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identifying provenance evidence

Who is "Meister F.G." - an unrecorded (?) German Renaissance Binder, ca. 1570
Seeking to identify a German binder of considerable technical abilities who signed two very distinctive panel stamps "F.G." (actually: "F.G" where the "G" is BACKWARDS)
2017-03-02 (last changed: 2017-03-02 ) by bibliograph
Dear Colleagues,

Firstly, numerous CLEAR images concerning this Query, and detailed rubbings of the binder's tools, can be found here:


BACKGROUND OF THE CASE: a 12 vol. set of Luther Bucher (Werke) has come into our possession (Wittenberg, 1554-1570). As commonly, owing to the 16-year gap in the publication of the Luther Bucher, this is a composite set. The first six volumes in the set are the focus of the present Query. We have identified the binders of vols. 7-12 in the set (both from Wittenberg - see below) but the binder of vols. 1-6 ("Meister F.G.") has resisted identification, and indeed no other reference to this workshop has been found.

All six volumes were bound in a workshop that so far has remained unrecorded (?). The bindings of these six are all dated "1570" and are unified in the same gilt and gauffered edge decoration around all sides; and they share a very distinctive roll tool which is dated "1543" (173 x 16 mm).

Other tools on the 6 vol. group include two panel stamps signed "F.G." (actually "F.G." where the "G" is BACKWARDS).

Panel 1: Scourge of Christ, signed F.G. (79 x 32 mm) and dated "1535" at the bottom of the column.

Panel 2: David and his Harp above a scene of Dalila and Samson, signed F.G. (78 x 32) with motto above David: "DI HARFEN HORT MAN CL" (i.e. Die Harfen Hort Man Clingen."

Roundel 1: Jan Hus (30 mm diameter) with motto: "IOAN HUS IS VERBRENT WORDEN IM 1415"

Roundel 2: Martin Luther (30 mm diameter) with motto: "MARTIVS LVTER ANTIPAPA CVRAV"

Ornament 1: Crucifixion stamp (53 x 27 mm) with motto: "O IESV FILI DEI"

Ornament 2: Risen Christ stamp (49 mm diameter)

Ornament 3: Salvator stamp (52 x ca. 30 mm) with motto: "EGO SVM DOMINV"

Any leads would be appreciated.

SOURCES CONSULTED: Although it is very possible that we overlooked critical pieces of information, we have consulted the Einbanddatenbank; Haebler, Rollen- und Plattenstempel; Schunke Leben und Werke Jakob Krauses; Konrad v. Rabenau et al., Deutsche Bucheinband der Renaissance; Marianne Rozsondai, "Signierte Renaissance-Einbande deutschen Typs aus dem 16. Jahrhundert" (Gutenberg Jahrbuch 1988); Einband-Forschung Heft. 1-20. Schunke, Die Einbande der Palatina in der Vatikanischen Bibliothek.

SOURCES NOT CONSULTED: Einband Forschung, Heft 21 (Oct. 2007) through Heft 39 (Oct. 2017). We would be extremely grateful to receive communications concerning this particular resource, which as yet is not available to us.
Bibliographic Details:
Book 1: Wittenberg: Peter Seitz, 1567 - bound by "Meister F.G."
Book 2: Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1557 - bound by "Meister F.G."
Book 3: Wittenberg: Peter Seitz, 1566 - bound by "Meister F.G."
Book 4: Wittenberg: Peter Seitz, 1568 - bound by "Meister F.G."
Book 5: Wittenberg: Georg Rawen Erben, 1556 - bound by "Meister F.G."
Book 6: Wittenberg: Lorentz Schwenk, 1570 - bound by "Meister F.G."
Book 7: Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1554 - bound by Matthias Junker (Wittenberg). Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.Z.G." = ?
Book 8: Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1556 - bound by Hans Cantzler (Wittenberg). Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.A.S." = ?
Book 9: Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1557 - bound by Hans Cantzler. Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.A.S.S." (sic) = ?
Book 10: Wittenberg: Thomas Klug, 1558 - bound by Hans Cantzler. Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.A.S." = ?
Book 11: Wittenberg: [s.n.], 1558 - bound by Hans Cantzler. Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.A.S." = ?
Book 12: Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1559 - bound by Hans Cantzler. Monogram on binding: "A.V.E.A.S." = ?

Earliest known provenance: see above for the monograms of the first owners. Subsequently: Johann Paul Schnabel (17th-century inscriptions on title-pages of vols. 1-12, all effaced), perhaps the same individual who is recorded in 1648 as providing money to the Coburg Stadschule for the purchase of books. SOURCE: in the Jahrbücher der Herzoglich Sächsischen Residenzstadt Coburg: Von 741-1822 (Coberg, 1825), vol. 1 p. 250: "Legirte der M. Johann Paul Schnabel, weiland Conrect. der hiesigen Stadtschule 20f. zu Bücher für fleißige Knaben."
Holding Institution:
Collection of Michael Laird, USA
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