY CEDRIC CHIVERS
OF BATH]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN NIGER MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING BY R. DE COVERLY AND SONS]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN APPLE-GREEN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH BLIND
AND GOLD TOOLING. BY R. DE COVERLY AND SONS]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING BY DOUGLAS COCKERELL

(_Photo. lent by Mons. Emile Lévy_)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING BY DOUGLAS COCKERELL

(_Photo. lent by Mons. Emile Lévy_)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY DOUGLAS COCKERELL]

[Illustration: (_Photo. lent by Mons. Emile Lévy_)

BOOKBINDING IN DARK RED MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING. BY
DOUGLAS COCKERELL]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN RED NIGER MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING BY
FRANK G. GARRETT]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN VELLUM, WITH GOLD AND GREEN TOOLING. BY
FRANK G. GARRETT]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN MAUVE MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY HON. NORAH HEWITT]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN SAGE GREEN MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY HON. NORAH HEWITT]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN POWDER BLUE MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING.
BY HON. NORAH HEWITT]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN NIGER MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING. BY HON.
NORAH HEWITT]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN RED LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING DESIGNED BY J. GREEN, EXECUTED BY S. TOUT (OXFORD UNIVERSITY
PRESS)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND
GOLD TOOLING DESIGNED BY T. TURBAYNE, EXECUTED BY J. GREEN (OXFORD
UNIVERSITY PRESS)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN MAROON LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAID PANEL.
DESIGNED BY J. GREEN, EXECUTED BY P. WARD (OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING.
DESIGNED BY T. TURBAYNE, EXECUTED BY P. WARD (OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN PURPLE LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND
GOLD TOOLING. DESIGNED BY E. SPARKES EXECUTED BY J. GREEN (OXFORD
UNIVERSITY PRESS)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. DESIGNED BY J. GREEN EXECUTED BY P. WARD (OXFORD UNIVERSITY
PRESS)]

[Illustration: TOOLED LEATHER BOOKBINDING. BY S. T. PRIDEAUX]

[Illustration: TOOLED LEATHER BOOKBINDING. BY S. T. PRIDEAUX]

[Illustration: TOOLED LEATHER BOOKBINDING. BY S. T. PRIDEAUX]

[Illustration: TOOLED LEATHER BOOKBINDING. BY S. T. PRIDEAUX]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN SEALSKIN, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING BY MARY E. ROBINSON]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN CRUSHED GREEN LEVANT MOROCCO WITH GOLD
TOOLING. BY ALICE PATTINSON (MRS. RAYMUND ALLEN)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN CRUSHED DARK BLUE LEVANT MOROCCO WITH
INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING. BY ALICE PATTINSON (MRS. RAYMUND ALLEN)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN WHITE PIGSKIN, WITH BLIND AND GOLD
TOOLING BY SYBIL PYE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN WHITE PIGSKIN, WITH BLIND AND GOLD
TOOLING BY SYBIL PYE]

[Illustration: DOUBLURE IN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH POINTILLÉ AND INLAY BY
ROBERT RIVIERE AND SON]

[Illustration: FLY-LEAF IN GREEN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH POINTILLÉ AND
INLAY BY ROBERT RIVIERE AND SON]

[Illustration: DOUBLURE IN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND TOOLING. BY
ROBERT RIVIERE AND SON]

[Illustration: FLY-LEAF IN GREEN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY F. SANGORSKI AND G. SUTCLIFFE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING BY
F. SANGORSKI AND G. SUTCLIFFE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING BY
F. SANGORSKI AND G. SUTCLIFFE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING BY F. SANGORSKI AND G. SUTCLIFFE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BROWN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING BY F. SANGORSKI AND G. SUTCLIFFE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING BY F. SANGORSKI AND G. SUTCLIFFE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING
BY F. SANGORSKI AND G. SUTCLIFFE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN OLIVE MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING.
CENTRE PANEL OF RED INLAY. BY A. DE SAUTY]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN OLIVE MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING. BY A.
DE SAUTY]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING
BY SIR EDWARD SULLIVAN, BART.]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN PINK MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING
BY SIR EDWARD SULLIVAN, BART.]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY SIR EDWARD SULLIVAN, BART.]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN YELLOW LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND
GOLD TOOLING. BY ZAEHNSDORF]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN OLIVE GREEN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY
AND GOLD TOOLING. BY ZAEHNSDORF]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY ZAEHNSDORF]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY ZAEHNSDORF]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY ZAEHNSDORF]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY ZAEHNSDORF]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN ENGLISH MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING
BOUND BY B. BENKOSKI, DECORATED BY W. F. MATTHEWS (L.C.C. CENTRAL
SCHOOL OF ARTS AND CRAFTS)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING BOUND BY S. H. COLE, DECORATED BY W. H. GIFFARD (L.C.C. CENTRAL
SCHOOL OF ARTS AND CRAFTS)]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGNED BY LAURENCE HOUSMAN FOR MR. JOHN
LANE]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGNED BY WILL BRADLEY FOR MR. JOHN LANE]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGNED BY REGINALD L. KNOWLES FOR MESSRS.
J. M. DENT AND SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGNED BY REGINALD L. KNOWLES FOR MESSRS.
J. M. DENT AND SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGNED BY REGINALD L. KNOWLES FOR MESSRS.
J. M. DENT AND SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGNED BY REGINALD L. KNOWLES FOR MESSRS.
J. M. DENT AND SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGNED BY R. P. GOSSOP FOR MESSRS. J. M.
DENT AND SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: DESIGN FOR COVER OF “THE WOMAN WHO DID” BY AUBREY
BEARDSLEY]

[Illustration: DESIGN FOR TITLE-PAGE OF “PAGAN PAPERS” BY AUBREY
BEARDSLEY

(_By permission of Mr. John Lane_)]

[Illustration: DESIGN FOR COVER OF “THE MOUNTAIN LOVERS” BY AUBREY
BEARDSLEY]

[Illustration: DESIGN FOR COVER OF “NOBODY’S FAULT” BY AUBREY BEARDSLEY

(_By permission of Mr. John Lane_)]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGN BY REGINALD L. KNOWLES FOR MESSRS.
J. M. DENT AND SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGN BY REGINALD L. KNOWLES FOR MESSRS.
J. M. DENT AND SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: END-PAPER DESIGN BY REGINALD L. KNOWLES FOR “EVERYMAN’S
LIBRARY.” FOR MESSRS. J. M. DENT AND SONS LTD.]

[Illustration: “THE HAUNT OF THE TROLL”—END-PAPER DESIGN BY REGINALD
L. KNOWLES FOR “TALES FROM THE NORSE.” PUBLISHED BY MESSRS. GEORGE
ROUTLEDGE AND SONS, LTD.]

[Illustration: END-PAPER DESIGN BY H. GRANVILLE FELL FOR MESSRS. GEORGE
NEWNES, LTD.]

[Illustration: BORDER, INITIAL LETTERS, AND HEADPIECE DESIGNED BY R.
JAMES WILLIAMS. FOR THE VINCENT PRESS]

[Illustration: INITIAL LETTERS DESIGNED BY R. JAMES WILLIAMS. FOR THE
VINCENT PRESS]

[Illustration: “COÛTE QUE COÛTE”—DECORATIVE DRAWING BY R. JAMES
WILLIAMS]



GERMANY

THE ART OF THE BOOK IN GERMANY. BY L. DEUBNER


“Letterpress printing, even in the edition de luxe, is not an art, and
neither the compositor nor the printer is an artist.” This is what was
written in the year 1887 by Ludwig Nieper, at that time Director of
what is now the Royal Academy of the Graphic Arts and Book Industry
at Leipzig, a city which in the present year has in its International
Exhibition, embracing every conceivable aspect of the industry as well
as the arts most closely bound up with it, furnished such a convincing
and impressive demonstration of the culture uniting the nations as
perhaps has never been offered before. The conviction expressed in the
passage just quoted, repudiating the existence of any influence of art
on industrial labour, belongs to a period bereft of any real feeling
for art and content with the imitation and repetition of historic
styles while eschewing any contact with the practical requirements of
the industry. Nowadays we know how beneficial and fruitful for both has
been the reciprocal influence of art and industry in every sphere of
activity, and that only by this means have we been able to proceed from
mere external embellishment to artistic form, from book adornment to a
true art of the book. Thus in the space of barely twenty-five years our
views of what art really is and what are its functions have radically
changed, and it must be left to those who come after us to estimate
more correctly than we are able to at the present day, the immense
labour which has been accomplished in the space of a generation. The
incipient stages in the growth of the new movement in Germany date back
some twenty years. At that time we looked with envy at the publications
which issued from the private presses of England, and could boast of
nothing that could compare with the far-famed “Faust” of the Doves
Press; and if to-day we are at length able to stand on our own feet,
it would yet be false to assert that the modern art of book production
in Germany has developed from within, and to disavow the valuable
stimulus and knowledge we owe especially to the English books of that
period. And clearly as we perceived that the book in its entirety,
with its harmonious co-ordination of type, decoration, composition,
paper and binding, should form a work of art, yet only after many
mistakes and deviations have we arrived at the goal. Thus nowadays no
one would seriously seek to defend such a production as the official
catalogue of the German section at the Paris Exhibition of 1900; and
so, too, the so-called “Eckmann” type, which at one time was taken up
with unexampled enthusiasm—a type in which the designer had contrived
to adapt the ancient forms of the “Antiqua” type to the sinuous
lines of modern ornament—is now almost completely forgotten. These
and many other things which at that time were acclaimed as creative
achievements, belong to that class of errors which are really nothing
but exaggerated truths. But in the absence of such excesses and that
exuberance of feeling which was so violently manifested, it would have
been quite impossible to accomplish in so short a time what as a matter
of fact was accomplished, and in spite of shortcomings has even now
lost none of its importance in the history of the development of a new
art of the book.

The first event of significance which followed the renewed recognition
of the decorative value of the printed letter was the issue of some
new types designed by Otto Eckmann and Peter Behrens respectively, the
former slender, delicate, and round, the latter bold, distinguished,
and angular, but both alike quite free, natural, and easily legible.
It was these founts that really inaugurated the new development; and
the foundry of the Gebr. Klingspor which issued them, placed itself
by so doing at the head of all those enterprising type-foundries
which have since enriched our printing press with a wealth of new
and valuable founts. It had come to be recognised that lettering and
ornament were closely correlated; that the ornamentation of printed
matter could not be regarded as an end in itself, but must be adapted
to the character of the lettering in order that the rectangular space
of a page should be so filled as to achieve a good general effect and
satisfy the sensitive eye. Nothing remained, therefore, but to entrust
the designing of new types to artists who had already accomplished
good and original work as book decorators; and as none of the numerous
German type-foundries desired or indeed could afford to be behindhand
in a movement of this kind, it resulted that in the course of a few
years the printing presses of the country were inundated with a flood
of new “artist” types, of which, nevertheless, only relatively few have
been able to survive till now. To design a new type or to re-mould
the old forms of “Antiqua” (Roman) or “Fraktur” (German Gothic), so
that the new forms should not only have a good black-and-white effect
but that the eye should be able to grasp with ease the sequence of
“word-pictures” as well as each individual letter and to read the lines
quickly and comfortably, is a task of extraordinary difficulty which
many who have attempted to grapple with have under-estimated. To obtain
an idea of the multitude of difficulties that have to be overcome, one
must bear in mind that the fundamental forms of the individual letters
are fixed, and that only small changes are possible in the general
shape, in the proportions of the component parts, in the alternation
of the upright, horizontal, and oblique lines, in the curvature of the
so-called “versal” or capital letters, in the serifs, and in the sweep
of preliminary or terminal flourishes; that the printed letter, unlike
manuscript, is bound up with fixed laws, and that in order to justify
its claim to consideration it should, while expressing the artistic
individuality of its designer, not be too original and personal if
it is to be employed for general use. Further, it should conform to
the spirit and ideas of the age, and yet again it ought not to be
wholly conditioned by contemporary considerations if it is to survive
to a later age, as have many fine founts which the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries have bequeathed to us.

