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CASPAR BRYNNER (d.1610), Kurze ordnung Künstlicher, artlicher und wolproportionierter Teutscher und Latinischer Zierschrifften, calligraphic pattern book, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
CASPAR BRYNNER (d.1610), Kurze ordnung Künstlicher, artlicher und wolproportionierter Teutscher und Latinischer Zierschrifften, calligraphic pattern book, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

CASPAR BRYNNER (d.1610), Kurze ordnung Künstlicher, artlicher und wolproportionierter Teutscher und Latinischer Zierschrifften, calligraphic pattern book, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
Augsburg, 1575-1584
156 x 240mm. iv paper + 12 + iv paper leaves written in black ink in a variety of Fraktur, Kurrent, Kanzlei and Humanist scripts, nine pages with very large flourished initials with interlace in black and liquid gold, nine pages with large flourished initials with liquid gold, one page with large and small initials in red and gold, five pages with large initials in gold or decorated with gold (cropped into flourishing on some leaves, wear concentrated in margins, some ink corrosion on f.1, slight fading f.9v, smudge f.10). Contemporary German flexible vellum tooled in gold with central medallion, corner ornaments and, on front cover, 'HSC 1584'( rubbed and lightly soiled, tear at foot of spine).


1. Caspar Brynner followed the title with his name as Bürger und Rechenmaister in Augsburg and the date 1575, f.1; his final colophon in small gold cursive gives his name as Caspar Brünner and dates the completion to 20 March 1584. The paper leaves have a watermark of a bear with the initials ID. The gilt binding shows that HSC, perhaps a member of the Christel or Christmann families of Augsburg, valued his new acquisition.

2. Antoni Zanino: written on first paper leaf; an erased note on f.12v includes the name Antonius Zanino aut Johannis and the date 1751. In 1789, 'le courtier' (broker) Zanino was active in Leuven (Louvain), Journal général de l'Europe, Politique, commerce, agriculture, t. IV, 1789, pp.55-56; among the town officials of Leuven during the French rgime was Zanino, who in 1796 was one of two charged with imposing the new regulations on colleges of the University and on schools, Nouvelles ecclésiastiques ou Mémoires pour servir a l'histoire de la constitution 'Unigenitus' pour l'année 1797, p.7.
3. Francois Godart: a sample note of sale on second paper leaf: 'memoire de marchandise livrée à Mons N de Louvain par Francois Godart le 17 janvier 1815' for wheat, butter and eggs in wholesale quantities; 'Godart' written on cover.

4.19th-century label on cover 'no 22 2eme serie'.

L.C. Harper Catalogue 4 1953, no. 10 5 1953, no. 23

Breslauer, Catalogue 109, published on the occasion of the ninetieth anniversary of the firm of Martin Breslauer, New York, 1988, no. 15.

Most of the writing samples are Biblical texts, all but the Psalms in the German translation of Martin Luther, starting appropriately with the opening of the Gospel of St John 'Im Anfang...' f.1v. The others are from Ecclesiasticus (IX 24 - X 6 on f.2v, XVI 23 - XVII 3 on f.4v, XXXVI 1-11 on f.5, selected verses opening with III 31-32 on f.5v and XIV 8-10 and XXXI 1-4 on f.8), the Acts of the Apostles (X 34-39 on f.8v), Proverbs (XI 1-9, followed by complete alphabet on f.9) and the Psalms, in Latin (Vulagte numbering 50, 1-5, on f.9v, 118, 17-19 on f.10, 25, 1-5, on f.10v, 4, 2-7, on f.11, 24, 1-10, on f.11v, 64 on f.12, 80, 1-11, on f.12v). Others are examples of formal documents or letters, including two from the Emperor about his Kanzleischreiber Veit Stoss, like Brynner a pupil of Neudorffer and probably a cousin of the famous wood sculptor of the same name, ff.2 and 3, where there is mention of Antoine Perronet [de Granvelle] (1517-1589), Secretary of State to the Emperor Charles V and discriminating patron and collector. Other notable names are the Duke of Mantua f.3v; Augustus of Saxony (d.1586) Ottheinrich of the Palatinate (d. 1559) and Joachim of Brandenburg (d.1571) f.4, Chrstoph, Duke of Württemberg (ruled 1550-1568) f.6, and Albrecht of Brandenburg, Archbishop of Mainz (d.1545) f.6v.

Every page is written in a different script, ranging from a formal Gothic bookhand, f.9v, through Fraktur forms, as on f.1, to hands that are closer to Kurrent, as f.3, to elegant Kanzleireinschrift, as f.6, to the final five pages of humanist or antiqua hands. The difference between German and Latin scripts is carried through in the decoration of their large initials. The impressively exuberant German initials are delicately worked with staves partly formed of very fine knotwork and interlace, enhanced with liquid gold, whereas the austere forms of the Latin initials are set against panels of restrained ornament, ff.10v-11v, or, in one case, foliate staves appear against the plain vellum, f.12.

Caspar Brynner from Krems was a pupil in Nuremberg of the great calligrapher Johann Neudorffer (1497-1563), who was fundamental to the development of the Fraktur script that remained in use in Germany into the 20th century. Brynner settled in Augsburg where he published in 1585 a new edition of Neudorffer's guide for merchants, Kunststuck vom Buchhalten und der Kauffmannschaft, with cuts by Jost Amman. Referring to himself only as Rechenmeister, mathematician, on the title page, Brynner was also very gifted in the allied profession of Schreibmeister, writing master. His superbly controlled calligraphy and mastery of different hands shows that he merited both titles: his fame as a calligrapher was revived in the 18th century in the publications of Paul von Stetten, Kunst- Gewerb und Handwerks geschichte der Reichstadt Augsburg, 1779-88 (I, pp.22-3, II, p.4) and Georg Wilhelm Zapf, Augsburgische Bibliothek..., 1795 (II, pp.879-80).

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