Volume 3 - Spring 1997


Agent's Profile - Germany

Anton Glaser

Unlike J. Hewit & Sons, the Firm of Anton Glaser has only been in business for 75 years! The company was founded in 1920 by Anton Glaser who was the grandfather of the current owner Martin Rustige. He was a bookseller and started to sell bookbinding materials just after the end of World War I. This rapidly became a good business because at that time there were a lot of small bookbinders in Germany! Anton Glaser died relatively early and his daughter (the current owner's mother) took over, expanded the company and also rebuilt the business which was completely destroyed by a bomb during World War II.

I joined the company in 1966 after having worked several years for different companies and in different fields in France and England. General bookbinding was then declining in Germany and a lot of the smaller business had disappeared, but not the "top end". i.e. high quality binding.

So there was a small but good market for high quality materials such as leather or exclusive paper which could not be found in Germany any more. With my experience gained abroad I was looking for suppliers of appropriate materials in other countries. I heard of J. Hewit & Sons' excellent reputation of being a good tannery. The quality and service they offered were up to the demanding standards of our customers, and good personal contacts were established. Business increased rapidly and in 1969 we made a sole agency agreement for Germany, and this has lasted since then to the mutual benefit of both companies.

We stock relatively large quantities of CLANSMAN Nigerian Goatskins (many of the 22 shades we have in stock are specially produced for us), the complete standard range of Chieftain Goatskin, Pigskins, Aniline Calf (12 different shades all specially made for us), Alum Tawed Goat, Pig and Calf, as well as some aluminium re-tanned Archival leathers. Further to this, there are special makings for particular books. J. Hewit & Sons can produce the relatively small quantities often needed in these cases but they are also good if the quantities are larger (some years ago they produced 500 skins of a beautiful specially tinted Alum Goat for the reproduction of medieval book, no other tannery in the world could have produced such a fine leather!!)

I can say that today Anton Glaser is by far the largest stockist of bookbinding leather in Germany. Besides leather we stock a wide range of high quality papers and boards for bookbinding, printing, printmaking, as well as materials for conservation and restoration and are one of the leading German supplies of these materials.

Our customers are quality bookbinders, printers, printmakers, publishers of limited edition books and more and more conservation workshops, either privately owned, or in large libraries, archives and museums. Compared with England, France or specially the USA there are only relatively few amateur bookbinders in Germany, so this is an important market as it is in other countries.

The economic situation in Germany is unfortunately no longer as brilliant as it was, and this obviously affects bookbinding like all other industries, crafts and trades. But in spite of this we have recently experienced a slight revival of small bookbinding workshops created by a new type of bookbinders with a more "modern " approach to market their work.


Skin Deep - Volume 3 - Spring 1997

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