As already said, only a few among our modern German designers of
printed types have mastered all these difficulties, and among these few
the names of Behrens, Tiemann, Koch, Kleukens, Weiss, and Wieynk
are pre-eminent. In the course of some thirteen years that
born architect, Peter Behrens, who began as a painter of easel pictures
and a decorator of books, and now builds palaces, factory buildings,
and gigantic business-houses, has himself designed four founts in which
the whole artistic evolution of this strong-willed nature is reflected,
and which yet seem so entirely the product of a natural growth that
one is quite unconscious of the years of labour spent on their
improvement and perfection in the interval between the preparation of
the designs and the actual casting of the founts. As compared with
the architectonic character of the austere, angular forms of the
first Behrens type, the italic or “Kursiv” fount (p. 141) which made
its appearance six years later looks more decorative with the gentle
sweep and uniform flow of its lines, and in the most successful of the
Roman founts the full vigour and monumentality of his later period
of activity is clearly expressed; while the most recent of all, the
“Mediæval” (p. 140), which was only issued a few weeks ago, is again
more ornamental with its uniformly fine lines, and admirably answers to
its designation as a type embodying the characteristics of the Italian
Renaissance script.

Another “Mediæval” type which even excels that just mentioned in
clearness and beauty of form has been designed by Walter Tiemann (pp.
146 and 147), who holds the position of instructor at the Royal Academy
of Graphic Arts at Leipzig, and devotes himself almost exclusively to
the improvement of the art of lettering and book production. Like all
the other types designed by this artist, it has less of a personal
character about it, and reason more than sentiment has been the guiding
motive in the design; but its cool, distinguished reticence gives it a
quite exceptional merit. It is, moreover, completely independent of its
classical prototypes and their Romanesque imitations; very effective
in all its gradations, the use of it is not restricted to the limited
editions of our private presses, and in fact it is now one of the most
popular founts we have.

The fine Roman types by F. W. Kleukens (pp. 151, 153 and 156) rank
among the most gratifying achievements of our new school. They are free
from eccentricity of any kind, there is a seductive charm in their
unassuming yet distinguished forms, and even the ornamental slender
kinds are agreeably clear. In spite of the thinness of their lines the
letters belonging to this slender fount combine to make easily legible
lines. The Kleukens types are practical as well as attractive, and in
conjunction with specially designed borders, initials and decorative
devices of all kinds, they are well adapted for the most diverse uses.

Of a far more personal character, but at the same time of a more
restricted range of use, are the graceful types by Heinrich Wieynk (pp.
149 and 150). It is the spirit of the Rococo that dwells therein—that
epoch to which, with its playful charm and light-hearted grace, we owe
so many masterpieces of French typography. Even the superfluous loops
and flourishes which were characteristic of that period are encountered
again, with many bizarre peculiarities, in the “Kursiv” and “Trianon”
of Wieynk, and yet there is a remarkable fluidity and vitality in each
stroke; the general effect is highly artistic, and, as the examples now
reproduced show, the founts are admirably adapted to numerous purposes.

Many attempts have been made to modernise the old “Schwabacher” type,
which dates from the middle of the fifteenth century, and differs
from German Gothic, or “Fraktur,” by being more compact. The most
successful in this direction so far has been Rudolf Koch, whose “German
Script,” in the three different forms here shown (pp. 142 to 145),
has once more revealed the rich beauty and massive power inherent in
the various kinds of German type. In these boldly designed letters is
expressed a manly earnestness and also a simple grandeur which, in the
sweeping, powerful forms of the initials, becomes truly monumental.
They are, moreover, carefully thought out in all their details, and
notwithstanding the strength of the lines, even in the smallest sizes,
they are very expressive in their beauty.

Heinz König, too, has had good fortune with his “Schwabacher” type (p.
152). This is remarkably clear, and in its amalgamation of Roman forms
with the characteristics of German founts it has proved both sound
and serviceable, and it is one, moreover, which offers no difficulty
whatever to the foreigner. The curls and loops which the champions of
“Antiqua,” or Roman, find fault with in the German styles of type are
absent; it is a Gothic purged of all unnecessary details and is at once
dignified and decorative.

Among the new “Fraktur” or German Gothic types mention should first
of all be made of that known as “Weiss-Fraktur,” which, designed by
E. R. Weiss, has been perfected by him after many years of untiring
collaboration with the Type Foundry of Bauer and Co. It has remained a
purely German type, but is without the flourishes bequeathed by the old
German Gothic. The light and open appearance of matter composed with it
imparts to it a clarity which is distinctly agreeable, so that one can
follow it with ease and comfort while deriving quiet pleasure from the
simplicity and definiteness of a type which satisfies in equal degree
the requirements of use and æsthetic susceptibility. The Tempel Verlag,
in common with a number of other important German publishing houses,
has adopted the “Weiss-Fraktur” for its model editions of German
classics.

When new desires call for satisfaction and new forms begin to develop,
it is always those spheres of activity which offer easy and pleasant
possibilities of accomplishment that are selected for experimenting.
Thus some fifteen years ago the designing of book-bindings was a
favourite occupation of the artists who interested themselves in the
reform of industrial art, and many who have now attained to clear and
definite ideas do not want to be reminded of the sort of work that was
done in those days. Under the influence of Van de Velde’s precept that
every line is a force, the wrappers and bindings of books were among
the things that were covered with a nervous labyrinth of lines which
was expressive only of an attitude of mind radically at variance with
all that had gone before. But many who at first occupied themselves
with this kind of work in a more or less dilettante spirit, have by
quiet, serious labour and steady development mastered its problems
and have come to devote themselves almost exclusively to the graphic
arts and the industry of book production, so that we now possess an
important organisation of the workers in this field—the “Verein
deutscher Buchgewerbekünstler”—whose collective exhibition at the
International Exhibition now being held at Leipzig is one of the most
interesting sections of this great display. Of the artists whose work
is represented among the accompanying illustrations, Cissarz, Ehmcke,
Kleukens, Köster, Koch, Renner, Steiner-Prag, Tiemann, Weiss and Wieynk
belong to this group.

Johann Vincenz Cissarz had in 1900 already advanced to such prominence
in this branch of work that the artistic arrangement of the German
Typographical Section at the Paris Universal Exhibition was entrusted
to him. A long way behind as this catalogue now is, it was nevertheless
at that date an exemplary achievement as regards type, ornament,
printing, and binding; and to the large number of commissions it
brought the artist may be due the fact that thereafter his chief
attention was bestowed on the art of the book, in spite of his penchant
and decided genius for painting of a decorative and even monumental
character and his particular partiality for the etching-needle. From
Dresden Cissarz migrated, first to Darmstadt and then to Stuttgart,
where as teacher at the Royal School of Applied Art he found a welcome
opportunity of communicating to others his own sound principles in
regard to the internal and external arrangement of books, and already
he is able to look back upon a teaching career which has been very
successful. And here, too, many grateful tasks have fallen to him, not
only in connection with special events, such as jubilees, presentation
addresses, and such things, but more especially in the course of
work undertaken for the publishing houses of Stuttgart. Though the
luxurious binding executed by hand in costly materials may be superior
in an artistic sense, yet from the economic and cultural point of
view the tastefully designed bindings produced in large quantities by
the publishing houses are of greater importance. A series of these
publishers’ cases of diverse design is illustrated on pages 168 and
172, and it shows how successfully the designer has utilised the space
to display his boldly lettered title or to cover the whole field with
becoming ornament.

Hugo Steiner-Prag, who first became known through his poetic drawings
for children’s fairy tales and books of verses, has also for some
years past taught at the Royal Academy of Graphic Arts at Leipzig. His
chief successes have been won as an illustrator, but from the bindings
now reproduced (pp. 166 and 167) it will be seen that he has a marked
talent for the embellishment of the book. By means of simple lines and
decorative ornament, usually confined to a well-proportioned centre
field, he achieves really charming effects.

Karl Köster was at one time a pupil of Peter Behrens, and in order
to be able to take advantage of all the possibilities open to the
bookbinder he has not shrunk from learning the craft in the regular
way. Thus in the course of his work he has not been wholly concerned
with the external embellishment of the book, which he always endeavours
to harmonise with its contents, but has also kept in view the practical
purpose of the binding as a protective covering for the book. His great
skill in achieving delightful effects with the simplest means is amply
demonstrated by the numerous bindings he has designed for publishers.
Thus in the bindings here illustrated, “Heimkehr” and “Buch Joram”
(p. 169), three lines of lettering suffice to animate and decorate
the entire surface; but he is quite capable of employing much richer
decorative devices with discretion and good taste. From the way in
which he has placed a simple cross of violet leather in the richly
ornamented middle field of his red missal binding (p. 163), to show to
the greatest advantage the colour of the amethysts set in the silver
mounts, it may be inferred that he is capable of producing new and
peculiar arrangements of form and colour without breaking with the best
traditions. In his second missal binding the form of the cross which
dominates the entire space is distributed over twelve circular panels
or fields, of which the middlemost is worked with a white leather inlay
and gold-tooling. The other circles are lined with violet leather, and
with the four amethysts of the corner rosettes, the sea-green morocco,
and the rich gilding, produce a splendid effect of colour.

Among the professional craftsmen who yielded to the new ideas of book
production Paul Kersten is perhaps the best known, as he is without
doubt the most successful. With an extensive practical experience,
which has mastered all the technical possibilities, he combines
artistic susceptibility and a literary aptitude which has enabled him
to uphold the objects he has at heart in thoughtfully written essays
and books. As head of the Technical School for Bookbinders in Berlin
he is in a position to exercise an educative influence in the best
sense. The bindings illustrated on pages 164 and 165 enable one to
judge of his technical versatility and his methods of decoration, which
are not restricted to a particular scheme. They are without exception
leather bindings in which the title is placed independently on the
back or within a panel left for it, the ornamentation of the cover
being therefore uninfluenced by it. In bindings of a richer character
he is very fond of utilising a diversity of colours for the sake of
the animating effect. Thus in his dark-blue morocco binding, whose
centre panel is occupied by five hexagons within circles, the flowers
displayed therein are of red, green, and violet leather; while in the
chamois binding of Baudelaire’s “Fleurs du Mal,” for the ornamentation
of which, in gold and blind stamping, no fewer than 18,000 impressions
were required, leather overlays in seven different colours were used.
But even with such an abundance of decoration one is not conscious of
any excess, but only perhaps that agreeable sense of assurance which
the practised hand communicates. Three colours, black, red and blue,
are employed for ornamenting the calf-binding with a circular centre
panel, the decoration of which is carried out by a special process of
tooling and staining.

