Old Picture Books
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OLD PICTURE BOOKS
OLD PICTURE BOOKSWITH OTHER ESSAYS ON BOOKISH SUBJECTS, BY
LONDON: METHUEN AND CO36
ESSEX STREET, W.C.
To JOHN MACFARLANE.Librarian of the Imperial Library^ Calcutta.
My dear Macfarlane, Just as you had completed a valuable monographon that enterprising French publisher Antoine Verard, youicere rchirled-
organise a great library at,
stated in the neii'spapers on highis
your Imperial Library
be a second
Museum, but I am afraid that, developed by your energy and skill, itBritish
even when fullyicill
when you come over onto
resume the pleasant studies we usedthat you
even be induced
another paper before the learned Society of which you wereonce
To keep alive your interest
thus a reasonable pretext for dedicating
these bookish essays.
that as they stand
on your book-shelf theyBritish
may remind you of the original many friends you left behindamid our Bloomsbury
here after your seventeen years' workfogs.
England and the Bookish Arts'to'
appeared as an introductionLibrary' (Keganare reprinted from
The English Bookman's
'The Guardian,' 'The
'The King's College'
School Magazine,' 'Longman's Magazine,'Magazine,'
Pageant,' and the 'Transactions' of the BibliographicalSociety.at the
Separate acknowledgment of
beginning of each paper, but the author desires
here to thank the Publishers and Editors toindebted for permission to reprint.
All the essays hav^e
been revised, and some of the illustrations appear herefor the first time.
CONTENTSOLD PICTURE BOOKS
FLORENTINE RAPPRESENTAZIONI AND THEIR PICTURES
TWO ILLUSTRATED ITALIANA BOOK OF HOURS
THE TRANSFERENCE OF WOODCUTSSIXTEENTH CENTURIESES
THE FIFTEENTH AND7o
99106 124 146 159172
ENGLISH BOOKS PRINTED ABROAD
SOME PICTORIAL AND HERALDIC INITIALS
ENGLAND AND THE BOOKISH ARTSTHE FIRST ENGLISH BOOK SALE
JOHN DURIE'S 'REFORMED LIBRARIE-KEEPER
IN ENGLISH PLAYS
HERRICK AND HIS FRIENDSA POET'S STUDIESPRINTERS'
.... .... ......PRINTED BEFORE 1660OF
THE FRANKS COLLECTION OF ARMORIAL BOOK-STAMPS
Bv Alice PollardA QUEEN ANNE POCKET-BOOK260273
FROM GKONINGER'S 'VIRGIL': bTRASSBUKG, I502
OLD PICTURE BOOKSthe edition of Virgil published
1502, Sebastian Brant boasted thatit,
the illustrations to
whose preparation he had
the story of the book as plain to the:
unlearned as to the learned'
Hie legere historias commentaque plurima doctus,
Nee minus indoctus
though it must be would have been puzzled by the cannon here shown as employed in the siege of Nova Troja, and similar medicevalisms abound throughout the volume. Coming almost at the end of the first series ofgrantedthat
boast was no ill-founded one,Virgil
early illustrated books, the Virgil of 1502 thus exemplifies
two of the chief featuresinto thelife
which they owe
the power of telling a story and the readiness to import
most uncongenial themes some touches of the own day. But by Brant's time illustrationits
was already losingbe otherwise
gained a European reputation by his
concerning himself with
rather a craft than an art, alike in
At the outset it had been Germany, in Italy, inif
the Netherlands, and in France, and,
do not add
England to the list, it is only because in England the workmen, though naive enough in all conscience, were
OLD PICTURE BOOKSthem craftsmen would be But whether skilled or unskilled,
so entirely untrained that to calltoo great a compliment.
the woodcutters' objects were everywhere the
render his design with the greatest possible simplicity ofoutline,to tell
the story with
a directness which often
verges on caricature, and to keep his pictures in decorative
the type-page on which they were to appear,
printed with the
excellent ink, on the
same pull of the same excellent
press, with the
In papers brought together in thisis
volume the reader
look at the
Bibles, at the beautiful cuts
to two old Italian which make the Florentine
Miracle Plays or Rappresentazioni so highly esteemed,at the illustrations to
French editions of the Hours of the Blessed Virgin,' and at some examples of the curious transformations and vicissitudes which old wood blocks and the designs for them went through ere yet either'
photographic processes had been
The reproductions which accompany these and other articles will give a better idea of these Old Picture Books to those who do not already know them than could be conveyed by any verbal descriptions. Here it may suffice to emphasise one or two points which are often overlooked.
only do we speak of w^oodcuts, a
may have been noticed that not common enough word,'The Woodcuttersof
but also of woodcutters, a term which, until Sir Martin
in the title of hisit
the Netherlands,' where
ridiculed at the time
suggesting the stalwart workmen
was hardly ever employedincongruitieij
denied that the use of the word sometimes lands usof
OLD PICTURE BOOKSevidence of the graver having beenbefore
speak of the early craftsmen as engrav^ers, andfair
estimating their performance to remember that
they worked with no better tool than a knife.
regards the material they used,
but experts are agreed
was no doubt as a not on what
that instead of thedownhowever, that
blocks cut across the grain
adopted by the modern engraver, they used wood sawnperpendicularlyIt is certain,
the grain, as in an ordinary plank.in addition to
kind of metal, spoken of in one place (thecuts in one of
as ciiivre^ or copper, but
generally identified with pewter, was also used.
This use ofof Hours,'
metal encouraged in
of the French
notably in those of Philippe Pigouchet, a finer and closer
method of work than we can believe waspossible on
but the general handling was preciselyis
the same, and
bending instead of breaking,for certain that the
when we see a thin line as wood did, that we knowForis
craftsman was working on metal.
this reason the
often applied to metal
in the style of
as well as to woodcuts
properly so called, and though doubtless reprehensible,the confusioncutsis
not nearly so misleading as that between
and engravings.third fact has already been emphasised, namely, thatI
the makers of the woodcuts, and
we may add