Our Enigma design is inspired by a cover said to have been designed by Le Gascon, a legendary but unidentified 17th-century bookbinder. Originally released as a red and gold hardcover journal under the name Mystique, this black Enigma version is now available as a softcover Flexi notebook.

The original binding was made of red morocco leather embossed and gilded with rosettes, spirals and dotted lines, but here we have used a beguiling black background to play up its mysterious origins.

Pictured here: Spine details of Enigma journals

Revered among his peers and successors, including Marius-Michel and Paul Gruel, Le Gascon is credited with innovating (if not inventing) the “pointillé” and “fanfare” styles. Despite these monumental achievements securing his place in bookbinding history, the true identity of Le Gascon remains a mystery to this day.

Le Gascon–style bindings first appeared near the end of the reign of Charles IX and were revered for the sophistication and intricacy of their ornamentation. His bindings featured gilt decoration that spread out in repeated fanfare patterns and pointillé tooling bordered by bands. If this cover was not created by Le Gascon himself it is certainly in his style and is the work of another French master.

Pictured here: Enigma Softcover Flexis in sizes Ultra, Midi and Mini

No matter who truly was the creator of the original binding, our cover pays homage to its consummate artistry and visionary design.

Enigma Softcover Flexis is available in sizes Ultra, Midi and Mini.

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