Catalog Archive
Auction 102, Lot 566

"17th Century Book Binding", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1647 (dated)



16.5 x 13 inches
41.9 x 33 cm

This very unusual item is the binding from a mid-seventeenth century book (dated 1647 on spine) that was made from a much earlier (circa 1450) vellum manuscript. This manuscript has a full page of musical notation called Hufnagalshrift (horse-shoe nail writing) after their supposed resemblance to the nails used to affix horseshoes. Hufnagalshrift were found almost exclusively in manuscripts produced in the Germanic lands of Central Europe. The leather ties appear to be original to the book for which this was the binding. Many early manuscripts are known only because bookbinders used them to stiffen bindings; in this case the entire manuscript was used as the cover and has survived wonderfully without abrasion. Hufnagelschrift is quite scarce and this is a most attractive and unique exemplar.


Condition: B

Some discoloration with some minor worming.

Estimate: $550 - $700

Sold for: $400

Closed on 3/5/2003