Scribal Culture Dictates Technology: Scribal Process in Metal
A paper given at the International Congress on Medieval Studies,
Kalamazoo, MI, May 1997.
Mary Kay Duggan
1. A leaf of a parchment gradual, fragment.
Services for Quinquagesima Sunday, the
Sunday before Lent, which occurs about a quarter of the way through the
liturgical year. The nineteenth-century owner of the leaf, noted Goethe
scholar and publisher Freiherr von Biedermann of Dresden and Leipzig
(1817-1903), published an article in the leading German musicological
journal Monatshefte fur Musikgeschichte in 1871 entitled "Ob Druck, ob
Schrift" on the leaf. The article included the following hand-drawn facsimile
which clearly indicates the overlapping stamps used for both letters and
for plainchant. The fragmentary leaf measured 169 x 124 mm., written space
155 x 100 mm., only a portion of a complete leaf of what would have been a
very large book for the entire choir. The letters, notes and staves were
black, the initials red. The leaf had been used as a wrapper of a seventeenth-
century book that was apparently purchased in the early nineteenth century
at Freiberg. The illustration was reprinted in 1901 by the foremost
incunabulist of the time, Gottfried Zedler, as the first illustration of
his article "Die Entstehung" (in Gutenbergforschungen). The leaf
was noted by Franz Falk in his "Der Stempeldruck vor Gutenberg und die
Stempeldrucke in Deutschland," Festschrift zum funfhundertjahrigen
Geburtstage von Johann Gutenberg (XXIII. Beiheft zum Centralblatt fur
Bibliothekswesen; Leipzig: Otto Harrassowitz, 1900), 78, note 2.
A leaf of a parchment gradual, fragment, jpg.
A leaf of a parchment gradual, fragment, tif.
2. Letters stamped on bindings of Conrad Forster. See Wolfgang Stromer v. R.,
"Vom Stempeldruck zum Hochdruck, Forster und Gutenberg," in Johannes
Gutenberg--Regionale Aspekte des fruhen Buchdrucks. Vortrage der
Internationalen Konferenz zum 550. Jubilaum der Buchdruckerkunst am 26. und 27. Juni 1990 in Berlin
(Berlin Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, 1993), Illustrations 1-3.
3. A bookbinding (Conpendium theoloice ueritatis [Compendium
by Johann Richenbach (active 1464-1485) that clearly shows
the overlap of punches that imitate scribal strokes.
Note the use of red ink for the first letter of the title. From
Die Buchkultur im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert, erster Halbband
(Hamburg: Maximilian-Gesellschaft, 1995), p. 269 in an article by von
Arnim on "Einbandkunst," no. 10; blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards.
Binding by Richenbach, jpg of photocopy.
4. Graduale. [South Germany, 1470? 1472?].
British Library, IB 15154
The first music printing. Both the music and alphabetic types seem
to derive from much earlier than the 1470s. An examination of the types
supports creation from stamped punches rather than matrices.
Graduale, f. [a1], jpg of postcard.
Graduale, f. [a1], tiff of postcard.