Die Bücher-Ornamentik Der Renaissance (Vol. I.) (page 1/5)

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[picture: Book cover, Ornamentik Der Renaissance (Vol. I.)]

Engravings from “Die Bücher-Ornamentik Der Renaissance” (Book-Ornament of the Renaissance) by A. F. Butsch, Leipzig, 1878. Alfred Butsch was a famous bookseller and a collecter of antiquarian books; the engraved plates in the book reproduce illustrations from early printed books.

I bought my copy of this book (actually Volume II hasn’t arrive yet!) from a bookseller in Germany; there is also a fac simile by Dover, but the reproduction is not of the highest quality, so these images are better, if very incomplete.

I also have Volume II.

Title: Die Bücher-Ornamentik Der Renaissance (Vol. I.)

Author: Butsch, A. F.

Published by: Verlag von G. Hirth

City: Leipzig

Date: 1878

Total items: 40

Out of copyright (called public domain in the USA), hence royalty-free for all purposes usage credit requested, or as marked.

Some sample images

[picture: 62k.---Initial capital letter ``K'' from Dance of Death Alphabet.]

62k.—Initial capital letter “K” from Dance of Death Alphabet.

This decorative initial letter “K”, or drop cap, is from an alphabet designed by Hans Holbein and dating from 1523. It features a skeleton representing Death, wearing a fur cap and mantle, and [...] [more...] [$]

[picture: Foliated chapter-head with geometric border]

Foliated chapter-head with geometric border

An Egyptian-inspired geometric border containing a fleur-de-lys in a circle between two vine branches. It was at the head of the first index page. The border style was popular in the nineteenth century, and the [...] [more...] [$]

[picture: 62g.---Initial capital letter ``G'' from Dance of Death Alphabet.]

62g.—Initial capital letter “G” from Dance of Death Alphabet.

This decorative initial letter “G”, or drop cap, is from an alphabet designed by Hans Holbein and dating from 1523. It shows two skeletons, or Death figures, siezing a queen; one skeleton plays the flute, or fife, [...] [more...] [$]

[picture: Full-page foliated border from 1478.]

Full-page foliated border from 1478.

This ornate foliated border is festive (because I coloured it red) and swirly. It’s from the title page of a 1478 book, over 500 years old. [more...] [$]

[picture: Decorative initial letter I]

Decorative initial letter I

A decorative initial capital letter “I” used as a drop cap at the start of a chapter. This was probably cut into the side of a block of wood, which might explain why the letter is not quite vertical; the technique of engraving onto the end-grain of the block came [...] [more...] [$]


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Engravings from “Die Bücher-Ornamentik Der Renaissance” (Book-Ornament of the Renaissance) by A. F. Butsch, Leipzig, 1878. Alfred Butsch was a famous bookseller and a collecter of antiquarian books; the engraved plates in the book reproduce illustrations from early printed books.

I bought my copy of this book (actually Volume II hasn’t arrive yet!) from a bookseller in Germany; there is also a fac simile by Dover, but the reproduction is not of the highest quality, so these images are better, if very incomplete.

I also have Volume II.


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