Friday, April 17, 2020

Carl Schulze Binding on Masereel

Recently acquired a copy of Der Ewiger Jude (The Wandering Jew) illustrated with 12 woodcuts by Frans Masereel in a binding by the Düsseldorf binder Carl Schulze (1861-1937). The text is August Vermeylen's version, translated by Anton Kippenberg in the Insel Verlag's 1923 2nd edition. The story is a very old one, and "concerns a Jew who taunted Jesus on the way to the Crucifixion and was then cursed to walk the earth until the Second Coming. The exact nature of the wanderer's indiscretion varies in different versions of the tale, as do aspects of his character; sometimes he is said to be a shoemaker or other tradesman, while sometimes he is the doorman at the estate of Pontius Pilate." [From Wiki] A 2019 article in The Moment points to the anti-semetic nature of the story and how it has been reclaimed, also noting the importance of knowing "who is using the term and why?"

The binding has plain endpapers, a gilt top edge, stuck on woven endbands, and appears to be cased with false raised cords (kind of like Hermann Nitz's "Kombination" Binding, the ur-fancied-up book. I acquired the book a) because I LOVE the woodcuts of Frans Masereel, b) was struck by the decorated paper and binding (very much representative of the aesthetic of German binding of the day), and c) because it was "signed" by the binder.

From an article in the British Bookmaker, vol 2, nr 17, November 28, 1888, Schulze worked with Zaehnsdorf [as a journeyman] for several years. In 1904, the Archiv fur Buchbinderei reports him moving his bindery from Schadowstr 28 to Adlerstr 6. Google Street Views shows that no buildings from the time survived... The firm operated under the name of "Carl Schulze, kunstgewerbliche Werkstatt fur Lederplastik, Buchbinderei, und feinere Lederarbeiten." This is a range of services comparable on many levels to that of W. Collin in Berlin. Carl Schulze was not a member of the Jakob Krause Bund (1923), but the bindery was a member of the Meister der Einbandkunst (1927), with Carl spelled as Karl. The "C" is an artifact of French influences in the Rheinland. Paul Kersten in his Die Buchbinderei und das Zeichnen des Buchbinders... (1909) describes the bindery of Hendrick and Karl Schulze as representative of the new generation of creative and innovative bookbinders.

Detail of the decorated paper, a mono print as taken through a 10x lupe with mm scale.
The numbered vertical marks are in mm. The image was taken with my cell.
You can see the structure of the paper and fibers as well as the ink. If the paper was
mass-produced and printed one might see artifacts from the screen/process.
Thank you to Susanne Krause / Hamburger Buntpapier for asking the question and identifying.

Geb[unden] bei C. Schultze, Düsseldorf.
Stamped at top corner of verso of flyleaf. 

Title page of Der Ewige Jude (The Wandering Jew), Insel Verlag, 1923. 2nd ed.

Woodcut by Masereel.

Woodcut by Masereel.

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