Showing posts with label Buchbinder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buchbinder. Show all posts

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Franz Zeier, Buchbinder

Franz Zeier (1923 - 2011), Papiergestalter/-künstler und Buchbinder. Er ist am besten bekannt für sein Buch Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband (1983), daß 1990 auch auf Englisch erschien. Ich bekam das Buch 1984 während meines Praktikums am Germanischen Nationalmuseum in die Hand und es wurde schnell einer meiner lieblings- Fachbücher. Die englische Ausgabe wurde DAS Fachbuch, daß ich meinen Schülern empfiehl weil es sehr klar geschrieben ist und zeigt wie man ohne größere Ausrüstung schöne Bücher binden kann.

Franz Zeier, who was a paper designer and bookbinder, and is best known as the author of Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband (1983). This was translated into English as Books, Boxes, and Portfolios (1990). I was introduced to the German original during my internship at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum (1984) where it quickly became a favorite. The translation became my manual of choice when teaching my ongoing bookbinding class. English summary continues at bottom of this page...

Papier: Versuche zwischen Geometrie und Spiel, 1974-
Zeiers erstes Buch.
Siehe auch Kurt Londenbergs Papier und Form.

Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband, 1983- | Books, Boxes, and Portfolios, 1990-

Aber, wie in vielen Fällen, weiß man nicht viel über diese Persönlichkeiten und/oder deren eigenen Arbeiten. Laut seinen "biographischen Notizen" in Buch und Bucheinband sammelte Zeier Erfahrungen die sein Schaffen prägten bevor er zum Bucheinband kam – er an der Kunstgewerbeschule Luzern, Mitarbeiter des "Papierplastikers" Eugen Häfelfinger in Zurichte, absolvierte eine Lehre als Tiefdruckretoucheur und arbeitete in einem landwirtschaftlichen Betrieb in Frankreich.  Erst danach, 1951, begann er eine zweite Ausbildung in der Fachklasse für Handbuchbinder der Kunstgewerbeschule der Stadt Zürich unter der Leitung von Friedhold Morf:
Meine Lehrzeit in der Fachklasse für Handbuchbinder der Kunstgewerbeschule der Stadt Zürich jetzt Schule für Gestaltung), damals unter der Leitung des Meisters Friedhold Morf, war eine Schulung, die sich besonders auf den handwerklich wie ästhetisch anspruchsvollen Einband konzentrierte. So durfte ich es nach meiner Lehrzeit und einem Weiterbildungsjahr wagen, auch anspruchsvolle Arbeiten in Leder auszuführen, wie die erwähnten Franzbände. Bei der Losung formaler Probleme kamen mir meine Erfahrungen als Grafiker zustatten. Diese Einbande bilden eine Gruppe für sich und haben nur wenig Beziehung zu den daneben und später entstandenen Arbeiten. Obgleich ich die Beschäftigung mit den etwas hochgezüchteten Objekten nicht lustlos betrieb, das Kombinieren mit Prägestempeln mir Spaß machte, konnte ich eine gewisse Abneigung gegenüber dieser Luxusbuchbinderei im Lauf der Jahre immer weniger verdrängen. Der Erreger des Unbehagens war nicht das handwerklich Besondere daran als vielmehr die mir fremde Art, mit dem Buch umzugehen. Ganz ohne Verständnis für das Liebhaberische im Umgang mit Büchern, insbesondere mit schonen Büchern, bin ich nicht, sonst hatte ich diesen Beruf nie ergriffen. Wofür ich weniger Verständnis habe, ist der Kult, der mit Luxusdrucken, Luxuseinbanden und Faksimile-Ausgaben getrieben wird. Eigentlich mußte ich dies begründen, aber dazu ist hier nicht der Ort.

Von den in jenen ersten Jahren entstandenen Arbeiten - so gut wie alle waren für Kunden ausgeführt - sind mir nur die wenigsten noch erreichbar, weshalb ich sie mit noch vorhandenen Entwürfen dokumentiere. Man kann aber auch so die Absicht erkennen, die Einbande nicht zu überladen, die natürliche Oberfläche des Leders, des Pergamentes nicht durch üppige Dekors um ihre Wirkung bringen. Oft begnügte ich mich mit dem Titel auf Rücken und Vorderdeckel. Dach um diese wenigen Elemente richtig zu verteilen, auch um die für den bestimmten Fall geeignete Schrift zu finden, sparte ich nicht mit Versuchen und Entwürfen.
Der Apfel ist nicht weit vom Stamm gefallen... Zeier Schrieb auch einen Aufsatz über sein Verhältnis zu Morf in dem Katalog Der Buchbinder Friedhold Morf, 1901-1960, Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich, 1961. Hier mein Betrag zu Friedhold Morf.


Buch und Bucheinband

Pappband mit Schuber aus Buch und Bucheinband

Pappbänder aus Buch und Bucheinband

Seiten Ansichten von dem Buch gibts hier → Buch und Bucheinband.

Eine Vivian Pieper schrieb im May 2015 auf dem Blog der Buchbinderei Köster einen Aufsatz über den "Handbuchbinder Franz Zeier:"
"Selbst wenn der Einband fehlte, das Buch könnte man trotzdem lesen."

Dieser Satz, von dem sich manch ein Buchbinder vielleicht auf den Schlips getreten fühlt, spiegelt das Verständnis eines Künstlers wieder, der dem Buch dienen will und seine Arbeit auf eine Weise versteht, die in den Anfängen wohl etwas Überwindung kostet. Den Mut zum Einfachen aufzubringen ist für seine Arbeit maßgebend – einer, der etwas von seinem Handwerk versteht; einer, der vielleicht alles kann, aber nicht alles will:

Franz Zeier, bereits 2011 im Alter von 88 Jahren verstorbener Handbuchbinder, Papier-Designer und Fachbuchautor aus Zürich, war wohl einer der großen Buchkünstler unserer Zeit. Aus zahlreichen Aufsätzen und anderen Veröffentlichungen wird deutlich, dass seiner Arbeit vor allem eins zu Grunde liegt: Eine tiefe Liebe zum Buch. Er spricht von der „Richtigkeit“ und auch „Menschlichkeit der herkömmlichen Buchform“ als solche, die durch nichts übertroffen oder abgelöst werden könnte. Dennoch sieht er sich als modernen Buchkünstler, der jedoch nichts umkrempeln und neu erfinden will, sondern mit den herkömmlichen Elementen des Buches spielt und sie weiterentwickelt.

