Antique Bookbinding, Letterpress, Tools & MORE

Rahm Bindery Auction has some fine pcs of equipment & tools in it

“Rahm Bookbinding operated out of Colorado Springs, Colorado from 1905 to 2019. The bindery is a legacy of Colorado Springs’ interesting past; founded in 1871, the city of Colorado Springs quickly became known as a cultural hub of the American West, even being dubbed “Little London.” This early reputation was earned by the presence of a world-class resort, the Broadmoor Hotel, The Broadmoor Art Academy (which eventually became the well-respected Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center), Colorado College, Van Briggle Pottery, and Glen Eyrie Castle. The city fostered a cadre of well-informed writers, painters, photographers, and collectors, and so a tradition of bookbinding developed in the early 1900’s, with Rahm Bookbinding becoming the thriving heart of the bookbinding community in Colorado Springs.

Beginning with Arthut Rahm, four generations of bookbinders plied their intricate craft using this well-preserved collection of bookbinding equipment. The collection has been in constant use and excellent working order during the many years the bindery operated. Most of the existing pieces were originally purchased in the 1960’s or much earlier. Highlights of the collection include Kwikprint heat stamp embossers, a Kensol embosser, and over 80 drawers of handset lead and brass type. The handset type are complete collections and housed in antique wooden and metal cases. Hundreds of rolls of gold and silver heat stamp foil are preserved as part of the bindery. An important centerpiece of the bindery is an original “John Jacques & Son” board sheer from Worcester, MA, in excellent working order. Bookinding backers from Gane Bros. and W.O. Hicock are also available. Another fixture of the bindery is an Imperial electric paper cutter. In most cases, the original owner’s manuals and paperwork for the equipment are available. A variety of beautiful brass hand tools are also an important part of the collection. No less important are several bookpresses in fine working condition. The collection includes a number of workbenches, and storage options for tools and materials. Many cover materials are still included in the bindery, such as calfskin, lambskin, and cowhide leather skins. Other materials include a variety of buckram, moire, and linen.

Over the century that this bindery operated, exquisite one-of-a-kind bindings were commissioned, including detailed leather work, custom gold and silver embossing, and signature sewn bindings. Rahm Bookbinding used this equipment to serve records offices for local government, police departments, schools, convents, and monasteries. Large restoration projects were diligently undertaken for the local library districts, and Rahm work may be found in many of the personal collections. Leather-bound editions, bibles, prayer books, and sentimental gifts were also created for Rahm’s national clientele. In recent years, Rahm bookbinders created a popular series of leather journals.

The collection is more than a set of disparate parts – it is a complete working bookbindery for the hobbyist or the professional. Each piece has been in loving and consistent use and has rarely gathered dust over the last century.”

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