The Woodbook

Author: Klaus Ulrich Leistikow
Title: The Woodbook
Hardcover, 6.6 x 9.6 in., 768 pages

Our bookshelf is already filled with lots of books about various topics. From A to Z, from The Art of French Cooking by Julia Giles to Vintage Wohnen – Zuhause* stilvoll gestalten [*German for habitat] by Sarah Moore und Katharina Eichler.
This collection just got a new addition with “The Woodbook”. When I came across this book I was astonished by the wooden plates that are very detailed and true to the original types of wood. As I went on in my book expedition I found out that this book has a brief history.

Originally assembled by Romeyn Beck Hough between 1888 and 1913 and published in 14 volumes it truly is a treasure to the study of trees and wood. Back then the book was named “American Woods” and we must be thankful that all volumes of the original issue still exist and are in a good condition. Romeyn Beck Hough created a piece of art with this book: real veneer samples were used to display three different cross-sections: radial, horizontal and vertical. Each showing the different vein of wood and wealth of colors.
Also included in this special edition are lithographs by Charles Sprague Sargent of the leaves and nuts of most trees, as well as texts describing the trees’ geographical origins and physical characteristics in three different languages: English, German and French.

The latest reproduction of “American Woods” is now named “The Woodbook” and was published in December 2013. To be able to represent the breathtaking beauty of the original,  one made use of a very elaborted technique called “facsimile”.
A facsimile is a copy or reproduction of a book that is true to the original as possible. Therefore a photomechanical redprocution is the technique of choice in the digital age. One of the most famous facsimiles is “Les Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry“.

About Klaus Ulrich Leistikow

Klaus Ulrich Leistikow (1929-2002) studied natural science and philosophy at the universities of Cologne, Tübingen and Glasgow, and then taught biology at the university of Frankfurt. From 1986 to 1989 he was Director of the Botanical Institute and the Botanical Gardens in Frankfurt-am-Main. It was there in 1988 that he was elected Chairman of the Society of Friends of the Palm Garden.

Source: Taschen

We will enjoy this beautiful collection of wood samples which includes many trees that are now very rare or completely extinct and use it extensively for our Schwarzmann kitchen and furniture designs.