"So genau, so angenehm, so richtig soll ich meinen Einband machen, dass er durch gar nichts Besonderes auffällt."
Diese Einfach- und Schlichtheit ist in alle den Einbänden von Zeier zu sehen, und Pieper leitet den Leser zu zwei Büchlein von Zeier über seine Arbeiten, Richtigkeit und Heiterkeit: Gedanken zum Buch als Gebrauchsgegenstand (1993) und Buch und Bucheinband (1995).

Zeiers "Markenzeichen" waren seine Pappeinbände. Diese Vorliebe kam in Schachtel Mappe, Bucheinband zum Ausdruck, eignen sich doch Pappeinbände (oder halb-Gewebe) bestens fuer Anfänger, besonders wenn diese auch die Buntpapiere anfertigen. Pieper erklärt, daß Zeier "den Höhepunkt der Einfachheit" 1984 (ein Jahr nach dem erscheinen von Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband) erreichte, "als er sich künftig auch von gemusterten Papieren fern-hielt." Von dem Zeitpunkt an war es die Abstimmung von Farbe und Proportion des Papiers und Titelschild die den Einband bestimmten. Diese Ästhetik ist auch wie geschaffen für Kleinauflagen von Pressen-drucken und Künstlerbüchern.

Zu der Eröffnung einer Ausstellung von Zeiers Arbeiten im Gewerbemuseum Winterthur schrieb Jost Hochuli einen Aufsatz, "Richtig und Heiter, Bucheinbände von Franz Zeier:"
Ich war beeindruckt, weil hier ein Handbuchbinder mit klaren Aussagen Front machte gegen das, was in der Gilde international zum guten Ton gehört: gegen die Interpretation - zumeist banale Interpretation- des Buchinhalts aufdem Einband und gegen übermäßigen Aufwand an Materialien, an Leder, Holz, Kunststoffen, an Silber, Gold und anderen Metallen. Solche Einbände zeugen zwar oft von erstaunlichem handwerklichem Können und Raffinesse, in gestalterischer Hinsicht sind es jedoch fast immer Grauslichkeiten, das Mißverhältnis zwischen aufgedonnertem Einband und bescheidenster Buchtypografie kraß und lächerlich.
Diese Aussage ist vielleicht ein Bisschen extreme, aber hat was in sich. Weiter:
Franz Zeiers Arbeiten kommen aus der Stille, und sie führen den, der sich mit ihnen beschäftigt, zur Stille hin. Das ist ihre überzeugende Stärke.Jedes Detail wird da bedeutend: die Struktur des verwendeten Überzugpapiers, seine Farbe, die raffiniert schwache Rundung des Rückens, die schmalen, nur einen knappen Millimeter vorstehenden Kanten, die Stellung des Schildchens auf dem vorderen Deckel oder Rücken, seine Größe, seine Farbe und die typografische Gestaltung. Die Kombinationen, die sich daraus und mit dem jeweiligen Format und der Stärke des Bandes ergeben, bieten einen großen Reichtum an Möglichkeiten.
Mit den Titelschildern hat sich Zeier viel Liebe und Mühe gegeben, was auch in Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband zum Ausdruck kam.

Still und heiter, der Buchbinder Franz Zeier zum Beispiel (2013) besteht aus einer Reihe von Zitaten und kurzen Aufsätzen von Zeier nicht nur zu seinen Einbänden, sondern auch zu seinen Papierarbeiten, Zeichnungen, und Photographien. In alle diesen Bereichen war er Tätig.

Still und heiter...

Das Zeier-Windrad, Beispiel einer Papierarbeit aus Still und heiter...

Einbandentwürfe wie sie in Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband zu sehen sind.
Aus Still und heiter...

Pappeinbände mit Kleisterpapieren aus Still und heiter...

Rückentitel aus Still und heiter...


Bettina Wija-Stein, Mitarbeiterin an der Hochschule für Graphik und Buchkunst, Academy of Fine Arts, in Leipzig schreibt, "Die Haltung Franz Zeiers ist mir sehr nah, denn auch bei meinen Büchern behandle ich Typografie und Illustration sensibel, der Einband selbst, zweckmäßig, schön und zeitlos, spiegelt den Inhalt, meist unveröffentlichter, von mir selbstgewählter Texte, wieder..."

"Zweckmäßig, schön und zeitlos," daß beschreibt die Arbeiten von Zeier bestens!

Veröffentlichungen von Franz Zeier | Publications by Franz Zeier aus Still und heiter...
  • In: Der Buchbinder Friedhold Morf 1901-1960. Zürich: Kunstgewerbemuseum, 1961.
  • In: Bindetechnik 3. Stäfa, 1984.
  • Papier. Versuche zwischen Geometrie und Spiel. Bern und Stuttgart: Paul Haupt, 1974. 2. Aufl.1983.
  • Paper Constructions, gekürzte amerikanische Ausgabe von Papier. Versuche zwischen Geometrie und Spiel). New York: Scribner's Sons, 1980.
  • Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband. Bern und Stuttgart: Paul Haupt, 1983. 2.Aufl.1994.
  • Books, Boxes, Portfolios, vollständige amerikanische Ausgabe von Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband). NewYork: Design Press, 1990.
  • und "Ungebundene Gedanken zum Thema Handeinband." Vorträge in der Reihe "Öffentliche Publizistik-Vorlesung an der Universität St.Gallen" (Prof. Dr. Peter Wegelin), Januar 1990.
  • Richtigkeit und Heiterkeit. Gedanken zum Buch als Gebrauchsgegenstand. St.Gallen: VGS Verlagsgemeinschaft. Reihe Typotron, Nr. 8, 1990. 2.Aufl.1993.
  • Rightness and Lightness. Thoughts on the Book as an Object of Use. St.Gallen: VGS Verlagsgemeinschaft. Reihe Typotron, Nr. 8, englische Ausgabe, 1990.
  • Vortrag anläßlich der Vorstellung des Typotron-Heftes Richtigkeit und Heiterkeit in St.Katharinen, St. Gallen, 23. Nov.1990.
  • Buch und Bucheinband. Aufsätze und Bemerkungen. St.Gallen: VGS Verlagsgemeinschaft, 1995.
  • Papier literarisch. Neunmal siebenundzwanzig Zitate aus der schönen Literatur. Bern und Stuttgart: Paul Haupt, 2007.
  • Fraßbilder von Insekten an Laubblättern. Sammlung und Text Franz Zeier, Fotografien Michael Rast, Nachwort Laurenz Winkler. Winterthur: Selbstverlag, 2011.19 Tafeln in Mappenschachtel. [Limitierte, nicht im Handel erhältliche Auflage von 12 Exemplaren]
Veröffentlichungen über Franz Zeier | Publications about Franz Zeier aus Still und heiter...
  • Eduard Plüss, in: TM, Typografische Monatsblätter 12, St. Gallen 1969. (Auch als Separatdruck erschienen.)
  • Herbert Kramel, in: Graphis 176, Zürich, 1975.
  • Carla Colombo, in: Forme 64, Cermenate/Como, 1976, in: Tekune. Tokio, 1977.
  • Walter Diethelm, in: Visual transformation. Zürich: ABC Verlag, 1982.
  • Jost Hochuli, in: Librarium, 40. Jahrgang, Heft 1. Zürich, 1997.
  • Jost Hochuli, in: Jost Hochuli: Das ABC eines Typografen. St.Gallen: VGS Verlagsgenossenschaft, Reihe Edition Ostschweiz, Nr.13, 2011. 