Of a much simpler character is the work of Franz Weisse, who likewise
has come from the ranks of the handicraftsmen, and is now engaged as
teacher at the School of Applied Art in Hamburg. The simple but bold
stamping in which the decoration of his pigskin binding (p. 170) is
executed comports well with the outspoken candour of Grimmelshausen’s
“Simplicissimus.” A feature of interest is the use of the “batik”
process[A] for producing floral ornament spread over the sides and back
of the parchment binding.

[Footnote A: Batik is a process of producing patterns by means of
dyes and resists; it has long been in use in the Dutch East Indies,
whence it was introduced into Holland, and now has a considerable
vogue both there and in Germany, Austria and Hungary.]

Again, in the richly decorated bindings of F. A. Demeter (pp. 161 and
162) one observes the sure hand of the experienced practitioner who
knows how to take advantage of the beauties of material and technique
in the fulfilment of his artistic aims. His ornamentation is certainly
not quite original, but is distinguished by a clever decorative
treatment of floral motives and a tasteful application of them; and
even when he completely covers the back and sides with decoration of a
uniform character, one does not feel that it is overdone. A beautiful
example of his work is the binding with a design of leafage in gold
on a reseda-green leather. Demeter also is a professional binder,
and at present is head of the applied art department of the Hübel
and Denck wholesale bindery at Leipzig. Even these large industrial
concerns, equipped for the wholesale production of cheap bindings,
have been obliged to take account of the growing desire for books that
have an artistic value, and to attach to their establishments special
departments in which, under the supervision of artistically minded
craftsmen, not only simple bindings in “boards,” but also the costly
and elaborate kinds of binding requiring most careful hand-work, are
prepared.

One of the most individual of the German artists who have devoted
themselves to the modern art of the book is Emil Preetorius. He is a
born illustrator, and has mastered all the various means of expression
in equal degree; even in the very concise outline of the silhouette he
achieves an abundance of characterisation and vitality. The silhouettes
shown here (p. 160) are from a popular edition of Daudet’s “Tartarin
de Tarascon,” which he has embellished and illustrated with refined
artistic feeling; they figure there merely as the decorative headpieces
to certain of the chapters, and serve as a jocose premonition of what
is to follow. They are not the actual illustrations of the book, but
they certainly afford an excellent idea of the happy way in which with
these queer little black figures he has caught the grotesque comicality
of this strange adventure. He is also fond of giving the reader in his
title-pages a foretaste of what awaits him, of expressing graphically,
in drawings often containing a number of figures, the contents and
spirit of the books in which they appear. His figures are mostly those
of people who lived in the “Biedermeier” age; they have a distinctly
old-fashioned look about them, but none of that sentimental “gush”
which so often makes the so-called “Stimmung” pictures of that period
unpalatable to us moderns. While having a decided partiality for the
peculiarities and foibles of the “Biedermeier” folk, Preetorius is
thoroughly modern in feeling; his drawings are austere rather than
sweetly sentimental, and even their æsthetic defects are pertinent to
his art.

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY PROF. PAUL LANG-KURZ]

The part played by various enterprising and ideally minded publishing
houses in fostering and stimulating that pleasure in beautiful books
and their acquisition which has increased to such an extraordinary
degree in Germany during the past decade must not go unrecorded
here. Among these the firm of Eugen Diederichs, of Jena, claims
primary consideration because of the ungrudging spirit in which it
has afforded to all who have made a name in the sphere of artistic
book-production an opportunity of displaying their ideas and skill.
This firm caters for all the manifold cultural tendencies of our age,
and its publications being of a serious character, the collaboration of
these artists has been in the main restricted to wrappers and bindings,
title-pages, initials, ornamental borders, and other decorative
details. On the other hand, there are houses, such as that of Georg
Müller in Munich, which besides good decoration go in largely for book
illustration, in which also numerous and interesting developments
have taken place, including a revival of various processes—such as
wood-engraving, lithography, and etching—that had fallen largely into
disuse, but now once more enjoy considerable favour for the purpose
of book illustration. The Insel-Verlag of Leipzig, S. Fischer of
Berlin, Paul and Bruno Cassirer of Berlin, Kurt Wolff of Leipzig, and
many others, have helped materially in this reflorescence of German
illustrative art. But at the same time, there are more than a few who
hold that a well-printed book with unimpeachable letterpress, paper
and binding requires neither decoration nor illustration, and that its
intrinsic merit depends on the perfect manner in which the technical
work is carried out. Thus the celebrated editions of the Hyperion Press
and the splendid issues of the Century Press of the Munich publishing
firm of Hans von Weber are brilliant examples of German typography;
nor need the publications of the Janus Press of Leipzig, produced with
consummate technical care under the supervision of Walter Tiemann and
Carl Ernst Poeschel, fear comparison with the books that issue from the
private presses of England. These volumes are only printed in small
editions of one hundred and fifty to two hundred copies, and satisfy
the utmost demands of discriminating bibliophiles. Of distinction on
account of their typically German character are the “Rudolfinische
Drucke,” brought out by Rudolf Koch in association with Rudolf Gerstung
at Offenbach, and published by Wilhelm Gerstung. In these books, which
are also genuinely German in their contents, everything is expressly
avoided which in any way deviates from the considerations of chief
importance—proper spacing of the letters and the well-balanced
composition of the page of letterpress in Koch’s essentially German
fount, together with uniform excellence of workmanship throughout.
Thus only the title-pages are specially designed, and the body of
the letterpress is but sparingly relieved with the imposing initials
belonging to this fount; but the bindings, with their cover-papers cut
and printed by the artist himself, also bear witness to the virile
beauty of his art. Of a more arresting and luxurious character are the
productions of the Ernst Ludwig Press of the Grand Duke of Hesse, the
artistic supervision of which has been entrusted to F. W. Kleukens;
and the costly editions de luxe of the Pan-Press of Berlin, which
are embellished with lithographs by Slevogt, Corinth and Pascin, or
etchings by Geiger or Walser. Such productions, however, are beyond the
scope of this work.

What Germany is now able to offer in the art of book production is
superabundantly shown in the International Exhibition which is being
held this year at Leipzig. That after barely a score of years we should
have seriously ventured to invite the civilised races to peaceful
competition in this special domain is a proof that we are conscious of
the value of our work, and do not fear the verdict of the world.

[Illustration: ORNAMENT DESIGNED BY PROF. F. W. KLEUKENS, FOR D.
STEMPEL, FRANKFURT A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “ANTIQUA” TYPE. DESIGNED BY PROF. PETER BEHRENS CAST
BY GEBR. KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “ANTIQUA” TYPE. DESIGNED BY PROF. PETER BEHRENS CAST
BY GEBR. KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “MEDIÆVAL” TYPE. DESIGNED BY PROF. PETER BEHRENS
CAST BY GEBR. KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “MEDIÆVAL” TYPE. DESIGNED BY PROF. PETER BEHRENS
CAST BY GEBR. KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “KURSIV” TYPE. DESIGNED BY PROF. PETER BEHRENS CAST
BY GEBR. KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: A GERMAN TYPE DESIGNED BY RUDOLF KOCH CAST BY GEBR.
KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: A GERMAN TYPE DESIGNED BY RUDOLF KOCH CAST BY GEBR.
KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: A GERMAN TYPE DESIGNED BY RUDOLF KOCH CAST BY GEBR.
KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: A GERMAN TYPE DESIGNED BY RUDOLF KOCH CAST BY GEBR.
KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “MEDIÆVAL” TYPE. DESIGNED BY PROF. WALTER TIEMANN,
CAST BY GEBR. KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “MEDIÆVAL” TYPE. DESIGNED BY PROF. WALTER TIEMANN,
CAST BY GEBR. KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “MEDIÆVAL-KURSIV” TYPE. DESIGNED BY PROF. WALTER
TIEMANN, CAST BY GEBR. KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “TRIANON” TYPE. DESIGNED BY HEINRICH WIEYNK CAST BY
THE BAUERSCHE GIESSEREI, FRANKFURT A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “WIEYNK-KURSIV” TYPE. DESIGNED BY HEINRICH WIEYNK
CAST BY THE BAUERSCHE GIESSEREI, FRANKFURT A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “SCHLANKE KLEUKENS-ANTIQUA” TYPE. DESIGNED BY PROF.
F. W. KLEUKENS, CAST BY THE BAUERSCHE GIESSEREI, FRANKFURT A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “SCHWABACHER” TYPE. DESIGNED BY HEINZ KÖNIG. CAST BY
EMIL GURSCH, BERLIN]

[Illustration: THE “HELGA-ANTIQUA” TYPE. DESIGNED BY PROFESSOR F. W.
KLEUKENS, CAST BY D. STEMPEL, FRANKFURT A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “HÖLZL-MEDIÆVAL” TYPE. DESIGNED BY EMIL HÖLZL, CAST
BY D. STEMPEL, FRANKFURT A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “HÖLZL-MEDIÆVAL” TYPE. DESIGNED BY EMIL HÖLZL, CAST
BY D. STEMPEL, FRANKFURT A.M.]

[Illustration: THE “INGEBORG-ANTIQUA” TYPE. DESIGNED BY PROFESSOR F. W.
KLEUKENS, CAST BY D. STEMPEL, FRANKFURT A.M.]

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGES DESIGNED BY PROF. F. H. EHMCKE PUBLISHED BY
EUGEN DIEDERICHS]

[Illustration: ORNAMENTS DESIGNED BY PROF. F. W. KLEUKENS, FOR THE
BAUERSCHE GIESSEREI, FRANKFURT A.M.]

[Illustration: ORNAMENTS DESIGNED BY PROF. WALTER TIEMANN, FOR GEBR.
KLINGSPOR, OFFENBACH A.M.]

[Illustration: INITIAL LETTERS AND ORNAMENTS DESIGNED BY PROF. F. W.
KLEUKENS, FOR D. STEMPEL, FRANKFURT A.M.]

