When I sat down with the Flacks to look over the catalog before it went off to the printer, Paul remarked that his favorite fraktur artist was Andreas Kolb. I too find Kolb’s work superior and I’ve laid out my share of fraktur artists over the past decade creating catalogs for Pook & Pook. I love the whimsical quality of his flowers and creatures as well as his use of contrasting dark and light colors in his art. Two lots by Kolb are set to cross the auction block on October 13th at The Collection of Paul & Rita Flack, both watercolor and ink songbook examples by the Lehigh County, Pennsylvania Mennonite school teacher (active 1784-1810). So, my picks of the week are lots 84 and 218. The first, a rare hymnal with a tooled and pigmented leather binding yields not one, but two bookplates inside its cover. The first is a tulip blooming out of an inscribed heart. In the corner, a quirky little face emerges. The adjacent bookplate reveals clumps of berries above the text detailing the recipient’s name.
The second lot, lot 218, shows Kolb’s skill in all its glory. Two lines of musical notes are embraced by tulips blooming into eccentric faces adorned with crowns of leaves and petals. The base is flanked on either side with birds. Very different lots by the same artist, but both simply beautiful. Either would make a fabulous jumping off point for anyone entering the world of fraktur collecting.