You can judge a book by its cover : a brief survey of materials [Peller, Hugo, 1917-]

Bound in full black goatskin; white goatskin strip onlayed across spine and covers; covers tooled in gold; spine lettered in gold; alternating gilt and graphite edges; white goatskin headbands; gold leather doublures with pattern of blind-tooled dots; in a black goatskin Wehmais/Wiemar fold-out box with recessed area in white goatskin to hold book.

Hugo Peller was born in 1917 in Solothurn, Switzerland, the son of a master binder. Most of his life, except for the war years, was devoted to learning, practicing and teaching bookbinding. He served his apprenticeship as a bookbinder 1934 to 1938 followed by a year of studies in Strasbourg, France. During 1945 and 1946 he studied at the École Estienne in Paris. He was a teacher at the Gewerbeschule (trade school) in Solothurn from 1946 to 1967. He was a founder member and principal of the artistic bookbinding school, Centro del Bel Libro, in Ascona, Switzerland from 1978 to 1983. In 1955 he was elected to membership of the “Masters of the Art of Bookbinding” (MDE) and served as its vice-president from 1961 to 1966. Peller has won many awards, his books have been exhibited internationally and are in many private collections. For the several years the Pellers spent two weeks, in February, with friends in Wehmais, Finland and he conducted Symposiums there in 1987 and 1989. There he also developed a container for books that he calls the “Wehmais Box”, the lid has a vertical diagonal opening in the middle which folds back and displays the book. In 1990, Der Buchbinder Hugo Peller was published in Bern, Switzerland. He passed away in 2003.


A full black goatskin binding with an irregular shaped narrow strip of white goatskin leather onlayed, slightly below the center, across the spine and both the front and back covers. The front and back covers have diagonal parallel gold lines meeting at the white onlay, with the title in gold on the spine. The edges have alternate strips of gold and graphite, with headbands of white goatskin. The doublures are gold leather with an overall pattern of blind dots. The black goatskin Wehmais Box has the title on one half of the cover with gold lines making a border on each half of the cover. There is a recessed area in white goatskin inside the box for the book with two gold lines framing the book.