[Illustration: HEAD-PIECES BY EMIL PREETORIUS FOR DAUDET’S “TARTARIN DE
TARASCON.” PUBLISHED BY DER GELBE VERLAG, MÜNCHEN-DACHAU]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN MOROCCO, WITH GOLD AND BLACK
TOOLING DESIGNED BY P. A. DEMETER, EXECUTED BY HÜBEL AND DENCK]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN LEMON YELLOW MOROCCO, WITH GREEN INLAY
AND GOLD TOOLING DESIGNED BY P. A. DEMETER, EXECUTED BY HÜBEL AND
DENCK]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING.
DESIGNED BY P. A. DEMETER EXECUTED BY HÜBEL AND DENCK]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BROWN LEATHER, WITH BLIND TOOLING.
DESIGNED BY PROF. JOH. VINCENZ CISSARZ, EXECUTED BY AD. BÜHLER]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN SEA-GREEN MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING DESIGNED BY KARL KÖSTER, EXECUTED BY HERDER’S BINDERY, FREIBURG]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN DARK RED MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING DESIGNED BY KARL KÖSTER, EXECUTED BY HERDER’S BINDERY,
FREIBURG]

[Illustration: BOOK BINDING IN ORANGE YELLOW MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND
BLIND TOOLING. BY PAUL KERSTEN]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN NEAT’S LEATHER, WITH PUNCHED AND TANNED
ORNAMENTATION. BY PAUL KERSTEN]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN RED MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING.
BY PAUL KERSTEN]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY PAUL KERSTEN]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BUFF MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY PAUL KERSTEN]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY PAUL KERSTEN]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN RED CALF, WITH INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING. BY
PAUL KERSTEN]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN PIGSKIN, WITH TOOLING BY
PAUL KERSTEN]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN DARK BLUE CALF, WITH GOLD TOOLING.
DESIGNED BY PROF. HUGO STEINER-PRAG, EXECUTED BY HÜBEL AND DENCK]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN VELLUM, WITH GILT ORNAMENTATION. DESIGNED
BY PROF. HUGO STEINER-PRAG, EXECUTED BY HÜBEL AND DENCK]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN LEATHER, WITH GOLD TOOLING. DESIGNED BY
PROF. HUGO STEINER-PRAG, EXECUTED BY HÜBEL AND DENCK]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN LEATHER, WITH GOLD TOOLING. DESIGNED BY
PROF. HUGO STEINER-PRAG, EXECUTED BY HÜBEL AND DENCK]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN LEATHER, WITH SILVER CLASPS. DESIGNED BY
PROF. JOH. VINCENZ CISSARZ, EXECUTED BY KARL STRENGER]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDINGS IN LEATHER, WITH GOLD TOOLING. DESIGNED BY
PROF. JOH. VINCENZ CISSARZ, EXECUTED BY GUSTAV FRÖLICH]

[Illustration: BINDING CASE. DESIGNED BY PROF. JOH. VINCENZ CISSARZ]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE. DESIGNED BY KARL KÖSTER]

[Illustration: VELLUM BINDING. DESIGNED BY KARL KÖSTER]

[Illustration: VELLUM BINDING, WITH BATIK ORNAMENTATION DESIGNED BY
KARL KÖSTER]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN LEATHER, WITH GOLD TOOLING DESIGNED BY
KARL KÖSTER]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN WHITE PIGSKIN, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING BY FRANZ WEISSE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN NATURAL COLOURED PIGSKIN, WITH BLIND
TOOLING. BY FRANZ WEISSE]

[Illustration: PARCHMENT BINDING, WITH BATIK ORNAMENTATION BY FRANZ
WEISSE]

[Illustration: VELLUM BINDING. DESIGNED BY RUDOLF KOCH]

[Illustration: HALF-CALF AND PAPER BINDING. DESIGNED BY RUDOLF KOCH]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASES IN LEATHER AND CLOTH. DESIGNED BY PROF.
JOH. VINCENZ CISSARZ]

[Illustration: BACKS OF LEATHER BINDING-CASES DESIGNED BY PAUL RENNER]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE. DESIGNED BY PAUL RENNER]

[Illustration: BACKS OF LEATHER BINDING-CASES DESIGNED BY PAUL RENNER]

[Illustration: DESIGNED BY PROF. EMANUEL VON SEIDL]

[Illustration: DESIGNED BY “L”]

[Illustration: DESIGNED BY FRITZ SCHOLL]

[Illustration: DESIGNED BY EMANUEL JOSEPH MARGOLD

BINDING-CASES DESIGNED FOR ALEXANDER KOCH, DARMSTADT]

[Illustration: PAPER COVERS. DESIGNED BY EMIL PREETORIUS]

[Illustration: END-PAPER DESIGNED BY PROF. PAUL LANG-KURZ]

[Illustration: END-PAPER DESIGNED BY PROF. PAUL LANG-KURZ]



FRANCE

THE ART OF THE BOOK IN FRANCE. BY E. A. TAYLOR


Lingering in thought over the far-away days of the glorious
bibliographic and typographical past that France has enjoyed, one
finds little has happened, amidst all the changes which have swept
over those arts in recent years, to disturb the employment of her
bibliopegic artists. There are few of her remaining old streets through
which one passes without being attracted in one way or another to the
sign of the _relieur-doreur_. To give a remarkable instance of this
unique position one has only to recall the sale of the collection of
the Vicomte de la Croix-Laval in 1902, in which the books were not
catalogued in the names of the author but in that of the bookbinder.
But this is not surprising when we consider the excellent craftsmanship
of such men as G. Canape, Chambolle-Duru, S. David, Charles Lanoë,
Marius Michel, G. Mercier, René Kieffer, and the fascinating execution
of the designs on vellum by André Mare. Yet it is not uncommon to
hear the travellers’ comment that books with an attractive outside
appearance are non-existent in Paris. Unlike England, France expends
little additional labour on the lasting, apart from the certain
attractive qualities of cloth or paper-covered board casings, while
modern end-papers, as known in other countries, have so far found
little consideration. Much energy is focussed on the _edition de luxe_,
embodying the work of popular artists, good paper and type, the result
being a limited number of paper-covered volumes, all excellently
produced, but very often disappointing in their page arrangement and
design and the suitability of text to type and type to illustration.

But this leads me into an explanatory discussion on the old printer’s
independence of other craftsmen whose art is now divided into separate
and recognised trades. And it is remarkable that it should be so
to such a great extent, for fewer places other than Paris are so
sympathetically enjoined to their artists. It may be the fault of the
artist who is more enwrapped in his craft than the art evolved in its
ultimate end.

Within the last few years, however, printing has vastly improved, and
this has been due in no small measure to the efforts of MM. G. Peignot
and Sons. As early as 1900 the Peignot type foundry introduced a new
typography with frankly modern tendencies, the best testimony of their
efforts at that time being the productions of “Grasset,” following
with the “Auriol,” and later on the Bellery-Desfontaines types and
ornaments. At the same time, not desiring to lose touch with that which
in typography of the past is most intrinsically valuable for to-day,
a little booklet issued lately, entitled “Les Cochins,” by the two
brothers Peignot, clearly demonstrates the results of their attainment.
This booklet, apart from being a catalogue of their research, has
behind it the primary desire that editors and printers should try to
realise the significance of a typographical revival in France, and the
influence it would have on all branches of the graphic arts.

Despite the remarkable progress that process work has made, apart from
the most ingenious inventions and machinery being of French origin,
wood-engravers and wood-engraving, as employed for illustrative
purposes, maintain a prominent and more unique position in France than
in any other European country. Amongst the most recent productions
of note “Daphnis et Chloé” (p. 190), printed and published by M. L.
Pichon, is uncommonly good, in fact all that issues from M. Pichon’s
little establishment is unusually refined. Then there are others, but
space will not permit me to dwell on each one’s excellent qualities.
However, I must not neglect to mention the remarkable edition of “Le
Grand Testament de François Villon,” which I have seen in preparation
by M. A. M. Peignot, with illustrations and especially designed
type by Bernard Naudin; also some thoughtful little volumes in the
series “Les Maîtres du Livre,” published by MM. Georges Crès et Cie
under the direction of M. Ad. van Bever; and if it were not for the
thoughtful, untiring efforts of such editors as M. Lucien Vogel, of
the “Gazette du Bon Ton,” and publishers of _éditions d’art_ as MM.
A. Blaizot, L. Carteret, H. Floury, F. Ferroud, Jules Meynial, R.
Helleu, René Kieffer, E. Rey, Octave Charpentier, E. Lévy, and H.
Piazza, the bibliophiles of Paris would have a poor output from which
to select. From amongst others the notable and varied publications
of the libraries Ollendorff, Larousse, Hachette et Cie, A. Fayard et
Cie, Caiman Lévy, Plon-Nourrit et Cie, Adrian Sporck, L. Michaud, E.
Flammarion and A. Vaillant should be noted. Finally I must not forget
to mention the powerful influence of the “Société des Amis des Livres,”
“Les Cent Bibliophiles,” the “Société Normande du Livre illustré,” and
the “Société du Livre d’Art Contemporain”; and without a prolonged
description of each _Société_ it must suffice to mention the prosperity
the “Société des Amis des Livres” enjoys under the presidency of M.
Henri Beraldi, the originator of the “Société des Bibliophiles de
Paris” and a publisher of note. Amongst his first efforts “Paysages
Parisiens,” by Emile Goudeau, and G. Montorgueil’s “Paris au Hasard,”
both illustrated by Auguste Lepère, are the most distinguished, and to
him my thanks are due for his kindly interest in my bibliographical
quest, and to the President of “Les Cent Bibliophiles,” M. Eugène
Rodrigues, for his generosity in placing at my disposal pages and
illustrations from his admirable collection.

After all, it is to men like these, and to the organizations to which
they belong, that France owes the prominent bibliographical position
she holds, and the freedom her excellent artists and craftsmen enjoy in
retaining for us in fitting garb the minds of the great, be they echoes
of the past or turbulent cries in the dark, the songs of the open and
sunlight, the sonnets of autumn and shade, or the love in the laughter
of children.

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY P. E. VIBERT, FOR MM. GEORGES
CRÈS ET CIE]

[Illustration: PAGE PRINTED IN “GARAMOND” TYPE (ENGRAVED FOR FRANÇOIS
I), WITH WOODCUT BY PAUL EMILE COLIN, LENT BY MONS. R. HELLEU]

[Illustration: PAGE PRINTED IN ROMAN FACE TYPE DESIGNED BY GEORGE
AURIOL, CAST BY G. PEIGNOT ET FILS, PARIS]

[Illustration: PAGE PRINTED IN ITALIC FACE TYPE. DESIGNED BY GEORGE
AURIOL, CAST BY G. PEIGNOT ET FILS, PARIS]

[Illustration: PAGE PRINTED IN “NICOLAS COCHIN” TYPE, ADAPTED AND CAST
BY G. PEIGNOT ET FILS, PARIS]

[Illustration: TYPE AND ORNAMENTS DESIGNED BY GRASSET CAST BY G.
PEIGNOT ET FILS, PARIS]

[Illustration: PAGE FROM A. DE MUSSET’S “LES NUITS” (JULES MEYNIAL,
PARIS), PRINTED IN TYPE DESIGNED BY ADOLPHE GIRALDON CAST BY LA MAISON
DEBERNY]

[Illustration: PAGE FROM A. DE MUSSET’S “LES NUITS” (JULES MEYNIAL,
PARIS). PRINTED IN TYPE DESIGNED BY ADOLPHE GIRALDON CAST BY LA MAISON
DEBERNY]

