books stash

While I’ve written about going through my hoard of files for my Julich-Kleve-Berg dress information but I have also been going through my fragments of copies of books that a woman of that time might own, as well as what might be in the printshop of a woman in Cologne. (see Willemyne is a printmaker) It has been an overwhelming task as I tried to keep context by keeping original filenames but not being careful about creating subfolders and some of the pdfs contain a single line of interest!

I have several books on other trades and books on the natural world. Even a book on writing. It includes how to hold a quill properly, illustrated.

What I am doing is taking those fragments and consciously trying to find the best scans of the most complete versions, and even finding copies that are less complete but have additional information.

Recently I created a page on dress from the North Rhine with images from the Rijksmuseum for the de Bruyn pages. The BNE example however has additional prints of figures from the region. These are normally part of a plate of around 12 figures from Aachen, Nijmegen, Munster, and the lands around Cleves and Cologne. In this other edition some of these figures were redrawn to match the full sized figures. In this way their features were lengthened somewhat.

I would like to take a little time to see if the Aachen figures also got this treatment of if they didn’t that perhaps it was a decision based on sales or cost of printing. Why print 4 pages when they can be condensed on to one.

Based on the books that exist they do show an interest in people from around the world. However each book is heavily weight to dress of people from close to the region. Where other countries may be represented by a single figure the local country may have a few figures from major cities. This doesn’t seem like it is simply utilising a local resource but rather is an expression of interest in how people saw themselves in a world that was increasingly wider and varied.

I think this shows a growing interest in the idea of self identity as it is also a time where travel journals were created and publish, and diaries, and personal clothing books- see Matheas Swartz.

Braun and Hogenberg even asked people to send images of their city if it was not already included in their maps and apparently people really did! So clearly people were interested in seeing themselves represented. And represented accurately.

There was also an interesting article about printers in different cities cooperating to create maps as well as at least one basically pretending other works didn’t exist. I also came across privileges granted. But I was concentrating on finding the origin of the North Rhine figures so have only mentioned in here.

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