Peter Franck

Sherman, Connecticut

Jean Cocteau, Le Mystère Laïc, n.d.

Bound in full dark green goat skin; sewn on five single raised cords; marbled endpapers; top edge gilt, green and black handsewn silk endband; title and design tooled in gold. 19 x 15 x 2 centimeters. Created n.d. Lent by Hope Weil Levene.

Born in 1883, Peter Franck began his bookbinding career at the age of thirteen in his uncle’s bindery in Landau, Germany. He came to America in 1907 and worked at Elbert Hubbard’s Roycroft bindery. The following years saw his involvement for varying periods of time with the Caxton Society, the Oakwood Binders, The New York Public Library, Henry Stikeman, the Bremer Presse, and the Blackwell-Bennett Bindery. In 1929, he joined the Guild, and shortly thereafter finally established his own bindery in Sherman, CT. Although he completed many beautiful fine bindings, he is particularly known for his restoration work, which he did for the Library of Congress, the Pierpont Morgan Library, and the New York Academy of Medicine. He was the author of A Lost Link in the Technique of Bookbinding and How I Found It (1941), which describes packed sewing on raised cords.