[Illustration: PAGE FROM “DAPHNIS ET CHLOÉ.” PRINTED IN “JENSON” TYPE
BY L. PICHON, PARIS, WITH WOODCUT BY CARLÈGLE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND TOOLING
DESIGNED BY ADOLPHE GIRALDON, EXECUTED BY G. CANAPE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND TOOLING.
BY G. CANAPE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDINGS IN LEVANT MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND TOOLING.
BY CHAMBOLLE-DURU]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING. BY S. DAVID]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN RED MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING.
BY S. DAVID]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING BY RENÈ KIEFFER]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN DARK BLUE FRENCH MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND
GOLD TOOLING BY S. DAVID]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN FRENCH MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING DESIGNED BY ETIENNE DINET, EXECUTED BY DURVAND

(_In the possession of Mons. H. Piazza_)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN FRENCH MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING
DESIGNED BY J. DE LA NÉZIÈRE, EXECUTED BY DURVAND

(_In the possession of Mons. H. Piazza_)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN PARCHMENT, TOOLED AND COLOURED BY ANDRÉ
MARE

(_In the possession of Mons. Paul Adam_)]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN PARCHMENT, TOOLED AND COLOURED. BY ANDRÉ
MARE

(_In the possession of Mons. L. Vauxcelles_)]

[Illustration: (_In the possession of Madame d’Aleman._)

BOOKBINDING IN PARCHMENT, TOOLED AND COLOURED. BY ANDRÉ MARE]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGNED BY G. AURIOL. FOR MAISON LAROUSSE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING
DESIGNED BY A. SEGAUD, EXECUTED BY P. SOUZE

(_Lent by Maison Hachette & Cie._)]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGNED BY G. AURIOL FOR MAISON LAROUSSE]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASE DESIGNED BY LUCIEN LAFORGE FOR MAISON
LAROUSSE]



AUSTRIA

THE ART OF THE BOOK IN AUSTRIA. BY A. S. LEVETUS


[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY R. RŮŽIČKA.
PUBLISHED BY THE MANES SOCIETY, PRAGUE]

Like other countries Austria has, in all that relates to the book, gone
through periods of high developments, followed by a time of inactivity
which could but lead to eventual decay. That in the past many works
of a high artistic value as regards printing, illustrations, type,
and binding, in fact all the qualities which go to make an artistic
production, were issued by the various presses, many books still
existing go to prove. On the whole the printers of Austria were never
very numerous, and she has never been a book-producing centre, even in
the Capital itself, as have been many German cities, such as Nuremberg,
Augsburg and Leipzig. Under the Empress Maria Theresa the art of the
book flourished, for being possessed of a fine artistic nature, she
granted many privileges to the makers of books, and set great value
on such volumes as were real works of art. Her son, Joseph II, who
during his youth, following the custom of the time, adopted a trade,
chose printing, and mastered it thoroughly. He likewise granted certain
privileges to the printers and in every way encouraged the art. During
the second half of the eighteenth century the Art of the Book developed
considerably. New types were invented, woodcut engravings gave way to
copper engravings, the paper was of the best quality, the bindings of
the finest leather and of beautiful design, everything, including the
end-papers, reached the highest standard. But reaction was inevitable
in Austria as it was in other countries, for the age of machinery had
come. Hand-made paper, which had furnished a staple trade in Moravia
since 1520, when the first paper-mill was founded in Gross-Ullersdorf,
deteriorated; the printing-machine took the place of the hand-press;
the fine hand-tooled leather bindings were forced to yield to the more
commercial article.

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY VLADIMÍR ŽUPANSKÝ. PUBLISHED
BY THE MANES SOCIETY, PRAGUE]

But in Austria, as elsewhere, the Art of the Book was to be reborn,
and it was William Morris who was to give the impulse, for the fame
of the Kelmscott Press had reached Vienna. The men of the new school,
Alfred Roller, Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Baron Myrbach, Rudolf
von Larisch, and others have spread the new teaching. The moment was
the right one, the need of reform in all and everything concerning
book-production was recognised as part of the programme when the
general question of the teaching of art was raised in 1897; but the
regeneration of the Art of the Book really dated from the beginning
of the present century. It must not be thought that no efforts had
been made to rescue the art previous to the great reform. Far from it.
Twenty-five years ago the first steps were taken by the founding of
the Imperial “Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt für graphische Kunst,” an
institution for teaching and experimenting in graphic art, where from
the first excellent work was done under Hofrat Eder. The “Hof- und
Staatsdruckerei” (Imperial and State Printing Office) had been called
into existence eighty years previously. But the great impetus was given
some dozen years ago when men trained in the new school of thought
in decorative art were appointed teachers in the various schools and
institutions.

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY J. BENDA. PUBLISHED BY THE
ŽENSKÝ KLUB, PRAGUE]

[Illustration: PAGE DESIGNED BY HEDWIG SCHMIEDL, FOR THE IMPERIAL
GRAPHISCHE LEHR-UND VERSUCHSANSTALT, VIENNA]

[Illustration: PAGE DESIGNED BY BERTA BINDTNER, FOR THE IMPERIAL
GRAPHISCHE LEHR-UND VERSUCHSANSTALT, VIENNA]

The Art of the Book in Austria in its modern aspect is but young, but
its development is most interesting. All that is best in graphic art
of the past served as the ground-work on which to build the art of our
time; and this artistic basis being of so fine a calibre, sound and
sure, has led to very satisfactory results. First, in the teaching
of ornamental writing under Professor Rudolf von Larisch. He has
expounded his tenets in his “Unterricht in ornamentaler Schrift,” a
work of great value to all interested in this subject. What he aims
at is form, configuration and spacing, to add rhythm to the letters
themselves, and to harmonise one with another in the building-up of
the word; for even the simplest of words rightly rendered should be
decorative. He does not consider the creating of new forms of paramount
importance, but sets much store on the relation of the letter to the
word, the word to the sentence. These should fit into one another
in the same manner as the component parts of a perfect piece of
architecture, for, as in architecture we see the foundation of all
art, so in lettering the basis of all book decoration is to be sought.
This theory is supported by the study of early printed works and more
particularly so in those printed towards the end of the sixteenth
century. Here we see the aim was to achieve harmony in type, ornament
and illustration. This, too, is the aim of those who produce artistic
books other than those issued by the ordinary publisher. Unfortunately
there are but few of the former class in Austria. But many of the
Austrian artists are engaged in illustrating books for German and
other publishers. In Vienna, Artur Wolf has published some very fine
works illustrated by Franz von Bayros, Ferdinand Staeger, and other
artists; Konegen’s series of children’s books, illustrated by Marianne
Hitschmann-Steinberger, are full of charm and understanding of child
life; Gerlach and Wiedling’s books for children have been illustrated
by various artists: Professor Czeschka, Karl Fahringer, F. Staeger,
Franz Wacik, Fräulein Frimberger among others. That excellent work
is being done may be gathered from our illustrations. Fräulein C.
Hasselwander has done very good work as an illustrator of children’s
stories; C. Köystrand has won renown as an illustrator of refined
humour; Ferdinand Staeger is one of the best-known illustrators of the
“Münchner Jugend,” and a draughtsman of great variety and vitality;
Wenzel Oswald and Gustav Kalhammer are past students of the Imperial
“Kunstgewerbeschule” in Vienna and are essentially decorative in their
art; while Dagobert Peche hails from the Imperial Academy and his work
is of a highly decorative character. Alfred Keller is an architect by
profession, as is Dagobert Peche, but he is also an illustrator of
books, his chief _forte_ lying in line drawing.

Some of the Austrian artists excel in the designing of book-bindings,
and it is safe to say their work will achieve lasting fame. The mention
of names such as Professors Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser and Czeschka,
are sufficient to vouch for this assertion; Anton Hofer and Rudolf
Geyer, both past students of the Imperial Arts and Crafts School, have
also done some very beautiful work which will live. All these artists
have produced bindings which in quality of design, material, and
workmanship are all that could be desired.

In the designing of new types excellent results have been achieved.
“Czeschka’s Antiqua,” the invention of Professor Czeschka, is extremely
beautiful in its simplicity. It has been acquired by Messrs.
Genzsch and Heyse, of Hamburg, and is illustrated on page 211.

[Illustration: COVER DESIGN BY F. KYSELA, FOR NOVA EDICE, PRAGUE]

Dr. Rudolf Junk’s new type is characterized by the same high qualities
though it differs widely in form from that of Professor Czeschka;
Herr Mader’s type is less clear, though it is interesting. For this
Professor Hoffmann has made the borders and ornament. Fräulein Schmidt
may also be counted amongst those who have created new and interesting
types. These have all been published by the “Hof-und Staatsdruckerei.”

In the provinces Bohemia holds the first place in the Art of the Book,
which is but natural considering how high a prestige Prague, Pilsen,
Kuttenberg, and other of her towns enjoyed in bygone ages. In modern
graphic art and book-decoration many Czech artists have distinguished
themselves. The various reproductions here show that their inspirations
are those of the true artist. To these must be added Zdenka Braunerová,
Adolf Kašpar, and Vojtěch Preissig. That the publishers are
collaborating with the artists is a good sign, and the next few years
will no doubt see further developments. The fact that the modern
movement in Bohemia in the Art of the Book is still in its infancy, and
that, in spite of this, so much that is good has already been done,
speaks well for the future.

[Illustration: TAILPIECE DESIGNED BY HEDWIG SCHMIEDL, FOR THE IMPERIAL
GRAPHISCHE LEHR-UND VERSUCHSANSTALT, VIENNA]

[Illustration: ORNAMENT BY WENZEL OSWALD]

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY F. KYSELA. PUBLISHED BY THE “NOVA
EDICE,” PRAGUE]

[Illustration: DEDICATION PAGE DESIGNED BY V. H. BRUNNER, FOR PUSHKIN’S
“HISTORY OF THE CZAR SALTAN.” PUBLISHED BY THE “SPOLEK ČESKÝCH
BIBLIOFILŮ”]

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY J. BENDA. PUBLISHED BY HEJDA A
TUČEK, PRAGUE]

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY VLADIMÍR ŽUPANSKÝ.
PUBLISHED BY THE “SPOLEK MANES,” PRAGUE]

[Illustration: PAGES OF TYPE AND BORDER DESIGNED BY PROFESSOR C. O.
CZESCHKA, CAST BY GENZSCH AND HEYSE, HAMBURG]

[Illustration: EXAMPLES OF ORNAMENTAL WRITING BY PROF. RUD. VON LARISCH
FROM “UNTERRICHT IN ORNAMENTALER SCHRIFT”]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN RED SHAGREEN, WITH EMBOSSED GOLD
ORNAMENTATION DESIGNED BY RUDOLPH GEYER, EXECUTED BY ALBERT GÜNTHER]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLACK SHAGREEN, WITH EMBOSSED GOLD
ORNAMENTATION DESIGNED BY RUDOLPH GEYER, EXECUTED BY ALBERT GÜNTHER]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN RUSSIAN LEATHER, WITH INLAY AND TOOLING.
DESIGNED BY HENRYK UZIEMBLO, EXECUTED BY ROBERT JAHODA]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN RUSSIAN LEATHER, WITH INLAY AND TOOLING.
DESIGNED BY HENRYK UZIEMBLO, EXECUTED BY ROBERT JAHODA]

