This binding covering the 1535 Aldine edition of Lactantius and Tertullianus features the name of its owner, “Gas De La Hoz,” within a roundel on the upper cover. The name of the author, “Lectantii Firmiani,” is lettered in gold up the spine. The binding is evidence of how the new fashion for shelving books upright, side-by-side, with backs facing out, was then spreading across Rome. This practice had probably originated with Hernando Colón (Ferdinand Columbus), whose large library in Seville was organised in this way, and who mandated the continuance of the arrangement in his testament (3 July 1539).1 Several Spaniards residing in Rome, notably Luis de Torres and Fernando de Torres (see the entries in this Notabilia file, link and link), and the diplomat Cardinal Giovanni Salviati, who commuted between Rome and the court in Toledo and Seville, promptly adopted it, but with a particular innovation: gilt spine titles. Their Roman bindings are the earliest anywhere to have titles tooled in gilt on the spine.2 This binding for Gaspar de la Hoz, the only known survivor of his library, is probably a decade later.
Three bindings are known with the initials of an owner “.V.C.A.” and a date, respectively “.M.D. XXIIII .II. April.” (2 April 1524), "Anno Dñi .M.D. XXIIII XXXI Avgv.” (31 August 1524), and “M.D. XXVI” (1526), lettered within a cartouche in the centres of the lower covers. A title appears inside a matching cartouche in the centres of the upper covers. Anthony Hobson attributed these three bindings to a Bolognese shop, which he designated the “The German Students’ Binder” on account of the work it undertook from about 1520 to 1535 for Germans attending the university. Ilse Schunke had identified the shop and suggested that it was managed by Heinrich Riger, beadle of the Natio Germanica. Hobson disagreed, maintaining that it almost certainly belonged to a bookseller who was working also as a binder, perhaps the learned “Arnold of Cologne” (Arnoldus Coloniensis), said to have been proprietor in Bologna of the “most elegant bookshop of the Germans” (in elegantissimo Germanorum, cui videlicet tum is praeerat, bibliopolio).1 Most of its bindings cover Aldine editions, and are decorated to similar patterns, with the centre of the upper cover left empty for a title in gilt, and the lower cover for an owner’s name. Hobson thus presumed that books could be bought there ready-bound, and the purchaser's name added at the time of sale.
The three volumes owned by V.C.A. are Aldines: the 1522 Asconius Pedianus, 1495 Theodorus Gaza, and 1523 Georgius Trapezuntius. Neither Hobson nor Tammaro De Marinis, who published one of the three bindings, speculated about the identity of V.C.A. The inscription “P. Vorstius Epus. Aquen.” on the front endleaf of the Asconius Pedianus may be a clue to his identity.
Some thirty-two volumes (4 manuscripts, 20 incunables, and 8 later books) are reported with the ownership inscription in a proud hand “Quis mihi sit Dominus lector si forte requiris, Ingolstattensis Carnerius Daniel” and often a date. If the dates in these inscriptions should be the actual dates of acquisition, then Daniel Karner began to build his library around 1495, and ceased to add to it – or ceased to inscribe his name – around 1521.1 From the style of his inscriptions, and the steady pace of acquisition, Daniel Karner appears to have been a determined collector in possession of a sizeable library.
Daniel Karner matriculated at Heidelberg university on 5 October 1496, as a citizen of Donauwörth (Werdea, Werd, Wörth) in the diocese of Augsburg; he became baccalaureus in artibus on 10 July 1498.2 He may have been a son of the “Kunrad Karner, Bürger zu Werd,” who on 21 February 1451 donated a perpetual altar light for the Kapelle St Lazarus, in Hl. Dreifaltigkeit im Bürgerspital, Donauwörth,3 and died around 1487.4 One of Daniel’s books (a copy of the 1477 Johannes de Turrecremata, with an ownership entry dated 1507) displays his initials “D C” and armorial insignia within a border decorating the opening page.5 In 1510, Daniel became a secular canon in the collegiate monastery of St Andreas, Freising, and in 1522 was its dean. He was a Lektor in Ingolstadt and is recorded in tax records as living in there in 1516.6 Daniel died on 15 May 1534 and was interred in the Stiftskirche St. Andreas in Freising.
Medallion and plaquette ornament on bindings had been conceived by Paduan antiquaries in the 1460s, as a style of binding appropriate for humanistic works. The models were Roman imperial coins, antique intaglios, and Renaissance medals, and the decoration was achieved by impressing the covers with an intaglio stamp, leaving an impression in relief. In Anthony Hobson’s words, such decoration “denoted an author’s or an owner’s faithfulness to the spirit of the ancient world”. Infrequently, a cameo was applied to a binding to proclaim ownership (such bindings were therefore excluded from Hobson’s census of medallion and plaquette bindings).1 Six bindings are known which feature on both covers the distinctive heraldic device of a Saracen in profile, wearing a white headband, insignia associated with the Pucci family of Florence (D’argento, alla testa di moro di nero, attortigliata del primo, il tortiglio in genere caricato di tre).
