Often these bindings are not signed, neither by Ricketts, nor by the bookbinder's. The firm was founded by Joseph Zaehnsdorf (1816-1896), who had come to London in 1837. By the time bookbindings for the Vale Press were executed by the firm, it was headed by the son, Joseph William Zaehnsdorf (1853-1930).
Not all Vale Press books in a binding by Zaehnsdorf were designed by Ricketts. Later collectors often brought their books to the firm, and these bindings have traditional designs.
|Zaehnsdorff binding stamp in a copy of Fifty Songs by Thomas Campion(Vale Press, 1896)|
This mark is a small oval tool apparently used, along with similar stamps, as a quality mark on the superior bindings produced by the firm. It represents the medieval apprentice seated at the sewing frame and is taken from the wood engraving of a binder's shop by Jost Amman, which Zaehnsdorf's used in their advertising and on their stationary [...]
|Binding stamps used by Zaehnsdorf|
|Zaehnsdorff bindings on Fifty Songs by Thomas Campion |
and A Catalogue of Mr Shannon's Lithographs
|Zaehnsdorff bindings on Fifty Songs by Thomas Campion|