Sunday, November 14, 2010

Couperus - De stille kracht (1900)

Perhaps the most well-known batik design for Dutch literati and other book lovers.
Chris Lebeau designed the cover, but it was in fact executed by the 'Arts and Crafts' firm of John Uiterwijk, in Apeldoorn (an enterprise that was financially backed and run by Agathe Wegerif, an influential woman in the Dutch Art Nouveau scene, and inventor of some quite handsome batik work). Marjan Groot even claims that the actual execution of the binding was in the hands of the flamboyant Wegerif, in an well-written article that can be found

It is known in five versions, including a limited edition of 40 copies on pink velvet. Several variant bindings exists, mostly grouped in four similar types, on which van Vliet in his book on the bindings of Couperus' books extensively.
Although not made in vellum, I have included it in my list here, as one of the few bindings in which the batik motifs were especially designed.

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