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An Early Seventeenth-Century Silver Binding

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Manufactured in the Province of Holland, the Decoration Influenced by De Bry1

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Small silver bookbindings from the Dutch Republic’s province of Holland, dating from the first quarter of the seventeenth century are extremely rare. The main characteristics of such bindings are that they all have a relatively small size and appear to be unmarked; their decoration seems to be inspired by the ornament prints produced and distributed by Theodor de Bry and his son Johann Theodor de Bry. Often they contain a religious substance matter. Therefore, it is remarkable that such a binding was found in Switzerland in 2011, which appeared to contain its original content: an edition of the so-called Biestkens Bible, printed by Zacharias Cornelisz in Hoorn in 1623.This binding’s elaborate embellishment of scrollwork, floral and animal motifs such as monkeys, butterflies, birds, dogs and snails, was undoubtedly inspired by the ornamental print designs produced by father and son De Bry; the source of inspiration becomes even more clear in the present binding, when compared to other known contemporary examples in silver.

Affiliations: 1: HeerlenNetherlands


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