[Illustration: (_In the possession of H. E. Dr. Friedrich
Piffl, Prince-Bishop of Vienna_)

SILVER BOOKBINDING, WITH LEATHER INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING. BY ANTON
HOFER]

[Illustration: LEATHER BOOKBINDING, WITH INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING.
DESIGNED BY PROF. JOSEF HOFFMANN EXECUTED BY THE WIENER WERKSTAETTE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BUCKSKIN, WITH INLAY AND TOOLING.
DESIGNED BY PROF. JOSEF HOFFMANN EXECUTED BY THE WIENER WERKSTAETTE]

[Illustration: PAPER COVER DESIGNED BY DORA GROSS]

[Illustration: PAPER COVER DESIGNED BY HANSI BURGER-DIVECKY, PRINTED IN
THE IMPERIAL GRAPHISCHE LEHR-UND-VERSUCHSANSTALT, VIENNA]

[Illustration: PAPER COVER DESIGNED BY ROBERT FUCHS, PRINTED IN THE
IMPERIAL GRAPHISCHE LEHR-UND-VERSUCHSANSTALT, VIENNA]

[Illustration: PAPER COVER DESIGNED BY GUSTAV KALHAMMER]

[Illustration: PAPER COVER DESIGNED BY ANTON HOFER. FOR THEYER UND
HARDTMUTH]

[Illustration: PAPER COVER DESIGNED BY F. KOBLIHA]

[Illustration: TAILPIECE AND COVER DESIGN BY HEDWIG SCHMIEDL]

[Illustration: BORDER AND END-PAPER DESIGNS BY ALFRED KELLER. FOR L.
STAAKMANN, LEIPZIG]

[Illustration: ORNAMENTS AND END-PAPER DESIGN BY DAGOBERT PECHE]

[Illustration: INITIAL LETTER AND BORDER DESIGNED BY PROF. C. O.
CZESCHKA. FOR GENZSCH AND HEYSE, HAMBURG]

[Illustration: ORNAMENTS AND TAILPIECES BY WENZEL OSWALD]

[Illustration: ORNAMENTS BY GUSTAV KALHAMMER]

[Illustration: DECORATIVE ILLUSTRATIONS BY FERDINAND STAEGER]

[Illustration: DECORATIVE ILLUSTRATIONS BY FERDINAND STAEGER]

[Illustration: DECORATIVE ILLUSTRATIONS BY ALFRED KELLER, FOR R. H.
BARTSCH’S “BITTERSÜSSE LIEBESGESCHICHTE” PUBLISHED BY L. STAAKMANN,
LEIPZIG]

[Illustration: DECORATIVE ILLUSTRATION BY ALFRED KELLER FOR “DAS BUCH
DER KLEINEN KLEINEN” PUBLISHED BY L. STAAKMANN, LEIPZIG]

[Illustration: DECORATIVE ILLUSTRATION BY C. HASSELWANDER]

[Illustration: DECORATIVE ILLUSTRATION BY C. KÖYSTRAND FOR “PIERROT ALS
SCHILDWACHE.” PUBLISHED BY S. CZEIGER]

[Illustration: INITIAL LETTER BY GUSTAV MARISCH]

[Illustration: DECORATIVE ILLUSTRATIONS BY MARIANNE
HITSCHMANN-STEINBERGER FOR “KONEGEN’S KINDERBÜCHER.” PUBLISHED BY
KONEGEN, VIENNA]



THE ART OF THE BOOK IN HUNGARY

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE WRITTEN IN CORK. BY BLASIUS BUSAY (ARTS AND
CRAFTS SCHOOL, BUDAPEST)]


The development of art in Hungary reached its highest point in the
fifteenth century. The influence of the Italian renaissance made itself
felt in this country sooner than anywhere else, for Mathias Corvinus
gathered round him at his Court a great many Italian artists and
humanists, and acquired numerous finely painted books and manuscripts.
The few remaining treasures of his library, called _corvinas_, are
wonderful examples of renaissance book-illustrations, mostly the work
of Italian miniaturists, for it would seem that Hungarian artists were
not employed by the King. Political conflicts and wars put an end to
the progress of art, and then came the domination of the Turks, who
destroyed, or allowed to perish, the existing monuments of art.

There are many reasons to account for the long period of depression in
book-production and illustrative art which followed. Up to as late as
the middle of the nineteenth century the educated classes in Hungary
adopted Latin for conversation, and it was also the official and legal
language of the country. Students went to Italy and Germany to acquire
culture. Consequently foreign influences were paramount, and only the
cheapest books were produced at home. The native typography could not
compete with that of other countries, the art of the book fell into
decay, and Hungarian artists were only employed in work of lesser
importance.

The books which have been published in Hungary during the last few
years show a distinct advance when compared with those previously
produced. This is in a large measure due to the training offered at
the National Arts and Crafts School at Budapest, where opportunity
is given for the study of typography, and characters based on the
national art have been introduced and popularized. There is a special
class for designing script based upon the best of the old national
manuscripts which combine the most desirable qualities—legibility and
artistic form. Three excellent examples of the work of the students are
reproduced on pages 237 to 239.

[Illustration: HEADPIECE AND INITIAL LETTER BY ALEXANDER NAGY.
PUBLISHED BY THE “JÓKAI” PRINTING OFFICE]

Hungary is happy in possessing a number of really clever book
decorators, though many of them have settled outside their native
country, and their work has in some respects little of the
purely national characteristics. A notable example of this is to be
found in the drawings of the Marquis Franz von Bayros, a Hungarian
by race, Croatia being his native province, whose work bears no
relation to his nationality. Delicate, refined, and eminently
decorative, it possesses a grace which recalls the poetic charm of
the _fêtes galantes_, and is yet, in its technical dexterity and
subtle comprehension of the requirements of black-and-white, modern in
feeling. We reproduce some charming examples of this artist’s work.

Very different in conception and treatment, but more national in
character, is the decorative illustration by Charles Kós (page 236) for
his poem, “The Death of Attila”; while other eminent book-decorators
are Willy Pogány, many of whose drawings have been published in
England, Alexander Nagy and Kriesch-Körösföi, both leaders of the
famous Gödöllö group of artists. Nagy is a master of line, endowed with
a poetic imagination, and he adopts with wonderful success those forms
in which the Hungarian nation is so rich. Characteristic of his art is
the headpiece shown on this page. A quaintly treated frontispiece by
Blasius Busay is also reproduced. The original design was executed in
burnt cork.

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY FRANZ VON BAYROS PUBLISHED BY
ARTUR WOLF, VIENNA]

[Illustration: DECORATIVE ILLUSTRATIONS BY FRANZ VON BAYROS PUBLISHED
BY ARTUR WOLF, VIENNA]

[Illustration: DECORATIVE ILLUSTRATION BY FRANZ VON BAYROS FOR VON
SCHLOEMPS’S “DER PERVERSE MAIKÄFER” PUBLISHED BY GEORG MÜLLER, MUNICH]

[Illustration: BOOK-COVER DESIGN BY FRANZ VON BAYROS, FOR L. H.
ROSEGGER’S “VON KÖNIGEN UND JAKOBINERN” PUBLISHED BY SEIFFERT,
KOSTRITZ]

[Illustration: “DEATH OF ATTILA.”—DECORATIVE ILLUSTRATION BY CHARLES
KOS]

[Illustration: EXAMPLE OF WRITING WITH REED PEN. BY PAUL BENCSIK
STUDENT OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS SCHOOLS, BUDAPEST]

[Illustration: EXAMPLE OF WRITING WITH REED PEN. BY IMRE KATONA STUDENT
OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS SCHOOL, BUDAPEST]

[Illustration: EXAMPLE OF WRITING WITH REED PEN. BY IMRE KATONA STUDENT
OF THE ARTS AND CRAFTS SCHOOL, BUDAPEST]

[Illustration: ORNAMENT BY FRANZ VON BAYROS, FOR “DIE SECHZEHNTE
EHEFREUDE.” PUBLISHED BY ARTUR WOLF, VIENNA]



SWEDEN

THE ART OF THE BOOK IN SWEDEN BY AUGUST BRUNIUS


[Illustration: PAGE FROM “A HISTORY OF SWEDISH WOODCUTS.” ORNAMENTS BY
ARTUR SAHLÉN. PRINTED BY NORSTEDT UND SÖNER]

In Sweden, as elsewhere, the latter half of the nineteenth century
brought about a brighter period for the Art of the Book as regards
typography, quality of paper, and binding. Still the decay had hardly
been as great as in other branches of decoration and handicraft.
Two publishing firms, P. A. Norstedt, Stockholm, and Berling, Lund,
have maintained a high standard of book-making. On the other hand, a
more artistic character was adopted between 1870 and 1880 by using
traditional means, by imitating Gothic manuscripts, or by a somewhat
arbitrary use of Old Northern ornamental art. The renaissance, which in
Sweden burst forth at the beginning of the nineties, originated in a
revival of interest in the decorative arts, especially in the textiles
of the Viking and Saga periods. The Old Northern spirit ran like an
undercurrent through the life of the whole country, and culminated in
Artur Hazelius’s epoch-making museum work, Skansen and the Northern
Museum. Just at the right moment there was added a practical study of
modern bookmaking in England and on the Continent. A whole generation
was seized by the new ideas which were proclaimed with such power by
William Morris.

To initiate a movement, combining as it does artistic and practical
knowledge, a passionate idealist is required. Such an idealist is
Waldemar Zachrisson, a printer of Gothenburg (born 1861). He studied
in Sweden and at the best printing firms in Hamburg, Leipzig, Vienna,
Berlin, and St. Petersburg, and developed his taste by constant study
of the masterpieces of great times and the new English and American
fine printing practised by Morris and De Vinne. As soon as he had
secured his own great business he began to work for the raising of
the whole trade. He founded a union of experts, “Allmänna Svenska
Boktrycka-reföreningen” (Swedish Printers’ Society), which worked for the
establishment of the Museum of Industrial Art in Stockholm and the
Technical School for Industrial Art in Gothenburg. In a number of ways,
through artistic advertisements and articles in the trade papers, he
tried to prepare the ground for a higher standard in the printing-trade
generally, and his distinct practical outlook made his efforts
eminently successful.

Lately in Sweden the common feature in the aims for developing the art
of the book has been the accentuation of the national character. The
difficulties have here been considerable. As yet we do not possess a
fount designed by a Swedish artist, but the types we have are founded
on an old predilection for the Roman type. Already in 1550 the Roman
type had been introduced into Sweden. During the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries Swedish taste was concentrated upon Dutch and
French models. The Roman type which is now used in Sweden, and which
is cut in Hamburg, suggests Caslon’s somewhat modernized type. It is
called “Mediæval-Roman,” and has many advantages, is easy to read, and
has an unassuming simplicity. The light tone may perhaps sometimes seem
monotonously grey. English readers will certainly find its resemblance
to the English type, but will also easily discover the differences.

