A Sought-After Private Press Book, in a Particularly Colorful and Imaginatively Designed Binding


(Munich: Bremer Presse, 1931). 292 x 203 mm. (11 1/2 x 8"). 285, [1] pp., [1] leaf (colophon).Edited by Josef Hofmiller and Robert Spindler. No. 161 OF 275 COPIES.

DRAMATIC CRIMSON MOROCCO, DECORATED WITH ABSTRACT DESIGNS BY MARY HORSTSCHULZE (stamp-signed in gilt on rear turn-in), covers with inlaid and onlaid panels of crushed morocco and smooth calf in shades ranging from pink to scarlet, four of the panels with expressionistic embossed designs, boards with additional ivory and black morocco in circles or irregular shapes, these painted with designs in black, gray, and pink; flat spine with gilt titling, red suede doublures and endleaves, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed. In a very nice custom-made linen solander box backed with russet morocco. ◆In mint condition.

This is a beautifully printed collection of English sonnets from the foremost continental private press, in a vividly striking binding by a German designer binder. Mary Horstschulze (b. 1943) studied with Freiburg bookbinder Eva Aschoff and at the Akademie für das Graphische Gewerbe in Munich before joining the Legatoria Artistica in Ascona, Switzerland in 1970. Our binding was done during her seven years there, and the studio's name is stamped on the front turn-in. Legatoria Artistica was founded in 1965 by Josef Stemmle, who envisioned this bookbinding workshop in a Swiss resort as a "binder in the window," where the public display would raise awareness of, and appreciation for, hand-bound books. In 1977, Horstschulze returned to Germany, and now lives in Müllheim. She is a member of Meister der Einbandkunst association, and won a gold medal in the prestigious Prix Paul Bonet in 1975. Among many distinctions, she was one of 32 bookbinders from Germany and Sweden asked by the Nobel committee in 2010 to bind a book written by that year's winner of the prize for literature (Germany's Herta Müller), to be included in an exhibition at the Nobel Museum.

This is a highly valued and sought-after book, no matter the binding. Cave says that the Bremer Presse, founded in 1911 by Willy Wiegand (1884-1961) and others and active until the Nazis came to power, had an influence that "was probably greater and longer lasting than that of any of the other fine presses." 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." One of a number of works Bremer produced in English, our volume contains sonnets by an array of English poets renowned for that form, including Sidney, Spenser, Shakespeare, Donne, Milton, Wordsworth, Barrett Browning, and the Rossettis. The imaginative variety of shapes, textures, and colors that make up the binding here contain strong emotive values that can easily be visualized as celestial forms and the landscape moving in response to natural forces--appropriate for a collection of sonnets, and, in any case, stirring and suggestive.

Price: $9,500.00