Brillant Czech Cubist artist binding, in the style of Jaroslav Benda, 1922
L. BRADÁČ (Editor); L. J. WEBER (Collector); Viktor DYK (Text): POSLEDNÍ ROK [Last Year]. Královských Vinohradech [Prague]: 1922.
Ludvig BRADÁČ (Editor); Ladislav Jiří WEBER (Collector); Viktor DYK (Text): POSLEDNÍ ROK [Last Year]. Básně [Poems]. (= Vybrané knihy [Selected Books], XXIX) Královských Vinohradech [Prague]: Ludvik Bradáč (Stiebling, Havelka vo Vršovicích) 1922.
8vo. [1 leaf (front end paper)], [1 leaf (2nd blank end paper, with dedication)], [not numb. p. 1-8 (incl. title)], p. 9-71 , [3 leaves (table of contents, colophon, author’s bibliography)], [2 leaves (rear blank end papers)]. Letterpress, in original artist’s binding, a full brown calf leather on 5 raised bands over cardboards, gilt and colour stamped cubist framing on boards and inner edges incorporating geometric motives, gilt title on spine, as well as red marbled end papers and gilt head cut, all in original grey cardboard slipcase.
Gorgeously bound copy of this 1st edition of poems by prominent Czech author and politician Viktor Dyk, additionally with the editor’s Ludvik Bradáč dated dedication to Ladislav Jiří Weber (1893-1961), a renown collector of arts and bibliophile. Weber had this book bound by an unmentioned artist bookbinder, which indicates a gilt stamp owner’s remark »Z KNIH JUDRA LADISLAVA JIŘÍHO WEBERA« in the bottom inner edge of the front cover.
Binding: The binding is skilfully executed using a smooth deer brown calf leather, the boards are gilt and colour stamped in typical Czech cubist style with an extensive geometrical frame work incorporating half circles and stars. The design reminds of similar works by Jaroslav Benda (1882-1970), a famous reformist book artist and typographer starting to modernise Czech book design already in the 1910s. His typical symmetric arrangements of lines, frames and (half) circles very much influenced numerous artist bookbinders of his generation.
Thanks to being protected in the original slipcase over the decades this copy is very well preserved indeed. – See Toman, Kubism, p. 162, no. 6.3.11 (with colour illustr.) for a similar design attributed to Benda.