Reflections on Bindings: Armorial Binding

Institutionum (Nuremberg, 1529)
March 7, 2014

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

This book contains the Institutes of Justinian, a 6th-century codification of Roman law, edited by the 16th-century German jurist Gregor Haloander.

The text block is printed in black ink, and sewn onto split thongs (the bumps along the spine). The boards are made of wood, which was covered in alum-tawed pigskin and decorated with a blind tooled roll, center panel stamps, and a stamped coat of arms on the front cover.

The book was printed in Nuremburg, and the coat of arms stamped on the cover contains the Greater and Lesser coats of arms for the city of Nuremberg underneath the arms of the Holy Roman Empire, with the Austrian State arms in the center. We were unable to identify the coat of arms at the base of design. Examination under a microscope revealed that the coat of arms had once been painted with gold.

           –Notes by Fionnuala Gerrity


Arms of Holy Roman Emperor                          Greater and Lesser Arms, Nuremberg                       

      Arms Stamped on Cover

“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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