Thursday, April 08, 2004


A few years ago I became intrigued by early pattern books (often called modelbuchen because the first ones were produced by German printers).

I think Margaret Abegg and Arthur Lotz make the case that the earliest of these books known to us is a 1523 printing by Schonsperger of Augsburg.

Arthur Lotz (Leipzig) in 1933 published a bibliography that is the industry standard in identifying these little books. Herr Prof. Lotz was hindered in some respects however by needing to rely upon published library and museum catalogs and auction house sales catalogs. I have been trying to use Lotz to re-examine all of the originals and facsimiles I can find. I thought this would be a five year task - try a lifetime.

Case in point. Claudette sent me a Lacis publication of 2003 purporting to be a facsimile of an 1882 Emmanuel Bocher (Paris) of a1534 Johan Schartzenberger [sic] book. They quote Abegg (Appropos Pattern) as referring to Lotz 9 as Schwartzenberger "...first book of 1534"

Now the fun begins:

Lotz lists the following printings of Schwartzenberger:

Note: There is no Lotz Number 9 as such

Lotz 9a Schwartzenberger - 1534 20 plates (original in Nurnberg Germany Museum)
Lotz 9b Sch[w]artzenberger - 1534 20 plates (original Paris Bibl. Nat.)
Lotz 10 Schwartzenberger - 1534 24 plates (original Nurnberg Germany Museum)
Lotz 12 Schwartzenberger - 1535 20 plates (original Nurnberg Germany Museum)

The British Library has a set of Schwartzenbergers bound in one volume (55.a.7.[2-4]) which they list as being in 3 parts but there are actually four title pages. 1534, 1534, 1536, 1536


I believe the Boucher facsimile used the Lotz 9b copy in Paris. Lotz lists this as a facsimile of 9b. The spelling of the name Schwartzenberger also makes this more likely. I've not seen the Boucher facsimile so I don't know how many plates it contains. The Lacis book contains 38 plates, about twice the number of any Lotz listed Schwartzenberger. I have found other 19th century printers including plates from more than one original printing of a book in one facsimile edition and this may have happened in this instance.

Lotz does not list the British Library copies. These may have been obtained post 1933 or they may not have been cataloged at that time. I have not counted the number of plates in this volume nor can I say for certain that the plates following each title page were original to that printing.

The Lacis/Boucher title page for 1534 is different than either of the 1534 British Library title pages. The 9a Lotz title page reproduced in Lotz (Modelbucher 1933) is the same graphic woodblock as the Lacis printing but in the Lacis printing there is additional text with the date below the plate. Was this the work of Boucher? The work of Lacis?

Neither the Lacis nor Lotz9a title page match any of the four British Library title pages.


I now need to see the orginals in Paris and hopefully Nurnberg as well as the Boucher facsimile and compare them all. More fun ahead.

Can you tell me Schwartzenbergers first name please?
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