It is characteristic of Swedish printing that it appears to best
advantage and is most personal in publications of an occasional
character intended for a select public. The rest of the productions are
on a considerably lower level. To English and French tastes our _belles
lettres_ show an astonishing lack of typographical unity. There is a
great variety in the size and makeup, and also various many-coloured
paper covers, both of good and bad style, are used. However, an
improvement has occurred in the last few years, a quieter taste has
manifested itself. A good step forward is the excellent publication
of Swedish classics issued by the “Svenska Vitterhetssamfundet” (the
Swedish Literature Society), and printed at Albert Bonnier’s works.
Here a severe and pure style is combined with exquisite material, and
great care is bestowed upon the typography. An undertaking like this
would be a credit to any country. In equally good style is the Swedish
edition of Olaus Magnus’s “Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus,”
published by another society, the “Michaelisgillet” (the Michael
Guild). It was written about 1550 by the last Catholic Archbishop of
Sweden, who was one of the greatest travellers and most interesting
writers of the Renaissance. The text is illustrated by old woodcuts,
which had been carried out according to Olaus Magnus’s own designs.
Two volumes of this splendid work have been printed by Almqvist and
Wiksell, Uppsala.

[Illustration: PAGE FROM “BONDE-PRACTICA.” INITIAL LETTER BY LEON
WELAMSON. PRINTED BY BRÖDERNA-LAGERSTRÖM]

In a similar manner the great Handicraft Exhibition at Stockholm in
1909 produced four Swedish classics; they were given as prizes in a
lottery. These four books were arranged and printed by four different
firms, an achievement which could not have been accomplished ten years
earlier.

This general survey of the art of the book during the last decades
would be incomplete if it did not mention a printing firm which,
through its good typography, now occupies a prominent position. The two
brothers Hugo and Carl Lagerström have bestowed a great deal of labour
on trying to attain a higher level in printing. They learnt their trade
in Germany, England, and France, and worked for some years—one in
Stockholm, the other in Copenhagen—before they founded the Lagerström
Brothers printing firm in 1903. They have also taken a prominent part
in the arts and crafts movement generally. They started a paper called
the _Nordisk Boktryckarkonst_ (Northern Art of Printing), and founded
two societies, one of which is the abovementioned “Michaelisgillet.”
Dr. Isak Collijn, a distinguished librarian, was the third founder.

The first book Lagerström Brothers printed was a kind of typographical
prospectus. Among the eight volumes by August Strindberg there is a
chemical work called “Antibarbarus.” This book was decorated by a
young artist, Artur Sjögren, who is a book-decorator with a profound
knowledge of old Swedish typography. The book was printed in a small
choice edition on hand-made paper, and four pages are shown here (pp.
249 to 252). Since then Lagerström Brothers have published numerous
large and small books, always for a more limited public, but at a price
which only slightly exceeds the ordinary book-prices. Their productions
express the same ideas of compromise that the English Medici Society is
striving for.

[Illustration: PAPER COVER PRINTED BY NORSTEDT UND SÖNER]

The bibliophile public in Sweden leans towards the old books, and would
not support a real aristocratic book-business on new lines and with
modern aims. Lagerström Brothers, however, have printed some of the
most beautiful Swedish books, with and without decoration: a couple of
historical memoirs from the time of Charles XII; a series of small
books selected from old Swedish literature; and finally, a reprint of
a book which certainly has no equivalent in English literature, but
which all the same would probably have some interest for an English
public. The title is “Bonde-practica,” and it is a kind of text-book
for peasants in nature-study and hygiene, partly written in verse. The
book was published for the first time in 1662. It is a collection of
observations founded on the theories of astrology, and told with much
humour. This book reveals the Swedish outlook on life and the education
of the people in olden times. Leon Welamson, a young artist, has made
for the new edition of this curious old book some simple and vigorous
illustrations, which without being imitations are executed in the old
style. It is a masterpiece of Swedish typography.

Book illustrations and decoration play an important part in the modern
art of the book. Illustrated books have always been popular, and many
of our best artists of to-day began their careers as illustrators.
Carl Larsson is a typical Swedish illustrator and a distinguished
painter. He illustrates, in colour or black-and-white, his own text.
But he belongs to an older school in so far as he does not pay so
much attention to the claims of decoration. Olle Hjortzberg is a
comparatively young artist. He is in part influenced by the modern
English school of book decorators, and has done work that would satisfy
even the most exacting critics. He has acquired an extraordinary
mastery over the early Christian language of symbols, and has in his
books used it in an ornamental manner with great success. At present
he is engaged on a richly decorated “State” Bible, (“Gustav V’s Bible,”)
a gigantic undertaking, in which both artist and printer hope to
surpass themselves (p. 248).

While Olle Hjortzberg and Artur Sjögren are more closely attached to
the technique of the book, Einar Nerman, one of the youngest Swedish
artists, is more independent. He has illustrated several children’s
books and has done some caricatures. There is a touch of the rococo in
his drawing, and elegance combined with a bold wit which proves some
French influence. His curving lines bring forth a “roguishness” that
is unparalleled in Swedish art, and can compare with the best foreign
examples. The illustrations to the well-known tale by Hans Andersen,
“Peter the Swineherd” (p. 256), are purely original.

Finally, a few words regarding modern Swedish bookbinding. Our
productions have, from the sixteenth century up to the present time,
followed sometimes German and sometimes French models; during certain
periods, however, our craftsman have produced work important and
original enough to be called “Swedish.” The middle of the eighteenth
century especially was a flourishing age for the art of bookbinding.
A hundred years later the art began to lose its value and importance,
but before many decades had passed the first sign of an upward tendency
was noticed. It was in 1886, when Gustaf Hedberg returned from Paris
and London where he had been studying for a long time. He has designed
and carried out numerous bindings, and has been especially successful
in attaining a rich effect by small means. His ingenuity and ability
in giving even to a simple binding an original character are qualities
associated with the great craftsmen of all time.

The Countess Eva Sparre, _née_ Mannerheim, is at present our leading
artist in bookbinding, in the sense that the work is entirely her
own, independent of traditional style and original in composition, in
execution, and especially in colour-effects. She has not executed a
great number of bindings, but they are all distinguished by individual
character, very modest in their ornamentation, and exquisite in the
use of the materials. Miss Greta Morssing, who has chiefly studied the
modern English tooled work, is also an accomplished exponent of the art.

[Illustration: INITIAL LETTERS DESIGNED BY ARTUR SJÖGREN]

[Illustration: HALF-TITLE PAGE FROM GUSTAV V’S BIBLE. DESIGNED BY OLLE
HJORTZBERG. PRINTED BY BRÖDERNA LAGERSTRÖM]

[Illustration: PAGE FROM AUGUST STRINDBERG’S “ANTIBARBARUS.”
WITH DECORATIONS BY ARTUR SJÖGREN. PRINTED BY BRÖDERNA LAGERSTRÖM]

[Illustration: PAGE FROM AUGUST STRINDBERG’S “ANTIBARBARUS.”
WITH DECORATIONS BY ARTUR SJÖGREN. PRINTED BY BRÖDERNA LAGERSTRÖM]

[Illustration: PAGE FROM AUGUST STRINDBERG’S “ANTIBARBARUS.” WITH
INITIAL LETTER BY ARTUR SJÖGREN. PRINTED BY BRÖDERNA LAGERSTRÖM]

[Illustration: PAGE FROM AUGUST STRINDBERG’S “ANTIBARBARUS.”
PRINTED BY BRÖDERNA LAGERSTRÖM]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN NIGER MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY GRETA MORSSING]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN NIGER MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING. BY GRETA MORSSING]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN RED MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING.
BY GRETA MORSSING]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN TOOLED LEATHER. BY COUNTESS EVA
SPARRE]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN RED CALF, WITH GOLD TOOLING BY GUSTAF
HEDBERG]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BLUE MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD TOOLING
BY GUSTAF HEDBERG]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN GREEN MOROCCO, WITH GOLD TOOLING BY
GUSTAF HEDBERG]

[Illustration: BOOKBINDING IN BROWN MOROCCO, WITH INLAY AND GOLD
TOOLING BY GUSTAF HEDBERG]

[Illustration: HEAD-PIECES BY EINAR NERMAN FOR HANS ANDERSEN’S “PER
SVINAHERDE.” PUBLISHED BY P. A. NORSTEDT UND SÖNER]



AMERICA

THE ART OF THE BOOK IN AMERICA BY WILLIAM DANA ORCUTT


The Art of the Book in America received a tremendous impetus as a
result of the work of William Morris in England. Previous to that time
American printing showed no originality, the finest examples being
based firmly upon the best English work of the period. The highest
point of excellence was reached during the decade from 1860 to 1870,
and no better example of orthodox printing could be cited than the
“Life of Prescott,” produced by the University Press in 1864. After
1870, and down to the date of the Morris revival, well-made volumes
were issued from the University, the Riverside and the De Vinne
Presses, but the average quality deteriorated. The transition of
book-making from a trade to an art dates from the appearance of the
Kelmscott volumes.

Naturally enough, the early effect of the enthusiasm over Morris’s work
was the issuance of a series of monstrosities; but the very mistakes
made by these zealous typographical disciples were educational,
producing a momentum which finally brought excellent results. Those
who copied Morris failed; those who were encouraged by his departure
from the beaten track to think for themselves succeeded in retaining
the basic principles upon which the work of the master printers has
always firmly rested, applying them in the light of modern conditions,
and giving them originality by their individual experiments. Morris’s
work made men think, broke down the smugness of precedent, and enabled
printing to become an art.

Cobden-Sanderson’s work accomplished much in helping American
printing to assume a sane status after the hectic enthusiasm of the
Morris period. Students of typography came to realize that William
Morris belonged to the great decorators rather than to the master
printers; that it was his superb presswork, and the general harmony
of the factors which went into his books, rather than his typography
overloaded with design, which represented his real contribution to the
making of the Book Ideal. When the Doves Press, in continuing Morris’s
work, substituted a more classical fount of type, based upon an Italian
model of the fifteenth century, there was a quick response in America
in dropping the tendency towards the Gothic, engendered by the type
faces cut by the Kelmscott Press. During the next ten years more
original and better types were cut, and volumes were produced which
carried printing as an art to a higher point than it had previously
attained.

Of the types cut under the so-called Gothic influence, the “Renner”
of the De Vinne Press is among the best. Theodore L. De Vinne, whose
recent death removed the _doyen_ of American master printers, was
responsible for the well-sustained reputation of his Press during his
active association with it. As a technical master of typography, and
in his magnificent presswork, he translated himself into his books,
but the exactness of his training is reproduced in his translation of
Renner’s design into the rigidity of modern type. The page which is
reproduced here (p. 264), taken from one of the many superb Grolier
Club publications produced by the De Vinne Press, shows both the Renner
model and the modern expression of it as interpreted by Mr. De Vinne.
The oblique serif of the _e_,the fancy curve to the _h_, and the
superfluous curl at the top of the _g_ introduce features which are
foreign to the model, and give to the modern type a “jobbiness” which
unquestionably detracts from the otherwise dignified appearance of the
face.

The Gilliss Press, whose work is now suspended, has contributed its
share to the renaissance of printing in America. Its limited editions
of the books of William Loring Andrews and other volumes issued for
private distribution show excellence of workmanship and harmony in
conception rather than originality in treatment. Instead of specially
designed type, these volumes are rich in decoration, the artistic
quality of which ranks with the best.

At the Merrymount Press, Mr. D. Berkeley Updike has produced a number
of volumes which have made their impress upon American typography
because of his sincerity in carrying out his announced purpose of
“undertaking the work of to-day in the spirit of the best days of
printing.” Two special faces of type have been designed for the
Merrymount Press, both of which are among the successful faces cut
in America. The “Montallegro” type, designed by Herbert P. Horne, of
London, is used in the volumes of the “Humanistic Library,” issued by
Mr. Updike, of which a page is here given (p. 265). Of the type the
London _Athenæum_ says: “We are inclined to say not only that it is
better than any of the many attempts which have resulted from Morris’s
revival of the art of printing, but also that it is even more perfect
than any of the fifteenth-century founts on the study of which that
revival was based. It is ... absolutely without affectation ... and so
perfectly are the proportions of the letters harmonized that every page
is a thing of beauty. We regret that it was reserved for an American
printer to bring out such an admirable fount.... It is the first time
that a fount has been designed in modern times which satisfies at once
practical and æsthetic demands. Mr. Horne has solved a problem which
has exercised us ever since we began to think again that printing was
an art.”

The “Merrymount” type, designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue, is
based upon fifteenth-century models, and has attracted much favourable
comment. The “Holy Bible” and the “Life of Benvenuto Cellini,” from
which pages are here reproduced (p. 269), are representative examples
both of the type and of the typographical standards of the Press.

The writer of this present article would hesitate to include his own
design of “Humanistic” type except that it has come to be accepted
by typographical students as representing an approach to the art
from a standpoint entirely different from that of other designers.
The first types were naturally based upon the best hand-lettering of
their time, yet hand-lettering, as an art, reached its zenith after
printing began, in the work of the Humanistic scribes. This type is
based therefore not upon an early type, but upon hand-lettering at its
highest point of perfection. The pages which are shown here (pp. 266
and 267) have been taken from “The Triumphs of Francesco Petrarch,”
produced at the University Press under the writer’s supervision. An
examination of these pages will show that the principle upon which
the fount is cut differs radically from that shown in regular modern
types, namely, the ascending letters are short and the descending
letters long. The designs of the letters closely follow those of the
handwritten model, yet avoid the inevitable slight irregularity of
such work, which would prove unpleasant in a printed page. Instead of
a single character for each letter, a certain variety is introduced
by having several characters, the compositor being trained to use the
different forms exactly as the hand would automatically make a change
in hand-lettering. Charles Eliot Norton says of this: “Most modern type
lacks freshness and individuality, and the new fount to which the name
‘Humanistic’ has been given shows its contrast to the familiar dry,
mechanical form. There is attractive freedom and unusual grace in its
lines, derived immediately from the manuscript model, but adapted to
the necessary rigid requirements of print.”

Among other important volumes produced at the University Press are
those decorated by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue and Will Bradley, two
artists whose work in book-decoration stands in a class by itself. Much
of Goodhue’s work reflects the Morris influence, as will be seen in the
page shown from “Esther” (p. 268); but his ability in original design
is indicated by the border and initial of the “Songs of Heredia,” which
is given on the same page.

Bradley’s work evidences the greatest versatility of any decorative
artist America has produced. Some of his work shows Beardsley’s
influence, but no single influence could control so original a genius
as Bradley has proved himself to be. The two examples reproduced here
(pp. 270 and 271) represent the extremes in his work—one drawn with a
delicacy and accuracy of line which is marvellous in its execution; the
other bold and heavy, giving a woodcut effect.

No one artist-printer has contributed so much to American typography
as Bruce Rogers, whose “Montaigne” type is easily the best and
most practical of any special face, and whose productions while
associated with the Riverside Press are marked by an originality and a
consistency of excellence beyond what has been attained by any other
American printer. He, better than anyone else, through his knowledge
of types and his skill as a designer, has given expression to the
basic principles of the old-time master printers awakened by modern
conditions. His monumental folio edition of Montaigne—pages of which
are reproduced here (pp. 272 and 273)—demonstrates a harmony of effect
eminently appropriate to the style and period of its contents. The type
itself is based upon an early French model, and the decorations and the
initial letters (p. 274) are free renderings by Rogers of the original
designs by Tory, in which the retention of the designer’s spirit is
admirably accomplished.

During the past five years the Plimpton Press has contributed much to
elevate the standard of printing and binding by abolishing to a large
extent the prevalent custom of publishers to produce their volumes by
“piecemeal.” This has resulted in changing the making of books from
a contracting to a manufacturing business, and has had its effect
in raising the quality of the so-called “trade” volumes. When the
composition, presswork, and binding of a book are divided up among as
many firms, the result of the divided responsibility often means a
general deterioration of quality; but by the “complete manufacture”
method the volume is planned out in advance, even to the paper, cover
design, and illustrations, by a single mind. This places the printer
in the position of expert manufacturing man to a large number of his
customers, and enables him to preserve standards and to introduce
economies by purchasing supplies in larger quantities, and by combining
forms of text and illustrations in the manufacture.

The influence which a publisher can exert upon the Art of the Book
is shown by the series of classics issued in exquisite form by Mr.
Thomas B. Mosher, at prices within the reach of all. These volumes are
distinct evidences of his own taste and knowledge rather than triumphs
of the printer, for Mr. Mosher has expressed himself in the type,
margins, paper, and the general format of his admirable publications.

It would be difficult to estimate the far-reaching results in the
general advance in typographical standards due to two magazines, _The
Printing Art_ and _The Graphic Arts_. The monthly issues of these
publications have shown ordinary printers how to produce work above the
average by placing before them actual examples of the best combinations
of type, paper, and colour harmonies. They have been educational in the
extreme, teaching buyers of printing as well as printers how to secure
the effects desired.

In the matter of domestic production America shows little originality
in book-papers, the “Old Stratford” being the only distinctive
exception. No hand-made book-paper is now produced in America, owing
principally to the high cost of labour. This makes it possible to
import from England, France, and Italy cheaper than to manufacture
at home. The “Old Stratford” paper, however, is a unique product,
and is used much in volumes of _de luxe_ format, and in books where
lasting qualities are demanded. In cover-papers, on the other hand,
America produces a bewildering line, which quite excels those of other
countries, offering a variety of selection which is a tremendous aid to
the printer in securing artistic results.

Fine bookbinding in America is at present confined to a small number
of individual workers, mostly pupils of the famous English and French
binders, and their principal claim to originality of processes may be
said to be an effort to combine the workmanship of the English with the
artistic skill in decoration of the French. The Club Bindery, which
flourished in New York during the lifetime of Mr. Robert Hoe, could
scarcely be called an American institution, as its best workmen were
brought to this country for this special purpose. Since his death this
bindery has been broken up, and the finest work is to-day being done by
women. Their skill and workmanship rank high, but they are handicapped
by the excessive cost of labour and by the fact that all their leathers
must be imported. The inevitable higher price makes it natural that
American book-collectors should continue to send their volumes abroad
for fine bindings. Amongst those whose work is most highly prized may
be mentioned Miss Sears and Miss St. John of Boston, and Miss Lahey of
New York.

In ordinary trade bindings the processes are more and more reduced to
machine production, but in the best binderies this standardization has
by no means proved a deterioration in quality. American trade books
as a whole compare favourably with those of other countries, but it
is quite true that the constantly increasing cost of every phase of
book manufacture is in some instances causing American publishers to
economize, and to accept a grade of work inferior to what they would
have considered a few years ago. This, however, should not be regarded
as a reflection upon American workmanship, but rather upon American
conditions which force it. In cover design plain lettering still
obtains for books of fiction and for serious works, but considerable
elaboration is used upon smaller volumes issued as seasonable
publications, or with a specific appeal. A few characteristic examples
are reproduced on pp. 275 and 276.

It is impossible, within the scope of this article, to do more than
chronicle some of the results of the remarkable advance made in the
standards of book-manufacturing in America during the past ten years.
The knowledge of what constitutes a well-made volume is much greater
than ever before, and the ability of the buying public to discriminate
is the most hopeful promise for the future. In the omission of other
examples of printing and binding, and of mention of other artists
entitled to credit for the part they have played in advancing the Art
of the Book in America, the writer pleads the limitations imposed by
space.

[Illustration: PAGE FROM “TITLE-PAGES” (THE GROLIER CLUB) PRINTED IN
THE “RENNER” TYPE DESIGNED BY THEODORE LOW DE VINNE]

[Illustration: MERRYMOUNT PRESS: PAGE FROM “THE HUMANISTIC LIBRARY”
PRINTED IN THE “MONTALLEGRO” TYPE DESIGNED BY HERBERT P. HORNE]

[Illustration: TITLE-PAGE FROM “THE TRIUMPHS OF FRANCESCO PETRARCH”
(LITTLE, BROWN AND CO. AND JOHN MURRAY) PRINTED IN THE “HUMANISTIC”
TYPE DESIGNED BY WILLIAM DANA ORCUTT]

[Illustration: PAGE FROM “THE TRIUMPHS OF FRANCESCO PETRARCH” (LITTLE,
BROWN AND CO. AND JOHN MURRAY) PRINTED IN THE “HUMANISTIC” TYPE
DESIGNED BY WILLIAM DANA ORCUTT]

[Illustration: BORDER AND INITIAL LETTERS DESIGNED BY BERTRAM GROSVENOR
GOODHUE FOR “ESTHER” (COPELAND AND DAY)]

[Illustration: BORDER AND INITIAL LETTER DESIGNED BY BERTRAM GROSVENOR
GOODHUE FOR “SONGS OF HEREDIA” (SMALL, MAYNARD AND CO.)]

[Illustration: MERRYMOUNT PRESS: TITLE AND OPENING PAGES PRINTED IN THE
“MERRYMOUNT” TYPE DESIGNED BY BERTRAM GROSVENOR GOODHUE]

[Illustration: PAGE DESIGNED BY WILL BRADLEY FROM “THE CAMPBELL BOOK”]

[Illustration: BORDER AND INITIAL LETTER DESIGNED BY WILL BRADLEY. FROM
“THE CAMPBELL BOOK”]

[Illustration: FRONTISPIECE AND TITLE-PAGE DESIGNED BY BRUCE ROGERS
FROM “ESSAYS OF MONTAIGNE” (HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND CO.)]

[Illustration: OPENING PAGES PRINTED IN THE “MONTAIGNE” TYPE DESIGNED
BY BRUCE ROGERS FROM “ESSAYS OF MONTAIGNE” (HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND CO.)]

[Illustration: INITIAL LETTERS DESIGNED BY BRUCE ROGERS. FROM “ESSAYS
OF MONTAIGNE” (HOUGHTON, MIFFLIN AND CO.)]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASES BY THE PLIMPTON PRESS STUDIO]

[Illustration: BINDING-CASES BY THE PLIMPTON PRESS STUDIO]





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Art of the Book - A Review of Some Recent European and American Work in - Typography, Page Decoration & Binding" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home