[Lorenz Schwartz Collection] The Idylls of Theocritus


The Idylls of Theocritus

(Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin and Company [Printed at the Riverside Press], 1906). Copy No. 264 of 330 copies printed. Book designed by Bruce Rogers using his Brimmer typeface. Bound in full deep-blue (nearly black) levant morocco by Lorenz Schwartz at The Zahn Bindery, using gouges, leaves, line and roll tools to create a densely decorated design of geometric shapes within which stem-and-leaf stamping densely fill the spaces. Double triangular compartments cross each corner and touch upon an inner vertical center rectangle which is composed of multi-lined triangular forms divided into and upper and lower half with each half having four triangles. The trapezoidal spaces formed at the top, bottom and sides are filled with curvilinear stem-and-leaf designs growing larger the further they are from the vertical or horizontal midpoints of the sides; gilt dots are also placed among the leaves. The overall effect is that of dense complexity but which maintains a highly ordered harmony of design. The spine is divided into six compartments with a French-style of spacing with the inner two compartments being the largest, and with smaller sets of compartments toward the head and the tail of the spine; t.e.g. Front and back marbled paper doublures; wide turn-ins decorated with sixteen sets of curved stems and leaves on each longer side and eight sets on the top and bottom; smaller leaf-and-stem tooling at each corner. Front inner cover is signed THE ZAHN BINDERY / MEMPHIS at the bottom, and the back inner cover carries the LS monogram of Lorenz Schwartz. A binding somewhat reminiscent of the denser work of The Doves Bindery, but with Schwartz’s own originality.