Provenance Research

 
In our bibliographical tours through innumerable Special Collections libraries around the world, we have had good fortune in discovering previously unknown manuscripts, printed books, and historic bookbindings. From time to time, preliminary findings on selected items of interest appear below.

An intriguing set of Six German Renaissance Bookbindings by an Unknown Workshop

("Meister F.G.") all dated 1570:

Can You Help?


Six Bindings by "Meister F.G." on a set of Luther Bucher, all dated 1570

We are seeking to identify the binder who signed his work with the monogram "F.G." or "F.G." (where the "G" is backwards). This binder was a craftsman of exceptional abilities, for which see the multiple images on this page. The books in question are the first six volumes of Luther's Bucher (Wittenberg, 1557-1570); the bindings are all dated 1570. The earliest provenance that can be seen is an inscription (effaced) of one Johann Paul Schnabel, of Coberg, who in 1649 is known to have given money for books to local schools. Any / all leads are welcome!

Meister F.G. - Panel 1 (the Scourge of Christ) measuring 79 x 32 mm - Dated 1535
Meister F.G. - Panel 2 (David and his Harp above a scene of Dalila and Samson) measuring 79 x 32 mm
Meister F.G. - Vol. 5: Jan Hus roundel and Martin Luther roundel
Meister "F.G." - Jan Hus roundel (IOAN HVS IST IST VERBRENT WORDEN IM 1415" and Martin Luther roundel (MARTINVS LVTER ANTIPAPA CVRAV" both measuring 30 mm diameter
Meister F.G. - Roundel of the Risen Christ on both vols. 3-4
Meister F.G. - Risen Christ roundel, measuring 48 mm diameter.
Meister F.G. - Crucifixion stamp (* OIESV * FILI * DEI *) measuring 53 x 28 mm
Sources Consulted: 

Although it is very possible that we overlooked critical pieces of information, we have consulted the Einbanddatenbank; Haebler, Rollen- und Plattenstempel; Schuncke Leben und Werke Jakob Krauses; Konrad v. Rabenau et al., Deutsche Bucheinband der Renaissance; Marianne Rozsondai, "Signierte Renaissance-Einbande deutschen Typs aus dem 16. Jahrhundert" (Gutenberg Jahrbuch 1988); Einband-Forschung Heft. 1-20. Schunke, Die Einbande der Palatina in der Vatikanischen Bibliothek. 

SOURCES NOT CONSULTED: Einband Forschung, Heft 21 (Oct. 2007) through Heft 39 (Oct. 2017). We would be extremely grateful to receive communications concerning this particular resource, which as yet is not available to us. 
Bibliographic Information:

Vol. 1: Wittenberg: Peter Seitz, 1567. Bound by "Meister F.G." Binding dated 1570.
Vol. 2: Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1557. Bound by "Meister F.G." Binding dated 1570.
Vol. 3: Wittenberg: Peter Seitz, 1566Bound by "Meister F.G." Binding dated 1570.
Vol. 4: Wittenberg: Peter Seitz, 1568Bound by "Meister F.G." Binding dated 1570.
Vol. 5: Wittenberg: Georg Rawen Erben, 1556Bound by "Meister F.G." Binding dated 1570.
Vol. 6: Wittenberg: Lorentz Schwenk, 1570Bound by "Meister F.G." Binding dated 1570.
Vol. 7: Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1554Bound by Matthias Juncker (Wittenberg). Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.Z.G".
Vol. 8: Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1556. Bound by Hans Cantzler (Wittenberg). Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.A.S."
Vol. 9: Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1557Bound by Hans Cantzler (Wittenber). Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.A.S.S." (sic)
Vol. 10: Wittenberg: Thomas Klug, 1558Bound by Hans Cantzler (Wittenber). Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.A.S."
Vol. 11: Wittenberg: [s.n.], 1558Bound by Hans Cantzler (Wittenber). Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.A.S."
Vol. 12: Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1559Bound by Hans Cantzler (Wittenber). Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.A.S."

Provenance:

Johann Paul Schnabel (17th-century inscriptions on title-pages of vols. 1-12, all effaced), perhaps the same individual who is recorded in 1648 as providing money to the Coburg Stadschule for the purchase of books. SOURCE: in the Jahrbücher der Herzoglich Sächsischen Residenzstadt Coburg: Von 741-1822 (Coberg, 1825), vol. 1 p. 250: "Legirte der M. Johann Paul Schnabel, weiland Conrect. der hiesigen Stadtschule 20f. zu Bücher für fleißige Knaben." 



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