ENGLISH

Franz Zeier (1923 - 2011), who was a paper designer and bookbinder, and is best known as the author of Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband (1983). This was translated into English as Books, Boxes, and Portfolios (1990). I was introduced to the German original during my internship at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum (1984) where it quickly became a favorite. The translation became my manual of choice when teaching my ongoing bookbinding class.

Zeier came to bookbinding via several other experiences including working with a paper artist (something that no doubt influenced his work with paper and the book Papier), completed an apprenticeship as a printer/engraver, worked as a farm-hand in France, all before beginning his studies in bookbinding with Morf at the Fachklasse für Handbuchbinder der Kunstgewerbeschule der Stadt Zürich. (Zeier also contributed an essay for the catalog Der Buchbinder Friedhold Morf, 1901-1960. Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich, 1961.) In a short biographical essay in Buch und Bucheinband (page spreads can be viewed here) Zeier discusses this experience and the emphasis on becoming proficient in the craft of bookbinding, including fine binding, working with leather and tooling... While this is something he learned and practiced, he made it clear that this is not where his interests lay, preferring the natural textures and colorings of the materials, avoiding tooling..., and working with simple titles and labels on spine or front board.

This aesthetic is clear in the many largely paper bindings he crafted over the years, covered in marbled or paste papers with labels. Some of these were millimeter bindings with leather, cloth, or parchment trim, others in partial (or full) cloth. In an article about Zeier, Vivian Pieper writes that after 1984 he abandoned the use of decorated papers in favor of simply letting the paper and crisp binding with title label speak for themselves. The bindings themselves distinguished themselves through crisp and clean craft, a subtle rounding of the spine, 1 millimeter wide squares around the textblock with appropriately thin boards, and the positioning of the label. By forgoing decorative elements, save a label, he let's the text of the book speak for itself. The aesthetic of his bindings is beautifully suited to fine press editions or editioned artist's books.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Friedhold Morf, Buchbinder

English text at bottom of post

Friedhold Morf (1901-1960) war ein Schweizer Buchbinder. Er absolvierte seine Lehre 1916-19, und studierte anschließend in der Fachklasse für Buchbinderei der Kunstgewerbeschule in Zürich (1920-21), unter F.H. Ehmcke an der Kunstgewerbeschule München (1921) und der Buchbinder-Fachschule Berlin (1922). Seinen Meisterbrief verdiente er im April 1922 worauf er auch Leiter der Buchbinderklasse der Kunstgewerbeschule in München ernannt wurde. Nach der Machtübernahme der Nationalsozialisten 1933 kehrte Morf zurück in die Schweiz wo er der bis zu seinem Tod 1960 der Leiter der Fachklasse für Buchbinden an der Kunstgewerbeschule in Zürich war.

Friedhold Morf aus/from Der Buchbinder Friedhold Morf, 1901-1960.Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich, 1961.

Morf ist bekannt als Herausgeber von zwei Büchern über die Buchbinderei. Der Bucheinband [1926] und Papparbeit und Bucheinband (1930 mit weiteren Ausgaben). Der Bucheinband war eine Einführung in die Buchbinderei für alle die an der Buchbinderei ob als Beruf oder Sammler interessiert waren, ähnlich wie Ernst Collins Buchbinderei für den Hausbedarf. Papparbeit und Bucheinband ist weit ausführlicher mit besseren Diagrammen sowie der Zugabe von Papparbeiten wie Schachteln... die oft von Buchbindern hergestellt werden. Beide Einleitungen können als Bild unten gelesen werden.

Katalogbestand der DNB | Catalog record of the DNB

Interessant ist auch Morfs Rolle als Lehrer von Franz Zeier, Papiergestalter/-künstler und Buchbinder. Er ist am besten Bekannt für sein Buch Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband (1983), daß 1990 auch auf Englisch erschien. Ich bekam das Buch 1984 während meines Praktikums am Germanischen Nationalmuseum in die Hand und es wurde schnell einer meiner lieblings- Fachbücher. Die englische Ausgabe wurde DAS Fachbuch, daß ich meinen Schülern empfiehl weil es sehr klar geschrieben ist und zeigt wie man ohne größere Ausrüstung schöne Bücher binden kann. Mehr über Zeier in einem folgenden Beitrag, aber der Apfel ist nicht weit vom Stamm gefallen... Zeier Schrieb auch einen Aufsatz über sein Verhältnis zu Morf in dem Katalog Der Buchbinder Friedhold Morf, 1901-1960.Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich, 1961. Mein Beitrag zu Zeier ist hier zu lesen.

Der Bucheinband, 1926

Der Bucheinband, [1926]

Einleitung zu Der Bucheinband, 1926

Pappbände (Paper bindings) aus Der Bucheinband, 1926

Papparbeit und Bucheinband, 1951


Papparbeit und Bucheinband, 1951

Einleitung zu Papparbeit und Bucheinband, 1951

Büroschachtel (Stationary box) aus Papparbeit und Bucheinband, 1951

Der Pappband (Paper bindings) aus Papparbeit und Bucheinband, 1951

Einbände von Friedhold Morf | Bindings by Friedhold Morf

Undatierter Ganzpergamenteinband (Full-vellum binding) an F.H Ehmcke.
Die Buchstaben werden aus den "vergoldeten" Linien geschaffen.
The title is tooled with simple lines.
Aus Der Buchbinder Friedhold Morf, 1901-1960.Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich, 1961.

Undatierter Ganzfranzband (Extra binding) an La Boxe.
Aus Der Buchbinder Friedhold Morf, 1901-1960.Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich, 1961.

