1928 Frans Masereel First Edition "Das Werk"

Value (2014) | $1,000 Retail$1,500 Retail

I found it in a flea market in upstate New York and I really don't know much about it. I looked it up online and I couldn't find much information. I think it's in German, that could be why. It's just pictures and they all seem to feature the same guy. I thought it was really cool looking. That's pretty much the only reason I bought it, especially for $2.

The book that you found at this flea market is called Das Werk by Frans Masereel. This is the 1928 first edition in German of Masereel's masterpiece. He was a Dutch-born artist that worked extensively throughout Europe in the early 1900s and in the teens, he began publishing what are now known as wordless novels. They're a series of woodcuts that tell stories without any words.


The pictures are wonderful. I think we should take a look at 'em. They're all individually carved woodcuts and they're absolutely brilliant and in some ways, tell a story far better than one could with words. Masereel invented the modern art form of woodcut novels. This is really the forerunner in the birth of the modern day graphic novel, like Art Spiegelman's Maus. This was the height of the art deco movement in graphics and all of these novels from Masereel really tell kind of these every man stories against big government, soul-less machines. Masereel was working well into the 1940s and 50s, had a very long, productive career. This is one of his masterpieces; it's in really beautiful condition. It's value at retail would be $1,000 to $1,500.

Wow! That's pretty good!

Not bad for a two-buck investment.

No, that's very good!

Appraisal Details

Ken Sanders Rare Books
Salt Lake City, UT
Appraised value (2014)
$1,000 Retail$1,500 Retail
Richmond, VA (August 17, 2013)

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