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    OLD PICTURE BOOKS

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    OLD PICTURE BOOKSWITH OTHER ESSAYS ONBOOKISH SUBJECTS, BYALFRED W. POLLARD

    l

    LONDON: METHUEN AND CO36 ESSEX STREET, W.C. 1902

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    To JOHN MACFARLANE.Librarian of the Imperial Library^ Calcutta.

    My dear Macfarlane,Just asyou had completed a valuable monograph

    on that enterprising French publisher Antoine Verard, youicere rchirled- away to India to organise a great library atCalcutta. I have seen it stated in the neii'spapers, on highauthority y that your Imperial Library is to be a secondBritish Museum, but I am afraid that, even when fullydeveloped by your energy and skill, it icill contain noVerards. I hope, hoivever, that when you come over onfurlough you "will resume the pleasant studies we used topursue together, and thatyou may even be induced to readanotherpaper before the learned Society of which you wereonce my fellaw secretary. To keep alive your interest inold books is thus a reasonable pretext for dedicating toyouthese bookish essays. My real hope is that as they standon your book-shelf they may remind you of the originalBritish Museum and of the many friends you left behindhere afteryour seventeen years' work amid our Bloomsburyfogs.

    Faithfully yours,Alfred \V. Pollard

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    NOTEThe paper on ' England and the Bookish Arts' originally-appeared as an introduction to ' The English Bookman'sLibrary' (Kegan Paul and Co.). The other Essaysare reprinted from ' Bibliographica,' 'The Connoisseur,''The Guardian,' 'The Library,' 'The King's CollegeSchool Magazine,' 'Longman's Magazine,' ' Macmillan'sMagazine,' 'The Newbery House Magazine,' 'ThePageant,' and the 'Transactions' of the BibliographicalSociety. Separate acknowledgment of its source is madeat the beginning of each paper, but the author desireshere to thank the Publishers and Editors to whom he isindebted for permission to reprint. All the essays hav^ebeen revised, and some of the illustrations appear herefor the first time.

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    CONTENTSOLD PICTURE BOOKS .....FLORENTINE RAPPRESENTAZIONI AND THEIR PICTURESTWO ILLUSTRATED ITALIAN BIBLESA BOOK OF HOURS . . , .THE TRANSFERENCE OF WOODCUTS IN THE FIFTEENTH AND

    SIXTEENTH CENTURIES.....ES TU SCHOLARIS? ......ENGLISH BOOKS PRINTED ABROADSOME PICTORIAL AND HERALDIC INITIALSENGLAND AND THE BOOKISH ARTSTHE FIRST ENGLISH BOOK SALE ....JOHN DURIE'S 'REFORMED LIBRARIE-KEEPER ' .WOODCUTS IN ENGLISH PLAYS PRINTED BEFORE 1660 .HERRICK AND HIS FRIENDS ....A POET'S STUDIES ......PRINTERS' MARKS OF THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH

    CENTURIES ......THE FRANKS COLLECTION OF ARMORIAL BOOK-STAMPS .

    PAGE3II

    3751

    7o99106124146159172183200216

    227242

    Bv Alice PollardA QUEEN ANNE POCKET-BOOKWHY MEN don't MARRY

    260273

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    Tin; SIEGE Ol' NOVA TROJA. FROM GKONINGER'S 'VIRGIL': bTRASSBUKG, I502

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    OLD PICTURE BOOKSIN the edition of Virgil published by Griininger atStrassburg in 1502, Sebastian Brant boasted that

    the illustrations to it, whose preparation he hadsuperintended, made the story of the book as plain to theunlearned as to the learned :

    ' Hie legere historias commentaque plurima doctus,Nee minus indoctus perlegere ilia potest.'

