On this page I would like to present two colleagues of my beautiful guild and their masterly work.


Fritz Glotzmann

Born on 6 December 1918 in Mährisch Trübau (now the Czech town of  Moravská Trebová). He trained as a bookbinder and passed his examination for the master craftsman’s diploma as early as 1942. In 1945, after their forced migration, he and his wife Christl moved to Vienna, where he found employment at the famous bookbindery Bakala (former purveyor to the Austrian imperial court). He earned the respect of his initially sceptical employer through profound craftsmanship, a sense for aesthetics and a healthy dose of self-confidence. But the life of an employee didn’t appeal to Fritz Glotzmann, and so, with the help of his wife, he started up his own business in 1952. At Bakala‘s he was able to live out his artistic talent in upmarket work; unfortunately this wasn’t possible any more as a self-employed bookbinder. Nevertheless he continued to produce, now just for himself, book covers not only of technical perfection, but also impressive creative uniqueness. On 28 February 2013, my dear friend and mentor passed away and left to me his book collection. It contains volumes of a quality that so far I have only seen in reference books about the art of bookbinding. The designs are modern, decorative, sophisticated and masterfully executed. The range of his skills is also expressed in the variety of materials he used. To the end he preferred a material notoriously hard to process, namely parchment. Using parchment he produced not only countless albums but also extraordinary cassettes with beaten parchment and sophisticated clasps based on Japanese models. Here are some of his works:


Hand-gilded, bound in olive green oasis goatskin with leather platingEngraved colour edges, hand-tooled capitalHand-gilded, bound in red calfskin with raised fretsGilt top edge, hand-gilded inner borders and hand-gilded capitalFull parchment bound, with threaded parchment bands, paper marquetry and cassetteGilt top edge and embossed paper/brocade marquetryHand-gilded, bound in white maroquine leather with marquetryHand-gilded, bound in white maroquine leather with marquetryHand-gilded, bound in black oasis goatskin with small paper platingGilt top edgeHand-gilded, bound in full parchment made of classic vellum, with parchment bands visible in the jointInlaid cassette, small picture covered with wafer-thin parchmentHand-gilded, bound in olive green oasis goatskin leatherAtlas-binding for facsimile prints, hand-stitched capitalEmbossed, bound in light brown oasis goatskin, with slipcase with wood pulp paperHand-gilded, bound in oasis goatskinHand-gilded, bound in black and white maroquin leather with marquetryMarquetry made of leatherHand-gilded, bound in parchment, with beaten inlaysBeaten parchment, coloured edge, coloured embossingBound in parchment with leather plating and knotted parchment fretsGilt top edge, borders and capital with coloured embossingBound in parchment, with embossed beaten paper marquetryCassette for parchment-bound bookHand-gilded parchment, with leather coatingGilt top edge, hand-gilded borders and Japanese claspsHand-gilded, bound in light blue oasis goatskinHand-gilded, bound in olive green oasis goatskinHand-gilded, bound in parchment, with parchment frets visible on the jointHand-gilded, bound in light brown cowhide with straw marquetryHand-gilded, bound in parchment, with label and embossed beaten marquetryHand-gilded, bound in light brown oasis goatskin with marquetryBook box, hand-gilded, with beaten paper marquetryParchment document roll with mountingBlind embossed, bound in brown cowhide, made as a medieval girdle book




Carla Schwenkner

Born on 20 March 1897 in Königsberg (then in German East Prussia, now Kaliningrad in Russia), she began her bookbinding career after graduating from the Königsberg Lyceum. She completed her three-year apprenticeship in 1921 as the first „Lehrlingin“ (according to her certificate after passing the  final examination, Lehrlingin meaning female apprentice – a word which still doesn’t exist in German) with excellent results. Only five years later she passed the examination for the master craftsman’s diploma in Berlin, again with top result, and thus became the first trained master bookbinder in Germany.After an artistically very successful professional life in Germany, she moved to Austria to spend her old age close to her nephew in Laxenburg near Vienna, where she died on December 9, 1984. It was her expressed to leave her bookbinder's legacy definitely to a female master bookbinder. It was my privilege to receive her certificates and personal correspondence with her mentor Paul Kersten (a famous Berlin bookbinder at the turn of the 20th century), as well as her lovingly maintained tools and some books which she had bound, including the books she produced to qualify as a master craftswoman.


Hand-gilded, bound in parchment, with parchment frets visible in the jointGilt top edge, with hand-stitched capital of red thread, concealed front borders.Hand-gilded, bound in blue maroquin leather with raised frets and black leather coatingThree-sided gilt-edge, hand-gilded borders and capitalHand-gilded, bound in red maroquin leatherThree-sided gilded edge, silk end-papers, hand-gilded borders and capitalHand-gilded, bound in half leather (black maroquine leather) with raised fretsThree hand-gilded half leather books, with raised frets; marbled paper coverGilt top edgesHand-gilded stamp case made of red leather; hand-gilded photo case made of brown leatherHand-gilded stamp case made of red leather; hand-gilded photo case made of brown leatherHand-gilded, bound in half leather (black maroquin leather) with raised frets, marbled paper coverHand-gilded, bound in half leather (green maroquin leather) with raised frets; marble paper cover on paste groundingHand-gilded, bound in half leather (red maroquin leather) with raised frets; batik paper coverCollection Carla SchwenkerApprenticeship certificateMaster craftsman’s certificate   Folding box with marble paper and leather borderThree-sided gilded edge, gilded bordersHand-gilded, bound in maroquin leatherLined hinged box