A. Cassel B. Marburg C. Marburg D. Giessen
bibl. lat. 4t. 13. Yalb B 266. Dr. E Justi. V. 16,o6o.
E. Marburg, Staats-Archiv.
I have here grouped 5 copies of one book together. 3 are photographed here, the one marked D is of such defective execution and so ruined that a photograph would scarcely be recognisable. It was only by a ‘very skilful arrangement of light and at a considerable cost of time that it was possible to decipher the inscription from which we learn the name of the author of this interesting group of bindings: at last, however, it was done with certainty.
Davidis rcgii prophetae Psalterium I vario genere I carminis latine redditum ab illustrissimo princi I pe ac Domino
Mauritio HaFsiae Landgravio etc. Excussum Schmalkaldiae. In copies C and D the last leaf has the Hessian shield and under it: Schmalkaldiae Michael Schmuck imprimebat 1593.
Of the above-mentioned copies the following have autograph dedications of the Landgraf’s:
A. Joachimo Abbati Hersfeldensis Ecclesiae amico suo donat . . . 13 Julii 1595.
B. Academicae Bibliothecae Marburgensi dicatum donatum. 6 Januarii eod.
C. Illustrissimo principi L. Georgio patruo carissimo donat . . . 10 Maij eod.
D. without any autograph dedication was in the library of the treasurer, “Conrad Bachmannus Milsungensis”, who was a friend of the Landgraf’s.
The 2 copies in the Court Library at Darmstadt have unfortunately no binding which belongs to this group; one of them was formerly in the library of the Landgraf Philipp in Butzbach, and has the Hessian lion in gold on brown leather with border lines.
Binding: alike on all ; thin pasteboard, 185, 150, 25 mm. In the case of A B C the board has been covered with polished pig vellum, which has been perforated in the manner shown so that a coloured underlay is revealed. The underlay of B is of green satin with a loose network of gold thread; A has red, C. green satin without the gold; D is covered with calf, E with red paper. The further decoration consists of gold-tooling as shown on the photographs of the 3 ; the decoration of E is a plain roll border with a centre ornament in gold. That of D is remarkable.
As in the case of B and C, a roll forms the border. The centres are occupied by 2 different rectangular blocks , while the corners with figures of angels in triangular cartouches touch the centre piece. The remaining compartments are painted blue with black diagonal stripes on the front, and marbled white on the end cover. The corners and blocks are entirely gilt, pressed in relief and then lavishly painted with a variety of glazed colours in a very unskilful manner. The front block has the Hessian shield in an oval frame with inscription, in the corners are poor cartouches with the heads of angels; beneath is a tablet with an inscription. The inscription round the shield runs:
VON . GOTTES . GNADEN . LANDGRAFF . MORITZ . SIMBOLVM . CONSILIO . ET . VIRTVTE . BEDECHTIG . VND . KIEN (kuhn).
The tablet :
HANS . BAPEST . VON . ERFFVRDT j BVCHBINDER . IN . SCHMALKALDEN.
The block of the reverse cover has a broad border of a scroll with large flowers, enclosing a lozenge-shaped field with a bouquet of flowers in a vase. The block was also impressed in gold on the volumes A and C; perforations were then made to take the place of the flowers, so that the scroll winds in between the vase of flowers also determined the character of of perforations and is still recognisable. The perforations were made by the aid of hollow chisels and a toothing iron, such as saddlers use. The back of B is also perforated and underlaid. The, centre of this volume’ is differently decorated here, as may be seen the photograph.