Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1961. First edition. Original white cloth (10 inches tall), red cross to front board, spine titled in black, original dust jacket. Small ink-stamp to blank flyleaf, faint spotting to boards and edges, dust jacket with minor creasing and edge-wear. A near-fine copy. Item #1220
THE CROSS: "A HANDBOOK FOR ARTISTS, ARCHITECTS, TYPOGRAPHERS, AND CRAFTWORKERS"
First edition of Johannes Troyer's pictorial history of the Cross—illustrated and hand-lettered throughout as a "handbook for artists, architects, typographers, and craftworkers."
A longtime graphic designer working for mid-century book publishers (such as Burns & Oates and Sheed and Ward), Troyer's bold illustrations, captioned and printed in red-and-black, are "not meant to be a scientific iconographic work." Troyer's contribution was his legacy to "a new generation of young masters" who were undertaking an artistic revival of the ancient forms of the Cross. The book consists of four sections, each with a short prefatory note: I. The Precursors, II. The Dissembled Cross, III. The Latin Cross, IV. The Greek Cross. Troyer's short Preface ("J. T. / Spring 1961") notes the pagan forms of antiquity ("crosses were used as symbols and ornaments thousands of years before Golgotha") but stresses that "the most valuable crosses, from the symbolic and artistic point of view, originated between the time of earliest Christianity and the fourteenth century. Little of what followed later had any vigor of form or importance...after the complete decadence in the fields of architecture, arts and craft, and especially penmanship." With a colophon: "The text of this book was handlettered by the author. The book was printed by the Halliday Lithograph Corp. West Hanover, Mass."