Viennese Book Binding around 1900

As part of the Autographs auction on 27 June 2024, two magnificently bound books will be offered for sale alongside numerous other examples of the Viennese book binding art from around 1900.

F. W. Papke Glückwunschadresse für Erzherzog Ludwig Viktor, 1902 Schätzwert € 1.000 – 2.000
F. W. Papke
Congratulatory message for Archduke Ludwig Viktor, 1902
estimate €1,000 – 2,000

On the occasion of his 60th birthday, Archduke Ludwig Viktor (1842–1919), the youngest brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I, received a very special dedicatory greeting: the regional association of the Red Cross of Styria sent the Archduke, its patron, a congratulatory message made by the world-famous Vienna-based art bookbinder F. W. Papke. The leather cover – which is still in very good condition today – was a high point of book binding around 1900. It has a layer of lacquer that was perfectly polished to a high gloss, which gives it the elegant character of tortoiseshell or polished burr. The central, hand-carved archducal coat of arms is discreetly framed by a baroque-style gold border and four white enamelled coats of arms with translucent red crosses. Archduke Ludwig Viktor, known as “Luziwuzi” who was renowned for his exalted life-style, and was also an art connoisseur, will have appreciated the timeless elegance of this extraordinary congratulatory message.

Otto Prutscher Ehrenbürgerdiplom Deutsch-Altenburg, 1906 Schätzwert € 5.000 – 10.000
Otto Prutscher
Honorary citizen diploma
Deutsch-Altenburg, 1906
estimate €5,000 – 10,000

In 1906, just four years later, the architect and designer Otto Prutscher (1880–1949), brother of the architect Hans Prutscher, created a magnificent Jugendstil book cover whose design was light years ahead of other examples of its time. The 26 year old designer probably received the commission from the famous cabaret artistand caricaturist Carl Hollitzer, to  design a binding for his father’s certificate of Honorary Citizenship of the town of Deutsch-Altenburg in Lower Austria. Prutscher’s design, signed on the back, was ornamentally embossed in brass by the expert metal specialist Nikolaus Stadler and was given an inscription as well as malachite applications. The honorary citizenship certificate, which was long considered lost and is now up for auction, features a large watercolour by Remigius Geyling in the text, as well as hand-drawn endpapers with a reddish-brown wave motif behind full-page gold netting. As a craftsman, Otto Prutscher covered a wide range of products. With this piece he created a bibliophile masterpiece – a book cover epitomising the art of Viennese modernism.


Autographs, Manuscripts, Documents

 Online Auction
27 June 2024, 2 pm
Palais Dorotheum, Dorotheergasse 17, 1010 Vienna
Tel. +43-1-515 60-389

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