[Lorenz Schwartz Collection] The Croakers


The Croakers

by Joseph Rodman Drake and Fitz Greene Halleck. (New York: [The Bradford Club*], 1860). Copy No. 7 of 150 of this subscriber edition. Full dark maroon crushed morocco by Lorenz Schwartz at The Zahn Bindery, sumptuously inlaid in lavender, brown, tan, white, olive, and blood red, all augmented with elaborate gilt tooling. The major directional thrust of the inlaid work and tooling emanates from the spine toward the board edges. The extension of each horizontal arm is elaborately ornamented with inlays, dense fields of gilt dots, each terminating in a huge mass of tan inlays and gold work which when examined closely seems to be something like two wheat sheaves gently arching toward one another. The spine is also richly tooled in complement to the covers. All page edges gilt, gauffered and painted using part of the inner design from the horizontally extended arms spoken of earlier. The elaborate leather doublures are constructed using multiple color inlay and gilt tooling. An outer single fillet frame encloses what is a masterpiece in and of itself consisting of green, red, lavender, white and dense gilt tooling and dots. Each corner of the elaborate design and then extended to the outer frame. The front doublure is signed THE ZAHN BINDERY / MEMPHIS and the back one is signed with the LS monogram of Lorenz Schwartz. All in all a masterful display of artistic genius, technical ingenuity, and art binding virtuosity.