15th Century

272 K
Balbi, Giovanni, d. 1298.
Catholicon : part II.
Mainz: Johann Gutenberg, 1460.
1 l. ; 29x37 cm.
Gutenberg, Johann, 1397?-1468, printer.
203 B173c Oversize
Gutenberg did invent printing in Europe, although the Chinese had invented printing and moveable type centuries before in Asia. Perhaps his greatest contributions were the formula for printer's ink, which would adhere to the metal type, and the lockable forme of the set type. Nonetheless, Gutenberg created a true revolution in the distribution of knowledge. Printing allowed a rapid reproduction of text, which hitherto had to be painstakingly and expensively copied by hand. The character forms follow the manuscript tradtion and would continue to do so until printing arrived in Italy, the center of Humanism.
138 K
Rome : In domo Petri de Maximo [Conradus Sweynheym and Arnoldus Pannartz], 28 Feb. 1469.
178 leaves (the last blank) ; 34 cm. (fol.)
Sweynheim, Konrad, d. 1477, printer.
Pannartz, Arnold, d. ca. 1476, printer.
871 A4 1469 Oversize
A religious war in Mainz between two archbishops led to the expulsion of the tradesmen, including printers, who supported the loser. This inadvertantly created a disapora of printers throughout Europe and hastened the spread of the art. Sweynheim of Mainz and Pannartz of Cologne were among the expratiates and the first to establish printing in Italy. Originally setting up shop in Subiaco, they moved to Rome late in 1467 and cut a new type based upon the contemporary rounded Italian calligraphy.
252 K
Tortelli, Giovanni, 1400-1466.
Ioannis Tortellii Arretini Commentariorum grammaticorum de orthographia dictionum e Graecis tractarum ...
Venetiis, Nicolaum Ienson, 1471.
[295] l. 44 cm.
Jenson, Nicolas, ca. 1420-1480, printer.
471 T699i Folio
Jenson supposedly was sent by King Charles VII of France to Germany to learn the new art of printing about 1458. However, his patron died and instead of returning to France, he went to Venice. His roman types, based upon the Humanist calligraphy of the time and place, were extremely successful. They mark a further remove from the dense calligraphic style then dominant in Europe. He was honored by Pope Sixtus IV in 1475 with a Court Palatine.
114 K
Lascaris, Constantine, 1434-1501
In hoc libro haec continentur. Constantini Lascaris Erotemata cu interpretatione latina ...
Venetiis. : Aldi Manucii Romani, M.CCCC.LXXXXV. <1495>
<332> p. ; 22 cm.
Manuzio, Aldo, 1449 or 50-1515, printer.
888 L341e
Other links: A 1502 printer's device
Aldo Manuzio, more commonly known by his latinized name, Aldus Manutius, was the first of the great scholar/printers. In the manuscript tradition, errors would be introduced and repeated, leading to various "families" of manuscripts. This was also the time of a renewal of interest in the Greek and Roman classics. Manuzio devoted himself to a rigorous examination of the available texts and printing definitive editions. He hired the talented typographer Francesco Griffo to cut his types, who had a lasting and deep impact on subsequent type design. This is the first book printed by Manuzio.
154 K
Catholic Church.
Book of Hours
[A la louenge de dieu de de sa tressaincte et glorieuse mere ... ]
[Paris : Etienne Jehannot for Antoine Verard, ca. 1497]
[112] l. ill. 19 cm.
Publisher's device on N8 verso.
Printed on vellum.
Verard, Antoine, d. 1513, publisher.
Jehannot, Etienne, printer.
264.02 C3636 1498
Other links: Publisher's device
Verard was the most prolific publisher of Horae in Paris. The genre had certain definite, if unspoken, rules. They were to always be visually attractive, ownership was considered a pious act, and they were conservative in appearance, closely based upon manuscript editions, and normally printed on vellum. The use of decorative borders was requisite, as was the type strongly reflecting manuscript calligraphy. The borders in this particular edition are sacred in nature, but many depicted secular scenes, and are of great interest for their depiction of the daily life and costume of the people.

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