Six bindings are known with the names and arms on covers of the Roman noblemen Giovanni Battista Crescenzi (1577-1635) and Torquato de Cupis (Cuppis; 1578-1657). On four volumes (nos. 1, 4-6 in the List below), Crescenzi’s name and family arms (tre crescenti d’oro) appear on the upper covers, and De Cupis’s name and the impaled De Cupis-Conti arms (un camoscio rampante; aquila scaccata d’oro e di nero) on the lower covers. On two (nos. 2-3), these positions are reversed.
In a previous post, reference was made to comparable bindings featuring the names and arms of the Roman patricians Domenico Massimo and Gaspare Ruggeri, Scipio Orlandini and Giulio Della Fonte, and the initials and arms of two as yet unidentified members of the Jacobilli and Capranica families (see “Roman friendship bindings: Domenico Massimo & Gaspare Ruggeri” on this website, Notabilia [link]). Towards the end of the sixteenth century it had become fashionable for Roman patricians to exchange books as mementos of their friendship, with the giver’s name and arms customarily placed on the lower cover, and those of the recipient on the upper cover. The Soresini Bindery, a prominent Roman shop, working for the Vatican from 1575 until about 1634, produced many of these bindings, including all six of the Crescenzi-Cupis volumes. Judging from bindings examined and from photographs, the Crescenzi-Cupis bindings were executed ca 1595-1605.
Towards the end of the sixteenth century it became fashionable for Roman patricians to exchange books as mementos of their friendship. The giver’s name and arms customarily were placed on the lower cover, and those of the recipient on the upper cover. The earlier of such Roman “friendship bindings” are simply decorated, for instance two with the Jacobilli family arms and initials G. I. on their lower covers, and Capranica arms and initials C. C. on upper covers.1 Later bindings are more explicit and more decorative, as for example two bound in the Soresini workshop having the Orlandini arms and name “Scipio Orlandi” lettered on lower covers, and Della Fonte arms and name “Ivliani Fontivs” on upper covers,2 and six also bound in the Soresini workshop with the arms and names on covers of Torquato de Cupis and Giovanni Battista Crescenzi. On four of the latter, De Cupis’s name and the impaled De Cupis-Conti arms appear on the lower covers, and Crescenzi’s name and family arms on the upper covers. On the other two, these positions are reversed (see “Roman friendship bindings: Torquato de Cupis & Giovanni Battista Crescenzi” on this website, Notabilia [link]).
Three “friendship bindings” of Domenico Massimo and Gaspare Ruggeri are known. Two presumably were gifts from Domenico to Gaspare, as Domenico’s name “Dominicus Maximus” and family arms appear on the lower cover, and Gaspare’s name “Gaspar Roggerius” and family arms on the upper cover. The third volume apparently was a gift from Gaspare to Domenico, as Gaspare’s name and arms appear on the lower cover.
Two of the three volumes of the first Aldine edition of Cicero’s Orations (published January-August 1519) are known with the cypher of their owner, Gerhard von Aich, on lower covers. Volume I was acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum in 1882 and published by W.H. Weale in 1895, with a line drawing of the cypher.1 Volume III appeared on the market in 2010, when it was acquired for the Bibliotheca Brookeriana.
Gerhard von Aich was one of two sons of Johannes von Aich (1468-1519), Bürgermeister of Cologne, and Sybilla (Beilgen) von Reidt (1483-1553).2 The Aich (also known as Aquis, Aquitanus) were an old and prominent family of Cologne. In 1509, Gerhard’s father donated an altarpiece to the Romanesque church of Groß St Martin;3 in 1516, he was ennobled by the Emperor Maximilian, and he also became a Knight of Jerusalem. The medallist Friedrich Hagenauer produced large cast portrait medals of Gerhard’s father and mother, his brother Johannes (1510-1549), sister Sibylla (d. 1584) and her husband Adolf von Straelen.4 Gerhard is depicted together with his father and brother on the male side of a tryptych painted by Bartholomäus Bruyn d. Ä.5
Jakob von Mosheim (Moshaim, Mosham, Moßhaimb) was one of three sons of the Austrian nobleman Benedikt von Mosheim and Catharina Gründner.1 Jakob matriculated at Vienna in 1514 (Bacc. art. 1516; Mag. art. 1518),2 and in 1522 followed his elder brother, Ruprecht (1493-1543), to Bologna. A relative, Ambros von Mosheim, matriculated beside Jakob on the same day.3 Jakob was nominated Procurator of the Natio Germanica in 1523, and reputedly promoted doctor juris utriusque in 1529.4
It was customary for foreign students at Bologna university to have their schoolbooks specially bound by local bookbinders, to keep as mementos of their student years. The binder usually lettered the book’s title in the centre of the upper cover, in some sort of frame, and the owner’s name and often a date in the same place on the lower cover. For about ten years, from the early 1520s to about 1534, one bookbinding shop monopolised the custom of the German students. Ilse Schunke suggested that he was the bedellus Heinrich Riger,5 but Anthony Hobson disagreed, maintaining that the binder was almost certainly a bookseller, perhaps “Arnold of Cologne” (Arnoldus Coloniensis), the manager of the “most elegant bookshop of the Germans”.6