Blind-tooled with bosses
Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 14 April 1478. (Prothro B-09)
Donated by Elizabeth Perkins Prothro in 1996, this Latin Bible features an extremely well-preserved fifteenth-century binding of blind-stamped calfskin. The binding is an outstanding product of an anonymous workshop known for its majestic rosette stamp. Although earlier scholars had localized this bindery in Erfurt, Germany, recent investigations suggest that several of its bindings came from Brixen, a German-speaking bishopric in the Alps of South Tyrol (Italy). Mrs. Prothro’s Bible strengthens this argument: a sixteenth-century inscription on its first leaf indicates that it was owned by the Capuchin monastery in Brixen.
The four brass bosses mounted at the corners of the upper cover depict the evangelists: St. Matthew with his angel, St. Mark with his winged lion, St. Luke with his winged ox, and St. John with his eagle. Although this magnificent metalwork may not belong to the original binding, which dates to the end of the 1470s, the four bosses are authentic to the period in which this Bible was used. Similar bosses appear on several bindings produced c. 1500 in Nuremberg.
The Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Bible Collection