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Model Book of South Slavic Ornaments

Südslavische Ornamente gesammelt und gewidmet allen Ländern und Völkern zur Förderung der Kunstindustrie und nebst einer Abhandlung über die Verbreitung und Cultur der Südslaven [South Slavic Ornaments, collected and dedicated to all countries and peoples to support their artistic production, with a treatise on the spread and culture of the South Slavs].

Essegg (Osijek) and Hanau a.M.: self-published (C. Naumann's Druckerei and B. Dondorf in Frankfurt a.M.), [1871 or 1872]. Table of contents and 20 chromolithographed plates, loose as issued in the original publisher's pictorial wrappers. With a text booklet comprising 26 pp. and one wood-engraved plate, in the original publisher's printed wrappers. All housed together in original string-bound embossed dark blue pebbled cloth portfolio with gilt title to front board (measuring 33 × 24 cm). The portfolio lacking 4 (of 6) hasps; private label to front board; wrappers of the brochure lightly stained and with some loss to lower right corner; the plates occasionall lightly dust-soiled on white margins; still overall very good.

Apparently the first edition of this vibrant study of South Slavic ornamentation and folkloric textile designs. Complete with twenty plates (two installments of ten plates each), lithographed by I. Redinger and printed in gold and other colors by B. Dondorf in Frankfurt am Main, after designs by Friedrich Fischbach. The plates depict textile designs for surface areas and trimmings, such as seen on woven carpets, towels, aprons, and other cloths, some of them are reproduced true to size. The second installment also contains designs for jewelry. An engraving in the accompanying booklet shows a woman in traditional South Slavic garb.

Fischbach (1839–1908) was a German textile designer and collector of textiles who had studied at the Berlin Academy of Industrial Design. In 1862, he moved to Vienna, where he pursued the profession of decorator and designer. He created drawings for the collection of pattern designs in the Austrian Museum. From 1870, he was teacher of ornamentation at the Royal Academy, Hanau, and from 1883 to 1888 he served as director of the newly-organized Industrial Art School of Saint Gall. In 1888, he sold his collection of fabrics and embroideries to the Textile Museum in Saint Gall. In 1889, he moved to Wiesbaden. He founded many societies for the advancement of industrial art and greatly influenced textile design in Germany. In 1909, the Metropolitan Museum of Art acquired his remaining collection of antique embroideries and fabrics. The booklet also contains his preface explaining the reasons for issuing the present work. Among others, Fischbach saw in the “authentic” national designs of the South Slavs a welcome antidote to “French fashion” and the “superficiality of machine ornamentation,” and he intended the work to be in equal parts a scholarly and a practical resource for revitalizing German industrial design.

Felix Lay, the author of the accompanying brochure, was from Essegg (Osijek) in Eastern Croatia, and served as curator of the “Germanisches Museum” (today Germanisches Nationalmuseum) in Nuremberg. His text deals with the early history of the Slavic peoples, their literary, artistic, and everyday culture, as well as their trade and cottage industry, along with reflections on the cultural peculiarity of the Slavs within Europe.

As of June 2021, KVK and OCLC only locate one copy in North America.

Book ID: 51312

Price: $1,750.00