    The boast was no ill-founded one, though it must begranted that Virgil would have been puzzled by thecannon here shown as employed in the siege of NovaTroja, and similar medicevalisms abound throughout thevolume. Coming almost at the end of the first series ofearly illustrated books, the Virgil of 1502 thus exemplifiestwo of the chief features to which they owe their charm :the power of telling a story and the readiness to importinto the most uncongenial themes some touches of thelife of their own day. But by Brant's time illustrationwas already losing its pristine simplicity. It could hardlybe otherwise when such a man as Brant, who had justgained a European reputation by his ' Narrenschiff,' wasconcerning himself with it. At the outset it had beenrather a craft than an art, alike in Germany, in Italy, inthe Netherlands, and in France, and, if w^e do not addEngland to the list, it is only because in England theworkmen, though naive enough in all conscience, were

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    '^'i/' .' : OLD PICTURE BOOKSso entirely untrained that to call them craftsmen would betoo great a compliment. But whether skilled or unskilled,the woodcutters' objects were everywhere the same : torender his design with the greatest possible simplicity ofoutline, to tell the story with a directness which oftenverges on caricature, and to keep his pictures in decorativeharmony with the type-page on which they were to appear,printed with the same pull of the press, with the sameexcellent ink, on the same excellent paper.

    In papers brought together in this volume the readeris asked to look at the woodcuts to two old ItalianBibles, at the beautiful cuts which make the FlorentineMiracle Plays or Rappresentazioni so highly esteemed,at the illustrations to French editions of the ' Hours ofthe Blessed Virgin,' and at some examples of the curioustransformations and vicissitudes which old wood blocksand the designs for them went through ere yet eithercliches or photographic processes had been invented.The reproductions which accompany these and otherarticles will give a better idea of these Old Picture Booksto those who do not already know them than could beconveyed by any verbal descriptions. Here it may sufficeto emphasise one or two points which are often over-looked.

    In the first place, it may have been noticed that notonly do we speak of w^oodcuts, a common enough word,but also of woodcutters, a term which, until Sir MartinConway used it in the title of his 'The Woodcutters ofthe Netherlands,' where it was ridiculed at the time assuggesting the stalwart workmen who cut down trees,was hardly ever employed in this sense. It cannot bedenied that the use of the word sometimes lands us inincongruitieij of phrase ; but inasmuch as there is no

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    OLD PICTURE BOOKS 5evidence of the graver having been used in woodcutsbefore the eighteenth century, it is clearly wrong tospeak of the early craftsmen as engrav^ers, and it is onlyfair in estimating their performance to remember thatthey worked with no better tool than a knife.As regards the material they used, it was no doubt as a

    rule wood ; but experts are agreed I know not on whatevidencethat instead of the blocks cut across the grainadopted by the modern engraver, they used wood sawnperpendicularly down the grain, as in an ordinary plank.It is certain, however, that in addition to wood some softkind of metal, spoken of in one place (the list of border-cuts in one of Du Pre's ' Horae ') as ciiivre^ or copper, butgenerally identified with pewter, was also used. This use ofmetal encouraged in some of the French ' Books of Hours,'notably in those of Philippe Pigouchet, a finer and closermethod of work than we can believe was at that timepossible on wood ; but the general handling was preciselythe same, and it is often only when we see a thin linebending instead of breaking, as wood did, that we knowfor certain that the craftsman was working on metal. Forthis reason the term woodcut is often applied to metalcuts worked in the style of wood as well as to woodcutsproperly so called, and though doubtless reprehensible,the confusion is not nearly so misleading as that betweencuts and engravings.A third fact has already been emphasised, namely, thatthe makers of the woodcuts, and I think we may add thedesigners of them also, never put their names to theirwork or troubled themselves in any way to preserve theirindividuality. Save for the ' Nuremberg Chronicle ' ofHartmann Schedela large book and a fine one, but ofno unusual artistic meritthe cuts in which are associated

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    6 OLD PICTURE BOOKSwith the names of Wohlgemuth (the father-in-law ofDiirer) and Pleydenwurff, I do not know of any singleillustrated book of the fifteenth century the designs inwhich can be attributed to a known artist. In Venetiancuts towards the end of the century it is not uncommon tofind a small initial letter, such as the b in the GiuntaBibles, the F of a Livy, the N of an Ovid, appearing onsome of the blocks ; but, after much learned disquisi-tion, it is now generally agreed that this is merely themark of a woodcutter's workshop. As to the organisationof these workshops, we have, unhappily, no information.All that we know is that at Augsburg, where, before theintroduction of printing, woodcutting had been exten-sively employed for playing-cards and figures of saints,the cutters had formed themselves into a flourishing guild,and were able to insist that the making of the illustrationsfor books should be left in their hands as a condition ofthe printers being allowed to use them.The only other point which it seems necessary to

    mention is that illustrated books in