Halbpergamenteinbände (Quarter vellum bindings) aus
Der Buchbinder Friedhold Morf, 1901-1960.Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich, 1961.
ENGLISH:

Friedhold Morf (1901-1960) was a Swiss binder who completed  his apprenticeship (1916-19), trained at in the Fachklasse für Buchbinderei of the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zürich (1920-21), then studied under F.H. Ehmcke at the Kunstgewerbeschule Munich (1921) and at the Buchbinder-Fachschule Berlin (1922), before being award his Meister in Munich in April of that year. He was subsequently appointed director of the bookbinding department at the Kunstgewerbeschule Munich.In 1933 with the election of Hitler, Morf returned to Switzerland where he became director of the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zürich until his death in 1960.

He is best known as the author of 2 books on binding, Der Bucheinband [1926] and Papparbeit und Bucheinband (1930 with subsequent editions). Der Bucheinband was a basic introduction to all aspects of bookbinding covering paper bindings through leather and tooling, similar in scope to Ernst Collin's Buchbinderei für den Hausbedarf. The introduction describes it as providing an overview of the techniques bookbinders will encounter in the trade, with the caveat that to really learn they will need to reach for more comprehensive texts [and learn the trade as an apprentice?]. The book is also designed for bibliophiles to give them the knowledge they need to work with bookbinders and to judge the quality of the work. Techniques are described in order of complexity. Papparbeit und Bucheinband built on Der Bucheinband but can be described as a "real" manual with much more comprehensive instructions, better diagrams, and the addition of a variety of boxes and other enclosures that bookbinders often make.

Of interest is also Morfs role as the teacher of Franz Zeier, who was a paper designer and bookbinder, and is best known as the author of Schachtel, Mappe, Bucheinband (1983). This was translated into English as Books, Boxes, and Portfolios (1990). I was introduced to the German original during my internship at the Germanisches Nationalmuseum (1984) where it quickly became a favorite. The translation became my manual of choice when teaching my ongoing bookbinding class. More about Zeier in a later post, but the lineage is undeniable. Zeier also contributed an essay for the catalog Der Buchbinder Friedhold Morf, 1901-1960. Kunstgewerbemuseum Zürich, 1961.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hermann Nitz's "Kombination" Binding, the Ur-Fancied-up Book


Back in August 2012, Henry Hebert who was at the time a NBSS student coined a new term, fancied-up books. By this he meant trade books that were disbound in varying degrees and then rebound in more attractive bindings, whether paper, cloth, leather, ... Essentially budget design bindings, and we've all done it. Reading some new additions to my collection, I came upon what could be considered the ur-type of this.

With industrialization, bookbinding became more and more simplified with consequences for aesthetics and structural integrity. Away from sewing on raised cords and lacing those through the boards, the cords became thinner, were sewn in, sewing became mechanized (with staples being used like sewing in Germany), case binding developed, and some will say devolved from there. In Germany, the arts and crafts movement contributed to a return to sounder structure and better design, a movement the larger binderies also appropriated with the addition of extra binding departments that produced works on par with those of hand/fine binders. Leading binderies in Germany, these located in Berlin, and the book capitol of Leipzig were: E.A. Enders, Fritzsche, Hübel & Denck, Lüderitz & Bauer, Spamer, Wübben, and W. Collin among others.

Hermann Nitz (1881-1965) was a student of Paul Adams and Paul Kersten who worked as a craft bookbinder at Hübel & Denck and Spamer, and became a member of the Jakob-Krause-Bund (J-K-B) and the Meister der Einbandkunst (MDE). Despite this fine craft pedigree, he dedicated his life to working in large trade binderies where he merged the work of machines and fine craft bookbinding to create durable and pleasing bindings. He also taught and wrote on this topic, including about materials, industrial binding processes, and innovations to merge the craft and trade. This tension allegedly created animosities with peers, so that he left the MDE.*

One of these innovations was the Kombinationseinband, that combined machine sewing with simplified forwarding that gave the appearance of an extra binding at lower cost, and without sacrificing quality. It was first described in this pamphlet Über einen neuen Einband-Typ published by Spamer in 1923.

Cover for Hermann Nitz's Über einen neuen Einband-Typ (About a New Binding Structure)
Spamer's Bindery in Leipzig: Most modern commercial bindery, 250 machines, 400 employees.
All kinds of bindings: Extra binding department for hand-binding, decorated papers, folders
At right an example of a handbound book. Other illustrations depict these and Kombinationseinbände
so comparisons can be made.

So, something about Spamers Kombination Bindings...



So, what was it. From the pamphlet, "the distinguishing characteristic of this style is the board attachment by hand with a 90° joint before covering," essentially extra binding. Nitz further describes the book being sewn on a modified sewing machine hemp fibers rather than gauze, backing to 90°, stuck-on endbands, covering by hand, and gilding using the blocking press and dies. At additional costs, the book might be hand-sewn, receive hand-sewn endbands, and other details. The binding style was developed for smaller or larger print runs of the classics, literature, encyclopedia, etc, in full or quarter leather, something these simplifications made possible. The pamphlet can also be viewed here, and features numerous images of books using this structure.


The style was also described by Nitz in his Die Technik des Bucheinbandes (1931), and Heinrich Luers' Das Fachwissen des Buchbinders (1943, 1946 (271)) where it is described as the Kombinationsfranzband, linking it to the extra binding. As a formal binding manual, it provided greater detail on the process, including for gilding. In it after preparing the textblock and attaching the boards, a spine stiffener with raised false bands if desired is prepared, and pasted to the covering leather that has been pared, working the bands... When dry it is gilt in the blocking/stamping press..., and the binding then completed per the style.

Die Technik des Bucheinbandes, a work that like Collin's 1922 Pressbengel (The Bone Folder) described bookbinding for bibliophiles and was issued in an edition of 500 copies by the Gesellschaft der Bibliophilen, Berlin. In contrast to Collin's dialog format, his is written more like a manual but in lay terms. A contemporary counterpart would be Jamie Kamph's A Collector's Guide to Bookbinding (1982) in an edition of 250 copies. More in a later post...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Paul Kersten's Decorative Leather Work

There are very few mentions, never-mind articles about German bookbinders and bookbinding in English-language publications. Octave Uzanne's article "Paul Kersten's Decorative Leather Work," published in The Studio: an illustrated magazine of fine and applied art, is one of the few that I have found.

