Arcana Collection bei Christies Lot 17
ANDREAS GUNDELFINGER (d.1605), Pattern Book of Calligraphic Specimens for his Pupils, in German and Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[Nuremberg] 1575-1576162 x 220mm. ii + 10 + ii leaves, written in black ink in a variety of Fraktur, Kurrent and Kanzlei scripts extensively decorated in liquid gold (some leaves cropped at top into decorative penwork, slight wear to margins). 19th-century crushed green morocco gilt, gilt turn ins (small splits to joints, extremities lightly scuffed)
1. The manuscript is dedicated to his pupils by Andreas Gundelfinger ‚Zu gueter gedechtnus unnd zu zondern gefallen seinen schulern und discipuli hat Andreas Gundelfinger Rechenmaister da selbs diese schrifften geschrieben‘ in 1576, above his AG monogram, motto NUL PENNA SED USUS (not the pen but its use, a popular tag) and the date of 1575 in gold, f.1; small later hands have noted in Latin on ff.9 and 10 that it was written by Andreas Gundelfinger, calligraphus to Albert V, Duke of Bavaria (ruled 1550-1579). A ‚Schreib- und Rechenmeister‘, master of writing and mathematics, Gundelfinger became a burgess of Nuremberg in 1569, where he was apparently still living in 1580; a contemporary report of his death in 1605 refers to him as ‚Schoolmaster in Munich‘. It was an established tradition that writing masters would leave specimens of their work as a continuing inspiration for their pupils.
2. William Bragge (1823-1884): the sale of his outstanding collection of manucripts, Sotheby’s, 7 June 1876, lot 123, as ‚exquisite specimens of artistic calligraphy‘, purchased by Quaritch; cited by Bradley in his Dictionary of Miniaturists, Illuminators, Calligraphers and Copyists, 1888, II, p.74.
3. The brothers Max (1849-1911) and Maurice (1852-1922) Rosenheim: bookplate and library label inside upper cover. Their extensive collections of Renaissance and Baroque works of art, most famed for its medals and plaquettes but including a pioneering collection of Album amicorum, was dispersed in six sales; sale of their library, Sotheby’s 9 May 1923, lot 103, purchased by Maggs; Maggs Catalogue 46, 1924, no 84.
4. Breslauer, Catalogue 109 published on the occasion of the ninetieth anniversary of the firm by Martin Breslauer, New York, 1988, no.14.
CONTENT AND ILLUMINATION:
Each page presents a sample of a different script, opening with the signed dedication to his pupils, f.1, and including a complete alphabet of Fraktur-Kurrent capitals, f.7v. The most elaborate, the Latin hymn ‚Jesu nostra redemptio‘, has a large yet intricate opening J, only just contained within the height of the page, and a delicate band of gold filigree decoration between each line, f. 7. Even the least formal hands, ff.5-6v, have letters touched with gold and curving cadels that swirl around the margins. His sample texts are not all up to date: among those mentioned are Augustus of Saxony (d.1586) Ottheinrich of the Palatinate (d. 1559) and Joachim of Brandenburg (d.1571), f.2; Philip II of Spain (d.1598), f.8v; Albrecht of Brandenburg, Archbishop of Mainz (d.1545), f.9v. Some texts seem to have had personal associations: the Graf von Helferstein and Freiherr zu Gundelfingen, in Swabia, presumably where the family had originated, appears on f.10. The Gundelfinger had probably moved east via Ulm, source of the text on f.4v, since another Gundelfinger delivered letters in Ulm from Nuremberg in the first years of the 17th century and news of Andreas Gundelfinger’s death in Munich reached the Ulm Rechenmeister, Johann Faulhaber, news which he then passed on to Nuremberg in January 1605 (K. Hawlitschek, Johann Faulhaber1580-1635, 1995, pp.259-268).
Andreas Gundelfinger lavished all his skill on the book which he intended as the testament of his calligraphic achievements.
Der Verkauf bei Karl und Faber 1943 fehlt: