CRANACH PRESS. SHAKESPEARE, William. GORDON CRAIG, Edward. ~ Die Tragische Geschichte Von Hamlet Prinzen Von Daenmark.
Translated into German by Gerhard Hauptmann, with translations of the original Hamlet stories by Saxo Grammaticus and Francoise de Belleforest. 74 wood engravings by Edward Gordon Craig, and wood engraved lettering by Eric Gill, typeface designed by Edward Johnston after that used by Fust & Schoeffer in their Mainz Psalter of 1457. The hemp and linen fibre paper was made by Maillol. No.29 of only 230 copies of the German edition on handmade paper of a total edition of 255. Folio, an outstandingly fresh copy bound in a remarkable contemporary spcial bindings, unsigned, but most probably by Dorfner. Full dark red morocco, with an exact copy of the Gordon Craig woodcut on p.121 on the upper cover in blue morocco onlay ruled in gilt, both covers and edges with gilt ruleds, spine in compartments with raised bands, each compartment ruled in gilt, three lettered in gilt, blue silk endleaves. In the original slightly worn speckled stiff boards slipcase. Spine very mildly faded, otherwise an exceptionally bright and fresh copy.
The translator Gerhard Hauptmann’s copy specially bound for him and with an inscription by him to his son on the title dated 1936.
A remarkable copy which is so fresh and crisp that it appears to have just come off the press. The unique contemporary binding is handsome and accomplished and fits the book perfectly.
Intended by Count Kessler as the crowning glory of his private Cranach Press, Hamlet was 17 years in gestation from when he had seen Gordon Craig’s black figures for his Moscow Hamlet and decided that spectacular woodcuts could be printed from them. The result is one of the most important and spectacular works of the private press movement.