Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Bookbinding Workshop In 1840

by Stephen J. Gertz

This busy image of a nineteenth century bookbinding workshop c. 1840 is one of thirty hand-colored lithographed plates depicting twenty-nine trades and professions issued in 30 Werkstätten von Handwerkern by Jacob Ferdinand Schreiber, a leading German publisher of children's books.

Originally published c. 1840, this, the 1844 second edition, was greatly expanded from the first, which only contained twelve plates. Included here are views of potters; sculptors and masons; farriers; nailsmiths; locksmiths; coppersmiths; plumbers; cutlers; tinsmiths; bell founders; blacksmiths; gold and silver smiths; carpenters; coopers; turners; butchers; bakers; ropers; soap makers; tanners; shoemakers; saddlers; brush makers; drapers; tailors; milliners; weavers; and, in Booktryst propinquity, bookbinders. 

Each unsigned plate features a central image of craftsmen at work bordered with the primary tools of their trade.

The book - highly sought-after and rare with OCLC recording only nine copies in institutional holdings worldwide - is complete with an accompanying sixteen-page text booklet that is often lacking when copies find their way into the marketplace. But, according to ABPC, no copies have come to auction within the last twenty-eight years.

A copy, however, recently found its way into - and immediately out of -  circulation. It sold for $16,500.

SCHREIBER, J.F. 30 Werkstätten von Handwerkern. Nebst ihren hauptsächlichsten Werkzeugen und Fabrikaten. Mit erklärenden Text. Zweite Auflage. Esslingen am Neckar: J.F. Schreiber, 1844. Second edition. Oblong folio (335 x 425 mm). Lithographed title page, thirty hand-colored lithographed plates. 16 pp text booklet inserted.


Image courtesy of Antiquariaat Forum, with our thanks.

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