Detail View: LUNA: Folger Bindings Image Collection: Front cover (detail), INC N188

Image Caption: 
Front cover (detail), INC N188
General Description: 
A binding from the Dominican Convent, Bamberg, ca. 1483, with decorative clasps. Alum-tawed pigskin over beech boards with blind decoration and brass clasps.
Dominican convent of Bamberg.
Country / Style: 
Germany, Bamberg
ca. 1483
Call Number: 
INC N188
The Dominican Convent, Bamberg (Franconia), inscribed at the head of the Table, "Conventus Bambergensis. Ord: Praed:"; purchased by H. C. Folger in 1915 from Leighton, London.
Nider, Johannes, ca. 1380-1438.
[Praeceptorium divinae legis] Preceptorium Iohannis Nider.
Created / Published: 
Imp[re]ssum Argentine : [Georg Husner], anno D[omi]ni, 1483.
Hamnet URL:
Technical Description: 
The text block was marked up for sewing, then trimmed and sewn without kettle stitches. Endbands were sewn at same time as text with a back bead. A vellum manuscript reinforcing strip is hooked around and sewn with the first and last sections and hinged onto each board (the last section of text is missing). Natural rounding and backing. Boards beveled at joint with recesses cut to receive hasp straps and catch plates. Turn-ins put down over vellum hinges, with tailcap slit to accommodate endband and left loose as a tab (headcap missing). Spine tied up. Mitered corners. Ink inscription on tail-edge.
310 x 220 x 60 mm.
Covering Material: 
Alum tawed pigskin.
Sewn on four raised double cords laced through the wooden boards and pegged.
Endbands of wrapped linen over cord laced through the boards, with head/end caps not turned in but left as loose tabs.
Edge Treatment: 
Early title/author inscription on lower edge reading from back to front cover.
End Papers: 
Liturgical manuscript fragments used as guards; evidence of other manuscript fragments once pasted on boards.
Two clasps catching on the front cover. The top catch plates are chased with a gothic acanthus leaf design and the top hasp has gothic letters stamped into the brass while the bottom hasp has a rosette design. The strap is alum tawed leather with a vellum core held in place on the back board by a simple strap plate held with two nails.
Decorative Description: 
Blind tooled in a triple panel design with a single line, a double line, and variable width triple line fillet, and with a quadruple line fillet border. The second panel is tooled with small circle rosette stamps and angular "cuspe headed tool". The center panel is tooled with larger circle rosette stamps and large rosettes in a rectangular border; at the top corners are two fleur-de-lis lozenge stamps. The tools are idntified as being from the Dominican convent of Bamberg (Kyriss I, p. 10-11; Schwenke-Schunke, Rosette 270.). The back cover is simply tooled with the same multiple blind tooled fillets using the quadruple line fillet crossed in the center panel (no small tools). A small floral tool occurs at the ends of each band on the front and back covers. Remains of two paper labels on spine and early spine inscriptions; "no. 53" penciled in blue on the lower paper label.
Other Details: 
FURNITURE: Metal work characteristically German. Both covers with five circular, raised, flat-topped bosses with wide tapered rims which have small indentations in their centers (perhaps a result of the manufacturing process?). Perfectly round engraved circles surround the perimeters of the rims. Brass edge guards. Upper board notched to accept the curl of the catch plate. Under the curl and wrapping around the fore-edge of the board to its underside is a thin strip of brass which acts as the counter plate for the riveted nails holding the clasp to the board. Hasps missing, as are the tanned leather straps. Remnants of straps held in place by brass strap plates riveted with six pins. Each is decorated differently.FURNITURE: Brass clasps stamped with three different designs: catch plates have a gothic fleuron within a rectangular block; background has a crosshatch pattern; underneath is a running gothic "Musterornamente" band. Slots are cut in catch plates to receive the hooks of the hasps. They were bent over the edge of the board and attached with three rivets. Top hasp stamped with gothic letter forms; bottom hasp bears a stamped rosette design. Alum-tawed pigskin strap, wrapped around a vellum support, is attached by two rivets. Riveted plain rectangular strap-plates hold in place the hasp straps.
Folger 10:2 (Folger Shakespeare Library, Fine and historic bookbindings from the Folger Shakespeare Library, New York, 1992). Kyriss, Verzierte Gotische Einbande, I, p. 11; 11, pp. 40-41; Ilse Schunke, Die Schwenke-Sammlung, Rosette 270, etc.
Kyriss I, p. 10-11
Binding Terms (RBMS): 
Alum tawed bindings -- Germany -- 15th century.
Binding Terms (RBMS): 
Blind tooled bindings -- Germany -- 15th century.
Binding Terms (RBMS): 
Fillet tools -- Germany -- 15th century.
Binding Terms (RBMS): 
Leather bindings -- Germany -- 15th century.
Binding Terms (RBMS): 
Pigskin bindings -- Germany -- 15th century.