Frontispiece portrait of Paul Kersten from
Collin, Ernst. Paul Kersten: Festschrift des Jakob Krausse-Bundes zum 60. Geburtstage seines Ehrenvorsitzenden Paul Kersten. Berlin: Corvinus-Antiquariat E. Collin, 1925.
Lithograph by Edmund Schäfer

Wrote Octave Uzanne in his article:
The bindings of Mr. Paul Kersten, who has been established for a short time at Aschaffenbourg, and displayed some very fine examples of his work at the recent International Art Exhibition at Dresden, are the most striking manifestation yet made by the young German school of binding. He shines especially as a gilder. After a long course of work for a big firm at Leipzig, under the management of M. Sperling, for whom he did his earliest bindings, Paul Kersten was confident enough to start on his own account, in order to bring his name before the public and do justice to his signature.
[snip]
Having awarded full praise to the heavy leather covers of the bouquins of the seventeenth century, Mr. Kersten has to admit that the eighteenth century produced nothing but copies of French bindings; and, further, that if German bindings attracted any attention in the course of the nineteenth century, soon after 1840, it was solely due to the binders. Purgold and Trantz, men of German origin, living in Paris, and to Kalthoefer and Zaehnsdorff, who were established in London. As a matter of fact, try as one will, it is impossible to deny that Germany, during the centuries in question, was very poor as regards art binders, and this fact makes its recent efforts to achieve celebrity in this direction all the more meritorious. Mr. Paul Kersten had few predecessors, and when he talks of Trantz and Kalthoefer he must mistake the facts connected with these artists. They did no work "at home " - that is in Germany - but were "outsiders," who cannot be taken into account on the present occasion. Mr. Kersten himself is one of the foremost German exponents of his art, and he may without vanity be proud of the eminent position he holds.

Unidentified binding from Octave Uzanne's article


The complete article can be read in The Studio: an illustrated magazine of fine and applied art, Vol 24, Nr. 104, 1902. The Studio was one of the premier arts & crafts journals.

Paul Kersten (1865 - 1943) was one of the seminal German fine bookbinders, and his Der Exakte Bucheinband (1923) helped define German fine binding. Ernst Collin wrote the biographical "Festschrift, Paul Kersten," of this in honor of this seminal binder's 60th birthday in 1925. It was published by Collin's Corvinus-Antiquariat E. Collin for the Jakob-Krauße-Bund. The publication is divided into 6 essays titled The Pioneer, Apprenticeship and Journeyman Years, The Author, The Artist, The Craftsman, and The Man. Also included are a bibliography of Kersten’s writings and illustrations of 48 bindings created between 1896 and 1925. Among them also a binding of Der Pressbengel. The illustrations were taken from Kersten’s Der exakte Bucheinband, and the Archiv für Buchbinderei, one of the premier arts & crafts bookbinding journals. Like Georg Collin with whom he worked at W. Collin, Kersten was heavily involved with teaching, including at the Lette Verein (a trade school specifically for women founded in 1866) where he succeeded Maria Lühr, Germany's first woman Meister. Other notable students included Otto Dorfner and Otto Pfaff, both of who Collin also wrote about in articles.



Colophon from Paul Kersten

Below Kersten's Bundverzierungen, Spangen und Schliessen in moderner Richtung für die Vergoldepresse (1898), a sampler of dies available for embellishing raised bands and boards. While in German, the illustrations speak for themselves. Below, embedded text from HathiTrust.



Kersten was the author of numerous manuals for bookbinding, design, gilding, ... , however his Der exakte Bucheinband; der gute Halbfranzband, der künstlerische Ganzlederband, die Handvergoldung is considered the first manual for arts & crafts design binding. What makes the book especially interesting are the 133 depictions of bindings, technique, and design patterns, in addtion to 48 samples of decorated papers and other materials provided by various vendors at the back. Below, embedded text from HathiTrust.




Der exakte Bucheinband was also mentioned in Ernst Collin's Der Pressbengel (translated as The Bone Folder) when the Meister and Bibliophile were discussing board attachment. See "Aufschabeblech - What would it be called in English?", a post published back in 2011 for more information.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Fritz and Trudi Eberhardt - An Oral History

Don Rash and his Boss Dog Press have been publishing a series of titles in the series of Eberhardtiana, the first was 2003's Rules for Bookbinders, now sold out. The most recent is Three Lectures, a compilation of three lectures given by Fritz Eberhardt.

Cover of GBW Journal showing tooling by Fritz Eberhardt

The Guild of Book Workers has just released what I hope is the first set of many digitized sets of their Journal. The oral history of the Eberhardts conducted by Valerie Metzler, and they discussed their life, their training, their time in the United States, and much more. It can be found in Volume 37, Number 2, 2002 and downloaded. Very much worth reading.

Fritz Eberhardt was born in Silesia (originally part of Germany; now part of Poland) in 1917, he suffered from polio at an early age, which resulted in a permanent limp. After an apprenticeship he studied bookbinding formally under Ignatz Wiemeler at the Leipzig Academy for Graphic Arts, and calligraphy under the prodigy Rudo Spemann, and later, in Offenbach, with Hermann Zapf. Following the end of the war, he walked out of the Russian occupied zone and into West Germany. There he met his future wife, Trudi Luffert, who was also a binder. In the early 1950s the Eberhardts came to Philadelphia, where he was employed by the Library Company. Within a few years they were able to move to the farm on Old Sumneytown Pike where they would cement their reputations as two of the finest American hand binders. In addition to his binding work, Eberhardt was internationally recognized for his calligraphy. Until his death in 1998, he was a continuing voice for the artistic and cultural value of bookbinding and book works, from his early dealings with the Philadelphia book world through the debates on standards and the beginnings of institutional book arts instruction, as well as a proponent of a more professional approach for our book arts organizations. Don Rash was among his most accomplished students.


Depicted is his binding on Felix Timmermans, Pieter Bruegel, 1950, featuring his signature hand-cut finishing tools. [From the Guild of Book Workers 100th Anniversary Exhibition Retrospective]

Here a link to his obituary from the Abbey Newsletter at CoOL.
 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Heinrich Lüers und sein Doppelgänger

Sowie Ernst Collin, so hatte Heinrich Lüers auch einen Doppelgänger zu Lebzeiten. Obwohl in verschiedenen Berufen, waren beide als Fachschriftsteller bekannt.

Just as Ernst Collin had a Doppelgänger, so did Heinrich Lüers, both authors in their professions...

Hier der Doppelgänger, bekannt als Bierbrauer:

Here the Doppelgänger, known as a beer brewer:

W. Kleber - Heinrich Lüers zum 75. Geburtstag, Zeitschrift für
Lebensmittel-Untersuchung und Forschung
, 9. DEZEMBER 1965, 129, 1,(48)

Auf Link Klicken für PDF

Und hier der Buchbindene Lüers, Fachlehrer und Herausgeber von Das Fachwissen des Buchbinders, Das Fachrechnen für Buchbinder und Die Buchbinder-Fibel:

And here the binding Lüers, bookbinding instructor and author of several seminal manuals and trade related books including Das Fachwissen des Buchbinders, Das Fachrechnen für Buchbinder, and Die Buchbinder-Fibel:

In Memorium Heinrich Lüers, Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbinderein, Vol 60, Nr 2, 1947
Auf Link Klicken für PDF

Da könnte die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek auch eine Revision vornehmen...

