Will O' The Mill Courtesy of Richard Blacher

Book courtesy of Dick Blacher. Pictures and commentary courtesy of Paul Jackson.

Will O' The Mill

by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1901
Unlimited edition in Zaehnsdorf binding

This book measures 7 7/8" x 6" and has 53 pages. The body of the text is set in Old Style Antiqua. The regular edition was printed on Boxmoor and bound in suede. The regular edition shown above has been given a stylish Zaehnsdorf jacket. There was a limited edition of 100 that was printed on Imperial Japan Vellum and bound in 3/4 leather. The decorations, portrait and initials are by Samuel Warner. Typography was done by Andrew Andrews. Additionally, there was also an edition of 350 that was illuminated, numbered and bound in suede.


Zaehnsdorf, Joseph ( 1816-1886 )

An Austro-Hungarian bookbinder, born in Budapest and apprenticed at the age of 15 to a Herr Knipe, a bookbinder of Stuttgart, with whom he worked for 5 years. Thereafter, he travelled to Vienna, where he worked in the shop of a Herr Stephan. Zaehnsdorf left Vienna in about 1836, travelled in Europe, and finally arrived in London in 1837. There he went to work for Messrs. Westley & Co., stayed for 3 years, and then went to work for John Mackenzie for another 3 years, 1840 to 1842. He then established his own bookbinding firm, which flourished until his death, and was then taken over by his only son, Joseph William Zaehnsdorf (1853-1930).

One of the most influential bookbinders of his time, Zaehnsdorf was considered to be an excellent craftsman, with his forwarding and finishing being of equal merit, although in the latter he copied more than he innovated, although invariably in good taste. During his lifetime, fine examples of his workmanship were to be found in libraries of all of the great English book collectors. The company survives today as SSZ, a combination of the Zaehnsdorf and Sangorski Sutcliffe firms.

Information on Zaehnsdorf from:
Etherington & Roberts
Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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