My latest obsession: Random Trail Camera Photos.
15th century cartoon?
This German block book is one of several bound together in one volume and kept in the university library of Heidelberg. They all date from circa 1455-58. Though I am unsure of what is going on in this book, I believe it is the story of the fox and the sick lion.
“Block books, also called xylographica, are short books of up to 50 leaves, block printed in Europe in the second half of the 15th century as woodcuts with blocks carved to include both text and illustrations. The content of the books was nearly always religious, aimed at a popular audience, and a few titles were often reprinted in several editions using new woodcuts. They seem to have functioned as a cheap popular alternative to the typeset book, which was still very expensive at this stage.”
These are all from the Bamberg State Library.
(A good source for browsing block books is this page.)
Ernst Jünger House, Wilflingen
Cat paws in medieval book - again
This great image was brought to my attention by the archivist at Balliol College, Oxford (here is his tweet). In a similar case, an image I tweeted some time ago showed a trail of inky cat paws, which was sent to me by @EmirOFilipovic (here is that tweet). The Balliol manuscript again provides evidence of cats walking over books, in this case in a manuscript from the 15th-century. It’s lovely to see that cats walking over books is a universal practice, with currently two medieval cases identified. In the image above the cat appears to merely have had dirt on his feet, not ink. It’s hard to say when this intrusion happened, but it will likely have been before modern times. Cats are, after all, refused entry to library reading rooms.
Pic: Oxford, Balliol College, MS 192 (England, 15th century).