Das ABC Büchlein (1934)


David Godine did us all a great service by reprinting Das ABC Büchlein in 1976. Certainly it was our introduction to the work of Rudolf Koch and that’s probably true for many others. But here we’ve got the first trade printing from 1934,* the year of Koch’s death. It’s got twenty-four decorative alphabets by Koch and Berthold Wolpe, and then cut in wood and metal by Fritz Kredel and Gustav Eichenauer. Printed via letterpress in pre-War Germany, each alphabet is different, yet each bears the the unmistakable genius of both Koch and Wolpe. Super-special.

*When we announced this book in an email on December 20, we referred to this as the first printing. It’s actually the second. Rudolf’s son had printed 100 copies before this trade edition for Insel. Sometimes we get things wrong. Still, a nice book. 

  • Authors: Rudolf Koch and Berthold Wolpe
  • Size: 9 × 5.75 inches
  • Pages: 52
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Condition: Boards are bowed and scuffed. Spine is a little loose. There’s a mark on the front cover that looks like pen and some of the paper that wraps the cover is cracked at the edges. But the inside is good!
  • Publisher: Insel Verlag, 1934