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Netherlands Decorated Books Collection

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'De vier Heemskinderen' by Felix Timmermans, 1922

About the Collection

The collection of Dutch books with decorated trade bindings provides primary source material for bookbinding research. It has also supported extensive studies on artists for example, P.A.H. Hofman (1885-1965) whose biographer, Loes Faasen, used the books for her 1975 biography. Due to the designs and material employed they are also of use to graphic design and typographical researchers. The use of colour and gilding is also of interest.

The books cover the period 1893-1939 and contains bindings in the Nieuwe Kunst and Art Nouveau styles by contemporary artists working in the Netherlands such as Jozef Cantre (1890-1957) and Jan Toroop (1858-1928). The collection is particularly strong on P.A.H. Hofman's designs.

P.A.H. Hofman was an important designer of stained glass and posters as well as book bindings. Hofman produced striking and accomplished binding designs which are characteristic of his own style. His works used decorative cloth bindings, a medium that had not survived the First World War in the UK.

Jozef Cantre was a Belgian artist, where he returned to in 1930 to take up a post as Chair of Typography at Ecole des Beaux-Arts de la Cambre. Prior to this he was in Holland producing binding designs using woodcuts.

Jan Toorop and other artists works demonstrate earlier designs than those of Hofman and Cantre.

Text by Karyn Stuckey, Archivist

'Psyche' by Louis Couperus, published [1900?], design identical to 1st ed. by Jan Toorop
Address: London College of Communication Library
Elephant & Castle
Tel: 020 7514 6722
Fax: 020 7514 6597

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