(Jena: Eugen Diederichs, 1910). 195 x 120 mm. (7 5/8 x 4 3/4"). xii, 65,  pp.Translated by Eduard Mörike. No. 505 OF 850 COPIES.
TASTEFUL BURGUNDY CRUSHED MOROCCO BY DE SAUTY (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with gilt-rule frame with three inlaid green morocco dots at corners, upper cover with matching central lozenge containing the initials A. S., raised bands, gilt-ruled spine compartments, gilt titling, turn-ins with gilt French fillet, edges untrimmed. Original burgundy wrappers bound in. Front flyleaf with ink inscription (dated Dusseldorf, 1910) to calligrapher and type designer Anna Simons from F. H. Ehmcke, designer of the type in this volume. A breath of rubbing to lower corners, otherwise A SUPERB COPY, exceptionally fine inside and out.
This lovely item is tied in every way to the Arts & Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries: it is beautifully printed by a German publisher inspired by Ruskin, bound by a leading practitioner of Arts & Crafts techniques, and presented by the designer of types used here to a woman who became the principal type designer for the Bremer Press. The "Idylls" of the greatest of Greek pastoral poets, Theocritus (third century B.C.), are the earliest known "bucolic" poems and the model for Virgil's "Eclogues." The translation here is by German Romantic poet Eduard Mörike (1804-75), praised by Ludwig Wittgenstein as "a great poet" whose work was "very closely related to Goethe's." Part of the German Arts & Crafts movement Deutsche Werkbund, publisher Eugen Diedrichs (1867-1930) set up his press in Jena as a Kulturverleger [culture publisher] dedicated to bringing great works of literature to the common people, rather than producing avant-garde works for an elite audience. The attractive typefaces used here are Ehmcke-Antiqua and Ehmcke-Kursiv, designed in 1909-10 by typographer and graphic designer Fritz Helmuth Ehmcke (1878-1965). Ehmcke had this book bound by another member of the Arts & Crafts movement, Alfred de Sauty, who trained briefly at the end of the 19th century at Riviere in London and subsequently made designs for the Hampstead Bindery and taught at the London County Council School of Arts and Crafts. In 1908 he immigrated to America, becoming manager of the extra bindery at the R. R. Donnelley Co. in Chicago, where he became known as one of the most accomplished binders at work in the first third of the 20th century. The recipient of this lovely volume was Anna Simons (1871-1951), who studied with Edward Johnston at the Royal College of Art in London before returning to her native Germany. At the time she received this volume, she was teaching a lettering course at the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie, translating Johnston's work into German, and organizing exhibitions of British book arts. She designed the type for the second Bremer Press book (the 1914 Tacitus), and became the principal designer for the Press. Johnston's biographer called her "one of the best students Johnston ever had and certainly one of those who exercised the greatest influence afterwards, for she disseminated his teaching throughout Germany where it was perhaps more fruitful, even, than in England." (ST13802)
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PJP Catalog: NY19BF.011