Rare Books Blog

March 19, 2014

Giffen, Hubert van, ca. 1533-1604. Commentarius D. Huberti Giphanii … in quator libros Institutionum iuris civilis à Iustiniano … [Commentery on the Institutes of Justinian by Hubert van Giffen]. Frankfurt: Sumptibus Lazari Zetzneri bibliopolæ, 1606.

This book contains a commentary on the Institutes of Justinian written by Dutch-born German jurist and philologist Hubert van Giffen. The text is printed in black ink on handmade paper and sewn onto split thongs. The book has laced-in wooden boards and is covered in alum-tawed pigskin blind-tooled with decorative rolls and central panel stamps. The stamps show Justice and Lucretia.

The curators used different RTI modes to examine the text included in the panel stamps on the front and back of this binding.  Both of the modes shown below revealed the texts in fairly clear detail.


   

IUSTICIAQVEQVIS                                          CASTATULATMAGN

PICTURALUMINECE                                          AFORMAELUCRELA

RNISDICDEVSESTIV                                         VDEFACTATMAGEST


Using the text we found a number of other images of Lady Justice on other bindings, such as the ones below:

   

Lady Justice Stamp, EBDB           Lady Justice Stamp, BSG

A visual comparison of 16th-century, German alum-tawed bindings in the British Library (BL) database also revealed what appears to be an exact match of both the front and back stamps. The volume in the BL is Antonini Liberalis Transformationum congeries (the Transformations or Metamorphoses) of Ancient Greek grammarian Antoninus Liberalis, printed in Basel in 1568. The book shares almost the same decorative program as the Commentarius, with central panel stamps and a decorative roll of portrait busts (of Protestant reformers such as Erasmus) separated by foliage. The portrait bust roll used on Commentarius lacks identifying names.  It is possible that the two books were bound in the same workshop.

RTI of Commentarius, back and front                     Photograph of Lady Justice and Lucretia stamps, BL

 

RTI of roll from Commentarius                                   Photographs of rolls, BL


      –Notes by Fionnuala Gerrity


“Reflections on Bindings: Using New Imaging Technology to Study Historical Bindings,” is on display from February 3 - May 24, 2014, on Level L2 in the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.  The curators are Chief Conservator Christine McCarthy and Conservation Assistants Fionnuala Gerrity, Ansley Joe, and Karen Jutzi, Yale University Library.

Institutiones imperiales (Cölle, 1563)
March 13, 2014

Institutiones imperiales latinogermanicae : die vier bücher Institutionum Keisers Ivstiniani… [The Latin-German Institutes of the Emperor: the four books of Emperor Justinian’s Institutes…]. Cöllen: Erben Johann Quentels vnd Gerwinem Galenium, 1563.    

This book contains a parallel text of Emperor Justinian’s Institutes in Latin and German, translated by 16th-century German lawyer Justin Göbler.

The text block is printed on handmade paper in black ink, and sewn on split thongs laced into paper boards made with printer’s waste. The book is covered in alum-tawed skin and blind-tooled with decorative rolls. One roll depicts the biblical characters David and Goliath, and the other is a palmette frieze motif commonly used on books of this period.


The two images above show an RTI of the palmettes roll (left), and a rubbing of a similar roll (right) found in the Bibliotheque Sainte-Genevieve (DELTA 54853 RES, Thomas à Kempis, Opera Omnia).


The image on the left above is an RTI image of the second decorative roll, and on the right are the results of a rubbing of that roll. Using the transcribed text seen in the RTI images of the roll, we were able to find an exact match in Einbandattenbank (EBDB). The text reads DAVID SCHLEGT GOLIATH DEN PHILISTER HAVPTM; “David strikes Goliath, the headman of the Philistines”.

           –Notes by Fionnuala Gerrity. Translation of the title and stamp text is courtesy of Professor Rebekah Ahrendt, Yale Department of Music.

“Reflections on Bindings: Using New Imaging Technology to Study Historical Bindings,” is on display from February 3 - May 24, 2014, on Level L2 in the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.  The curators are Chief Conservator Christine McCarthy and Conservation Assistants Fionnuala Gerrity, Ansley Joe, and Karen Jutzi, Yale University Library.

Institutionum (Nuremberg, 1529)
March 10, 2014

Institutionum : seu elementorum d. Iustiniani … libri quatvor … [Institutes: or elements of Justinian … four volumes…]. Nuremberg: apvd Io. Petreium, 1529.

This binding has a decorative roll depicting Biblical scenes which were identified from the text captions. Using RTI images of the bindings, Karen Jutzi transcribed the text and found the biblical passages from which the phrases derived. Fionnuala Gerrity then searched for other decorative tools containing similar text.

The text on the panels from the decorative roll reads, from left to right:

ECCE VIRGO CONCIPIET

 “Behold a virgin shall conceive” There fore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 

APSORBTA EST MORS [IN VICTORIA]

“Death was swallowed up [in victory] When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortal, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. 1 Corinthians 15:54

IPSE PECC(A)TA NOSTRA TULIT [IN CORPORE SUO…]

“He himself bore our sins [on his body…]” He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness, by this wounds you have been healed.  1 Peter 2:24

      –Notes by Fionnuala Gerrity, and text identification by Karen Jutzi

“Reflections on Bindings: Using New Imaging Technology to Study Historical Bindings,” is on display from February 3 - May 24, 2014, on Level L2 in the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.  The curators are Chief Conservator Christine McCarthy and Conservation Assistants Fionnuala Gerrity, Ansley Joe, and Karen Jutzi, Yale University Library.

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