Looks like the German National Library could fix another authority record...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Ernst Collin on Gerhard Gerlach, 1930

Received one of my interlibrary loan requests today, an article by Ernst Collin about bindings being exhibited by Meister der Einbandkunst at the Bugra exhibition in Leipzig. The Bugra was THE most significant publishing and binding trade fair in Germany at that time.

In the article titled Die alte, neue Bugramesse: Was die Meister der Einbandkunst zeigten,Collin described the refocusing of the Bugra back to its roots and away from a more general trades oriented exhibition.He also provided context for the Bugra, and among other things commented on the contrast between the high art of French binding and the dominance of simple paperback bindings on poor paper for the majority of trade books.

Then there was this, still, new group, Meister der Einbandkunst, with a modest exhibition of bindings by established binders and lesser known members. Given the limited space available to him, Collin focused on several binders chosen in no particular order of significance in order to highlight their work. Among them Gerhard Gerlach who emigrated to the US with his American wife Katheryn. From the retrospective part of the Guild of Book Workers 100th Anniversary Exhibition:
Gerhard Gerlach was born in 1907 in Germany, apprenticed to a binder for three years and studied with Ignatz Wiemeler at the State Academy of Graphic Arts in Leipzig, attaining his certificate and diploma as a master binder before emigrating to the United States. He was brought to the USA by a young American he met at the Academy, Katheryn Edwards. Together they formed a remarkable bookbinding team, crafting not only fine bindings but fine binders. Upon arriving in the USA in 1934, he taught at Columbia University. At his Bookbinding Workshop, opened in 1945, he partnered for a short while with Hope G. Weil and later Charlotte Ullman. Among his students were Eva Clarke, Margaret Lecky, Inez Pennybacker, Hope Weil, Arno Werner, and Laura Young. Gerhard Gerlach joined the Guild in 1939 remaining a member until his death in 1968. To honor his contributions, the Guild mounted a memorial exhibition of his bindings at the Grolier Club in 1971.
Here an edited composite of the Collin article with the section on Gerlach.

Die alte, neue Bugramesse: Was die Meister der Einbandkunst zeigten,
Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien, Vol 45, Nr 12, 1930 (244-245)

Given the significance of the Bugra and Gerlach's connection to Wiemeler I searched online to see if any bindings were depicted. Like winning the lotto, all the Gerlach bindings happened to be for sale very recently and were depicted at Peter L. Masi – books (along with many other bindings). With permission I reproduce them here with Collin's translated comments.

Design study for Hegel, Delius, Seinen Briefen


Hegel, Delius, Seinen Briefen, 1918, #54, bound by Gerhard Gerlach


Of Hegel, Delius, Seinen Briefen, 1918, #54, Collin wrote "that the binding is divided into two sets of parallel panels in which the outside ones have tightly spaced parallel lines tooled in blind. This allows the grain of the leather to stand out more in the untooled panels, but unfortunately the denseness of the tooled lines obscure the natural grain of the leather."

 Collin also singles out the remaining bindings below for the way in which the leather, the design of the bindings, and the tooling whether blind or gold. stand out positively.


Hofmannsthal, Deutsche Epigramme, Munchen, 1923, #83, bound by Gerhard Gerlach




Carl Burckhardt, Kleinasiatische Reise, Munchen, 1925, bound by Gerhard Gerlach


von Aue, Borchardt, Der arme Heinrich, Munchen, 1925

He concludes by saying that this young binder has shown himself to be a "hope awakening personality" for the future.

The work of Wiemeler and Dorfner was part of the "new objectivity" (neue Sachlichkeit) that was  "Americanism, cult of the objective, the hard fact, the predilection for functional work, professional conscientiousness, and usefulness." To the Nazis it was degenerate, but even then the style was adapted well to serve their "need" for presentation bindings and other accessories, but that is a story for another time.

The Gerhard & Kathryn Gerlach collection was recently sold by Peter L. Masi Books and those wishing to study the bindings, artwork, correspondence... will want to travel to Indiana University's Lilly Library in Bloomington - a most fitting home. Give them time to process and catalog first though - it was just acquired.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Renate Mesmer on her Apprenticeship in Germany


Renate at AAB
Listen to Renate Mesmer, Eric Weinmann Head of Conservation at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. talk with Steve Miller at the OxBow PBI about her bookbinding apprenticeship in Germany.

Previously, she was Assistant Head of Conservation at the Folger, Director of Book and Paper Conservation at the Centro del bel Libro Ascona, Switzerland, and Head of Conservation at the Speyer’s State Archives in Germany. She, like many apprentices of the day started at  age 16, earning her Meister in bookbinding from the Chamber of Crafts of Palatinate in Germany. She has been very active teaching at Paper and Book Intensive (PBI), for the Guild of Book Workers (GBW), American Academy of Bookbinding (AAB), and elsewhere.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Binder's Training by J. Franklin Mowery

This article first appeared in the Guild of Book Workers' Journal, Volume XX, 1981-82. It is reprinted here with the permission of the author.

Frank Mowery shortly after his arrival at the
Folger Shakespeare Library in the late 1970s.

My association with books began early. Growing up with both parents librarians, lived in a house full of splendid books and often browsed through the remarkable collection of Wittenberg University, in Springfield, Ohio, where my father was and still is Director of the Library As high school graduation approached, I knew that I wanted a career in books and that binding held a particular fascination for me.

Ignatz Wiemeler with Kurt Londenberg (at right) in Leipzig, Germany, 1937.
From Leben und Werk des Buchkünstlers Kurt Londenberg (1914-1995), Helma Schaefer, ed., Verlag Ludwig, 2009.

What began then was a flurry of letter writing to search out good teachers and places to study, a process that yielded more frustration than results. Finally – a concrete lead that enticed me I Bernard Breslauer responded to a letter: “I recommend that you write to Professor Kurt Londenberg who is, in my opinion, the greatest living German bookbinder." After further correspondence and months of arrangements it was set.

And so, in February 1971, I found myself on a plane to Wiesbaden with one suitcase and a year of high school German. For six months, I worked for Otto Harrassowitz Book Publishing Company (and immersed myself in the German language and way of life At the end of September, I was again traveling to a new city – this time to Hamburg, the Art Academy, and my studies with Kurt Londenberg,

The Art Academy is an L-shaped six-story, red-brick building that borders a canal on one side and faces a lake and Renaissance cathedral on the other. With its magnificent mansard roof it is an imposing sight. At one time the basement housed a veritable zoo with stalls containing horses, cows, birds, and wild animals to provide the art students with live models. Today, fewer 1500 students are enrolled, studying a variety of art disciplines from the traditional studio fine arts to architecture and textile design.

