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.




To the inside front cover of the above binding is the booklabel of "Maria Fisher, No. 133." Such an inscription suggests that Maria Fisher owned a library of some significance, and included at least one book in German printed in Pennsylvania. But who was Maria Fisher? 

The text is: "Geistliche und erbauliche Briefe" (Lebanon, Pennslyvania: Joseph Hartman, 1819).

The front endpaper has an inscription which reads:  "Henry Fisher’s.  Jesus all the day long. Was my joy and my song.  O that all his salvation.  He loved me I cried. He suffered and died. For such rebel as me.”



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

Meister F.G. - Rubbing of a dated roll ("1543") which appears on vols. 1-6 measuring 173 x 17 mm. CLICK HERE to see high-quality PDF of 4 pages of rubbings.

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


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."