Treasure's description

Book design

Book design

The simplicity and strength of Melchior Lechter’s graphic design is evident in this title page. Lechter is renowned for his revolutionary book design, undertaken for his friend Stefan George, editor, with Karl Wolfskehl, of the present work, published in 1900. Two other editions in the same series, ‘Deutsche Dichtung’, all of them rare first and limited editions, and George’s ‘Hymnen’ of 1890 (printed for the author in an edition of only 100 copies) were presented to the Library in 1943 and 1944 by the English musician Cyril Scott, who had formed friendships with Lechter and George while studying in Germany. Indeed, three of the four volumes rejoice in presentation inscriptions from his friends. In October 1943 Scott wrote : ‘My belief is that the name of Stefan George will one day rank with that of Heine or Lenau. As for Lechter, he was a very great artist, and many of his stained glass windows are in various places in Germany. Whether the hall he decorated entirely in Cologne is still standing, is now doubtful after all that bombing. But I hope so.’