My introduction to Hamburg, the Academy, and specifically the studio where 1 was to spend the next four years was through Frau Barbara Partikel, Professor Londenberg's assistant and the person who patiently took me through the rudiments of binding. On meeting me, she immediately took over with characteristic enthusiasm: helped me enroll, located a place for me to live, and sent me off to the other end of the city to buy bookbinding tools and supplies. As the only full-time student (others came only for brief periods of instruction), r was given the best and most inspirational working area. The studio was a large and spacious room on the third floor with a ceiling that soared twenty feet. My fifteen-foot bench area was situated in the corner with a western view of the cathedral and lake and an expansive northern view of the city and its activities. I had an entire bank of cabinets for my tools, supplies, and books.

On my first official day at the Academy, I met Professor Londenberg, a distinguished looking silver- and white-haired man with a radiating smile that at once revealed an underlying self-confidence and warm, welcoming nature. He was enthusiastic, but serious about his art. "If you work hard, you will get along," he said. I learned that he did not usually have special students and that it had been five years since he had taken a full-time student. Earlier in his career, he would accept students who had completed the three-year German apprenticeship and five-year journeyman studies to prepare them for the Masters-level examinations. Later, he told me that one of the most difficult things he had to do was break many of these students from long-established bad habits.


Raymond Escholier, Cantegril, illustrated by Carlegle. No.4 of  a limited edition with a separate suite of engravings and three original drawings. Paris, Les Editions Pittoresques, 1931. Rust-colored goatskin with inlays of mustard and turquoise goatskin, blind-tooled. Bound 1974. The colors suggest the tiled roofs, the fields, and the waters of the Provence region of France where the story takes place. The blind-tooled design represents the beaded curtains often found in the doorways of cafes, where the story of Cantegril unfolds.

From the beginning, Professor Londenberg emphasized those elements that contribute to an artistically complete volume: a foundation of good quality paper with the grain running parallel to the spine; strong, but flexible sewing for a sound internal structure; a harmony between the typography and illustrations; and a binding that unified the artistic elements into a complementary whole, but did not overwhelm them. he felt strongly that only the finest editions merited the painstaking attention and artistic efforts of a fine binder. This point was concretely reinforced even early on, as I started my work with Insel Verlag publications: small straightforward volumes of 4 to 5 gatherings each but sensitively produced.

My lessons were geared to my rate of development. I moved from binding thin books with flat backs and simple linen or leather headbands that were cased in paper and untitled to binding thicker books that were rounded and backed and covered with quarter-linen and paper sides. Under the guidance of Professor Londenberg, I progressed methodically. Each day seemed to bring new experiences, but everything had to be just right before I moved on. I learned to sew on marvelous Heger Hanfbänder, tapes made of long flax fibers bonded together, that were incredibly strong but could be frayed out easily at the ends and adhered to the waste sheet. Regrettably, I have never seen these tapes in the United States. [note: these are now available as Ramie tapes] I began making decorated papers (marbled papers, paste papers, wax crayon and solvent papers) and experimenting with the methods available to achieve different images through various patterns and coloration.

Ovid's Les Metamorphoses, illustrated by Pablo Picasso.. No. 1005 of a facsimile edition with a separate suite suite of illustrations. Geneva: Production Edito-Service, S.A. Rust-colored niger goatskin with blind tooled lines and title. Bound in 1974. 11 x 8.5 inches. The classic simplicity of the cover design was chosen to complement, rather than compete with the text and illustrations. The color of the leather matches the second color used by the printer for the large initials beginning each chapter.

During semester break, Professor Londenberg arranged for me to work in the bookbinding firm of Willy Pingel in Heidelberg. There I had a chance to graphically compare my artistic world and instruction with the realities of a semi-commercial bindery. I met young Germans going through the official [guild]-prescribed apprenticeship program. For their three years of training, they worked hard and were paid little. I found that in my first semester I had learned more and worked on a greater variety of books than they had throughout their apprenticeship. The stifling atmosphere created by the apprenticeship system was reflected in the discouragement of one man who was seriously considering leaving binding and forfeiting his years of training. The system requires that a journeyman who wants to advance to the Masters level must leave his old shop and set up a new one after passing his examinations. Because of the resulting competition with older and more established firms, many new firms flounder, discouraging many journeymen from advancing to Master status.

 During my second semester, I continued to bind small books in linen and designed paper and added work in quarter-leather and exercises in tooling. Every morning, I would practice tooling using as my tooling surface wooden blocks shaped like books and covered with scraps of leather, attempting to blind tool parallel lines and text of a similar tone. Twice a week, I studied typography as an art and craft with Richard von Sichowsky, a great German master.

Also at this time, I received my introduction to conservation with Frau Wildred Kolmorgen, Head Conservator at the State University Library in Hamburg, when she offered the Library's first conservation workshop. Although the workshop was open only to master binders who worked in German libraries (requirements which I obviously did not meet), I was permitted to attend due to the eloquent persuasiveness of Professor Londenberg. During that month, I learned a variety of techniques: to sew on raised cords, make brass clasps, wash, deacidify, and mend paper. Most exciting, especially for a beginner, was my discovery that the boards used for a particular 1509 Psalter were composed of cut manuscript pages that were eventually pieced back together. Toward the end of that summer, I had the honor of meeting Professor Otto Wächter, Head Conservator at the Austrian National Library in Vienna and instructor in paper restoration at the State Art Academy, who invited me to study with him as a special student on completion of my training in Hamburg.

My second year was more intensely concentrated on the design aspects of fine binding. For each book, I would work out ten to twenty-five designs, discuss them with Professor Landenberg, rework several, pick one, and make final modifications. Only then, and after selecting the appropriate internal structure, color, edge treatment, headbands, and covering material, would any work begin on the unbound book. A protective box lined in silk, felt, or velvet was made for each book.

Pierre Lecuire, Regnes embossed illustrations by Etienne Hajdu, published by the author, 1961. Bound 1987. 38 x 49.5 x 5.5 cm. Bound in white alum tawed goat. The design is based on one of the images in the volume. The binding consists of three layers built up to create the raised positive and negatives design n the boards. The design is reversed on the doublures. Negative spaces are inlaid with black calf. To support the weight of the boards, leather covered brass stilts were incorporated. The headbands are embroidered with plain linen thread. The covers are held closed with leather covered clasps.

