Sixteenth Century Finishing Tools - France

l'atelier Simon Vostre 1509

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In the past few pages we have been exploring the doubtful methods of Jacques Guignard in attempting to promote his theory that the atelier of Simon Vostre produced all the bindings previously attributed to the atelier of Louis XII. A theory that the BnF have embraced sans hésitation. Above I have reproduced from the 1966 article of Jacques Guignard ("L'Atelier des reliures Louis XII (Blois ou Paris ?) et l'atelier de Simon Vostre", Studia bibliographica in honorem Herman de la Fontaine Verwey. Amsterdam: Hertzberger, 1966 [1968], binding 2, (No.21) Planche 1, below is a copy of the text from his article that relates to this binding.

1966 Z text

Within this text Guignard is trying to show the Simon Vostre connection to the atelier Louis XII-François Ier. He speaks of the binding shown at the top of thie page (no.21), and claims that the 'charming' roulette with a spiral decor (Z) found on this binding is the same as that found on the two Linacre Methodus medendi (1519) bindings both of which are connected to the atelier of the reliures Louis XII-François Ier.

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Comparative Diagram 1 - J. Guignard roulette 'Z' vs Simon Vostre 1509.

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In Comparative Diagram 1, I have assembled the roulettes in question enlarged to 300 dpi. I have included Guignard's rubbing of this imprint which he labels as 'Z'. Even an non-specialist can see that the 1509 Simon Vostre imprint is not the same as the imprints found on the Linacre bindings. All the leaves of the Linacre roulette 'Z' turn towards the interior, some of the leaves of the Vostre roulette turn towards the exterior. What does this mean? It means that Guignard was trying to sell us a false bill of goods. If indeed the binding shown as number 21 derives from the atelier of Simon Vostre, then we must conclude that this atelier did not produce reliures Louis XII-François Ier. If Jacques Guignard actually made the rubbing that he shows as 'Z' then the man is a fraud, how could he possibly claim these roulette imprints are the same?

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