The Zaehnsdorfs (1842-1947) Craft Bookbinders
Middlesex, England: Private Libraries Association
Hungarian-born Joseph Zaehnsdorf (1814-1886) was bonded as an apprentice, aged 15, in Stuttgart, Germany and on his emancipation he travelled Europe as a journeyman, picking up languages and consolidating his bookbinding skills along the way. In 1837 Zaehnsdorf moved to London and eventually set up a bookbinding business in the Covent Garden area in 1842. Despite the increased mechanisation of all industry at this time, Joseph’s small hands-on business flourished. He was a highly skilled craftsman and in 1861 he became binder to the King of Hanover, Queen Victoria’s first cousin. From 1882 Joseph William, Zaehnsdorf senior’s only child, took control of the business which continued to be commercially successful. Joseph Zaehnsdorf senior died after a long illness in November, 1886.
Frank Broomhead, “The Zaehnsdorfs (1842-1947) Craft Bookbinders,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed February 9, 2023, https://ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/7413.