The remaining time I had at the Art Academy was spent refining the design and technical skills I had learned. One technique particularly favored by Professor Londenberg, and one I still choose frequently, is the use of dies which opens a range of design possibilities. A photographic process can transfer any
black and white image onto zinc plates that are deeply etched and mounted onto type-high metal blocks for heated impressions or onto wood for cold embossing.

Throughout my years of instruction, the functional integrity of the book was always stressed. The outward design of the covering was never permitted to usurp the inherent utilitarian nature of the book. Flexibility and ease of use were insured by a hollow back (even over raised cords) so that no leather was ever directly adhered to the spine, thus eliminating any possibility or restriction in opening.

There are many particulars of my years spent in Hamburg at the Art Academy that I have not touched upon. But it was not my intention to write a complete, or even comprehensive, essay on my training there. Rather, through this personal account I have tried to highlight some of the aspects that made my training a unique and exciting experience.

Excerpts from the Humorous Writings of Leonardo Da Vinci. Compiled and edited from the original manuscripts by Jean Paul Richter. Printed for the Guild of Book Workers' Potomac Chapter by the Snails Pace Press, 1996. Bound 1997. 18.5 x 27 x 3 cm. Bound in golden brown covered goatskin, Playing upon Leonardo's "mirror writing," the blind tooled designs reverses and flips repetitions of his name. The top edge is decorated with graphite and the headbands are embroidered in gold and brown silk thread.

Some other examples of his work can be seen on his website at Restore Paper.
On a personal note, I want to thank Frank for encouraging me to study bookbinding in Germany following college. It was not until after I returned for the Christmas holidays that I learned that the apprenticeship experience I was having was not in the least like his more academic training, an experience that I thought I would also have. Despite that, and in spite of the challenges I faced, some of which mirror what he observed during his stay in Heidelberg, I feel that my formal "guild prescribed" apprenticeship provided me with a very solid background and prepared me well for working as a binder and conservator. More on that in a later post. Peter D. Verheyen.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Paul Adam: An introduction to the German bookbinding trade, part II


In his introduction to Adam’s Leitfaden für die Gesellen- und Meister-Prüfung im Buchbindergewerbe (1904) Obermeister (Grand Master) Slaby of Berlin, Chair of the Federation of German Bookbinding Guilds, notes that in the short time since the adoption of (not yet mandatory) state regulated examinations for journeymen and apprentices, the need to formally define these examinations and to strive towards uniform action in the bookbinding field has revealed itself.

While the hands-on works were with few exceptions quite good, the same could not be said for the more theoretical aspects of the profession where there were severe shortcomings, with the oral examinations being even worse. Based on these observations the Masters in the Guilds and the heads of the Examination Boards decided in 1902 to create a guidebook (the Leitfaden) for these examinations, a challenge taken on by Paul Adam of Düsseldorf.

Adam took it upon himself to expand this guidebook well beyond the minimum requirements of defining the core questions apprentices and journeymen would need to answer in their respective examinations. By adding additional subjects Adam sought to provide the basis for a well-rounded and professionally aware bookbinding professional. This process of life-long learning would begin during the apprenticeship and be built upon during the binders journeymen years. Subjects added to this guidebook include a history of the book (and bookbinding), a history of the bookbinding trade. The complete contents were listed in the previous post.

Views of the bookbinding trade school of Badersleben in the Harz from the early 20th century.
Shown are the typesetting room and the bindery.


While the original intent was to publish separate volumes for apprentices and journeymen, Slaby notes that the Federation became convinced that the sooner apprentices began to familiarize themselves with the knowledge required to become a master, the easier it would be for them to progress through the ranks and become a master in their own right. As a result, trade schools (attendance at which was mandatory) were strongly urged to adopt this guidebook, and masters encouraged to impress its value upon their apprentices. At the same time members of the examination boards were told to familiarize themselves with the content of the book in the knowledge that those being tested by them would no longer “quake  and be fearful” as they would be better prepared.

Overall, the tone of the guidebook was professionally stimulating, without becoming overly pedantic so that binders of all levels would want to consult with it regardless of their rank. This guidebook was not a bookbinding manual, giving only superficial attention to the details of particular binding styles but it was also more than a mere introduction to the field as it also contained details about the structure of the guilds, the ranks one could attain (apprentice, journeyman, and master) as well as sample questions for those respective examinations.

While Adams' manuals Der Bucheinband: Seine Technik und seine Geschichte (1890), Die praktischen Arbeiten des Buchbinders (1898), also published in English as Practical Bookbinding by Scott, Greenwood & Co. (London) in 1903 did not formally address the structure of the trade they did describe the work of binderies and their outfitting. With the formalization of the bookbinding trade, manuals began to appear that incorporated many of the aspects of this first guidebook, in particular sections on the history of the book and trade, “materials science,” estimating, sample questions in preparation for examinations. An example of this type of manual is Heinrich Lüers’ Das Fachwissen des Buchbinders that appeared in numerous editions (Deutsche National Bibliothek has 1939 as earliest edition). At the same time more pamphlet-like introductions to the bookbinding trade continued to be issued, often by the same authors.

View of a trade school classroom from Lüers' Fachwissen des Buchbinders (1943)

Making pastepapers and marbling in trade school.
From Lüers' Fachwissen des Buchbinders (1943)

Integral to the training of bookbinders of all levels were also the trade schools that complemented the hands-on on-the-job training provided in the individual binderies, offered courses for continuing education, and served as venues for the trade examinations. The trade schools also provided coursework in social studies, math (especially as it related to the trades, including estimating), and other subjects, something that was critical especially when apprentices were younger (as young as 13). This need for an “equalizer” was still evident when I served my apprenticeship in Germany from 1985-87 when my trade school class included those with university qualifications as well as those who left school early to learn a trade and ended up with publishers stapling magazines (also part of the hand bookbinding trades) all of whom needed to pass the same national examinations. Special courses in working with commercial grade high-speed folding machines and cutters were also included to provide a bridge to the industrial binding trade.

Master and apprentice.

I've had Adams' Leitfaden in my collection for some time, but as I was writing this, and searching for something online I tripped across Max Eschner's Der Buchbinder: Ein Lehr- und Lernbuch für Fachschulen, Fortbildungsschuen und zum Selbstunterricht, (Stuttgart: Hobbing & Büchle, 1898) similarly addresses the needs for a robust and comprehensive education in the bookbinding trade. It was based on the lesson plans of the municipal trade school for boys in Leipzig.A difference that was immediately noticeable was the inclusion of much bookbinding lore, including songs and poems that binders of all levels would have learned. More on Eschner in a later post.I am certain that others will appear over time as well...