“Artisans need patrons…

Pictured: Emery Walker (1851-1933)

…as rich men need to patronise”: Hilaire Belloc

“…It was fortunate that one of Gill’s most fervent, demanding, loyal patrons was just at this period appearing on the scene. This was Count Harry Kessler, introduced to Gill on the Arts and Crafts circuit by Emery Walker (see post of 3/11/18). Kessler was born in Paris, son of a Hamburg banker married to a famous Anglo-Irish beauty, the former Alice Bosse-Lynch. He was godson of Kaiser Wilhelm I, and was one of the most glamorous, fastidious figures of the age. He was a diplomat, a writer, an intriguer, and a great typographical impresario.

…Eric Gill’s relationships with his most important clients, with Kessler and later on with Stanley Morison, another of the maestros of the letter form, were more meetings of equals than of artisan and patron. Gill’s first job for Harry Kessler, entered in the job book, was to design the title pages for a connoisseur’s edition of Goethe’s Schiller, to be published for Kessler by Insel Verlag.”

Fiona MacCarthy: Eric Gill (1989) Chapter Five: Battersea 1904-5

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