ERNST LUDWIG PRESSE. GOETHE, Johann Wolfgang von. ~ Faust. Eine Tragödie von Goethe.
Two volumes bound in one by Alfred Hüter of Berlin, with his binding label. Woodcut titles and initials. Printed in red and black in Kleukens-Antiqua type at the Kleukens Presse. Pp. 214, ; 328. 4to., full vellum binding over stiff boards with calligraphic title in black ink on spine. 4pp prospectus inserted loose. Slight wear to the lower sewn headband, first gathering a little shaken, few small marks to lower cover, but generally a very handsome volume.
Two volumes of three, the last being published in 1924 being a small volume entitled ‘Urfaust & Paralimpomena’ The colophon declares that two Frankfurt men, Moritz Freiherr von Bethmann and Hans von Pasavant paid for the paper on the understanding that the Kleukens Presse would repay the same amount to the Goethe Museum in Frankfurt.
The dramatic full page opening initial I is reminiscent of the Doves Bible. Indeed, the great German book and type designer and printer Christian Kleukens was influenced by Cobden-Sanderson.
The Ernst Ludwig Presse was founded in 1907 as private printing company for the learned Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig von Hessen, with the great typographer and printer Friedrich Wilhelms Kleukens as its director. From the beginning it displayed the superb typefaces of Friedrich and his brother Christian who later joined the Press as compositor and pressman, taking over as director in 1914. In fact there were four types which were created by Friedrich Kleukens for the press, namely Kleukens-Antiqua, Kleukens-Fraktur, Ingeborg-Antiqua and Helga-Antiqua. As one of the first German private presses, the Ernst Ludwig press followed English examples of the Arts and Crafts movement, such as the Kelmscott Press and the Doves Press. In 1919 Christian Kleukens with Rudolf G. Binding founded the Kleukens-Presse in Frankfurt am Main which became affiliated with his Ernst Ludwig Presse, hence this ‘joint’ production. Kleukens also founded the Kleukens-Binderei in 1919 under Ernst Rehbein which moved to Frankfurt am Main from Leipzig three years later.