Pen and Graver – Hermann Zapf & August Rosenberger - 1952

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For your consideration, a near fine copy of the slim volume “Pen and Graver” printed at the Trajanus Presse, the house printing office at the Stempel Type Foundry, and published by Museum Books in New York.

Quarter bound in vellum and Fabriano Roma over boards by Zapf's future wife, Gudrund Zapf von Hesse.

From the colophon: This first edition in English of ”Feder und Stichel” was produced in 1952 in an impression of 2000 copies printed on Italian Fabriano paper in the private printing-office of the D. Stempel AG type foundry, Frankfurt am Main (Germany). The calligraphic pages were designed between 1939–1941 by Hermann Zapf, who also composed the historical appendix. The latter was translated by Paul Standard of New York, who also wrote the preface. All the metal plates were cut by hand by the foundry's punch-cutter August Rosenberger. The text is again set in the Palatino type, designed for the foundry by Hermann Zapf for the the original German edition.

script hz & ar sculps

A remarkable production both for the presswork which is impeccable, and the technical prowess of Rosenberger responding to, and complimenting Zapf's calligraphic mastery. Remarkably, Zapf was in his early 20s with only 4 to 5 years experience as a calligrapher when he drew the plates. The art for each pen-drawn plate was later transferred to type-height lead blocks by Rosenberger. Using a graver Rosenberger engraved each plate either in relief, or in reverse. This first English, and third German edition of 500 copies printed at the same time from electrotyped plates from the originals. The plate for the title page had split when printing the second German edition. This edition uses Zapf's Sistina and Palatino to reset the title page.

This copy is near fine. The curious defect being the gilt spine stamping is no longer clear. How this came to be is unknown. Otherwise, the boards are square, the corners sharp, hinges and joints are solid and the text block is tight. As fine a copy would be difficult to find.

Compare with the other copy currently available on-line, then come back and place your order.

As always, excess postage is promptly refunded.

Your patronage allows me to continue to practice the letterpress craft using traditional methods.

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