(Munich: Bremer Presse, 1929). 278 x 190 mm. (11 x 7 1/2"). 86 pp.,  leaf (colophon). No. 36 OF 130 COPIES printed for subscribers of the Bremer Presse (plus 150 copies printed for Buch-Bund Hamburg and 250 copies printed for Random House, New York).
Original stiff vellum by the Bremer Binderei (stamp-signed on rear pastedown with bindery name and the initials of its director, Frieda Thiersch), raised bands, boards and spine compartments with gilt-rule border, gilt titling to spine, yapp edges. In the original (slightly faded) vellum-lipped blue cardboard slipcase. Title page and decorative initials designed by Anna Simons, printed in red and black. Ransom, p. 257. AN IMMACULATE COPY.
Virtually unchanged from the day it left the Bremer premises, this is a pristine example of the elegant work produced by one of the greatest Continental private presses. The Press was founded in 1911 by Willy Wiegand (1884-1961) and others, and was active until just before World War II. Cave flatly declares that Bremer had an influence that "was probably greater and longer lasting than that of any of the other fine presses." It certainly is universally considered the most successful and influential of the German private presses, and Ransom says that "perhaps no other organization, private or public, has attempted closer coordination and interrelation of scholarship, type design, and book design." Following the typographic lead of Cobden-Sanderson and Emery Walker, the press "was very much in the grand tradition; a few good, special typefaces were cut and used with magnificent effect in large format editions of Homer, Dante, Tacitus, the Luther Bible, and similar books." (Cave) As with the Doves volumes, ornament was eschewed, except for the splendid initials drawn by Anna Simons, one of Edward Johnston's pupils--embellishments that are seen to good advantage in this work. The considerable success enjoyed by Bremer resided in typography both refined and innovative, with the highest quality of materials, and with meticulous presswork. In addition to the typefaces cut by Wiegand for exclusive use at his press, new titles and initials were designed and cut for almost every production.
Binder Frieda Thiersch got her start working under the tutelage of Charles McLeish, formerly of the Doves Bindery. Upon completing her apprenticeship, she began working first for Carl Sonntag, but soon thereafter became the premier binder for the Bremer Press. Bindings like the present one, bound under her direct supervision at the Bremer Binderei, are stamped with the initials "F. TH."; those bound by her own hand were typically signed with her full name. The collection of essays by American Transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82) on topics including nature, beauty, language, discipline, idealism, and spirit is printed in English, with the colophon in German. This copy was in the superb library of private press books assembled by Hamburg collector Barbara Achilles (d. 2010). It was her wish that, when she died, "the books should not be handed over to a museum or archive and then possibly disappear into storage except for brief exhibitions, but rather, to the delight of new and old collectors, should come back into circulation through an auction." (The Hamburg Achilles Foundation) Her mother and fellow collector, Edith Achilles, honored this request. Subscriber copies of this work are far more uncommon in the marketplace than those printed for Bund-Buch Hamburg and Random House, and copies in the perfect condition seen here are even rarer. (ST16970)
Add to Cart Price: $1,900.00
PJP Catalog: NY21BF.042