Friday, July 5, 2013

Picture Day Friday: Two Danish Renaissance Heart-Shaped Books

Renaissance, 16th century heart-shaped Prayer Book, circa 1580, gilt embossed leather cover. Attributed to Caspar Meuser, an apprentice and successor of Jakob Krause, the German bookbinder who was the first to use gold tooling and French & Italian designs in his binding. This book was designed for Anne of Denmark, the wife of Augustus I, Elector of Saxony.

This Heart Book, Denmark (1550) is regarded as the oldest Danish ballad manuscript. It is a collection of 83 love ballads during the reign of King Christian III. Shown below is the beginning of ballad no. 43: Store længsel, du går mig nær (Great Yearning, thou touches me).

[Provenance of these images of the books is unknown.]