Blockbuch Canticum Canticorum - Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg Inc 160

Hofbibliothek Aschaffenburg


The 'Canticum canticorum' is a book of the Old Testament attributed to King Solomon. The 'Song of Songs' contains tender love poems or songs about the longing, searching, finding, losing and rediscovering of two lovers. In Gutenberg's time, the 'Canticum canticorum' appeared in two different block book editions, of which a total of 29 copies are known today. Block books are printed works from the 15th century which were produced by means of wood plate printing or friction printing and mainly consist of illustrations with relatively little text. They mostly contain works that served the purpose of edification or instruction. In the typical (xylographic) block books, the printing plate was cut into a wooden board for an entire page (pictures and text together), the wood was dyed and the paper placed on it was 'rubbed'. The pages printed on one side were then glued together. Since block books are difficult to date, they were long regarded as a transitional form between the manuscript and printed book. However, they were still produced after the invention of letterpress printing with movable type until about 1530. The block books, which come almost exclusively from Germany and Holland, are very rare and are rated among the bibliophile treasures. Elector Friedrich Karl Joseph von Erthal (1719-1802) already paid 500 ducats for the 'Canticum canticorum' block book. Datum: 2018


Karin L. Kuhn

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