Sixteenth Century Finishing Tools - France

L'Atelier de Pierre Roffet 1511-1533.

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The next clue from our Pierre Roffet binding that we were looking at on the previous page. Is the tool that has been used to create a border of closely spaced imprints. After a brief search, I decided to look in Gid's catalogue, particularly in the Appendice section where you find unusual bindings such as those from the Louis XII workshops. The first binding shown in the Appendice is number 309, here we find imprints that look very much like the kind we are looking for, Gid has catalogued it as Fer 1 (Tomb II, Plate 11).

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Comparative Diagram 1 - Denise Gid 1984 rubbing fer 1 vs Pierre Roffet imprint from BLDB binding c64b10.

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I have reproduced Gid's 309 rubbing as well as her inventory notes for this binding, she notes fer 1 and another that we do not see in the rubbing (fer 15) she makes no mention of the other imprints found on this binding? What is mentioned however is that this is a binding made for Grolier. This links us back strongly to Nixon's binding number 10.
Comparative Diagram 2 - Nixon 1965 EF. 5 rubbing (Pl. B) vs imprint from Gid 1984 rubbing 309.

In Comparative Diagram 2, we see Nixon's 1965 rubbing EF 5, which he has classified as a very early Fleur-de-lis Binder tool, compared with a similar imprint found in Gid's rubbing of binding 309, as well as an enlargement of a photograph of the actual imprint... this may be clutching at straws, these imprints are small and their reproduction poor, however this could very well be the same tool. It has been used in the same way to embellish the corners.

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The next Pierre Roffet binding comes from, Premières reliures parisiennes à décor doré, de l'atelier des reliures Louis XII à l'atelier du Maître d'Estienne, ou de Simon Vostre à Pierre Roffet. by Jacques Guignard, in Humanisme actif : Mélanges d'art et de littérature offerts à Julien Cain. Paris : Hermann, 1968, t. II, p. 229-249. On Plate 1 of this same publication, Guignard has illustrated a number imprint models, some of which derive from the tools of Pierre Roffet. I show these models below as well as Guignard's Plate 16 above which is another Pierre Roffet binding for Grolier.

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Comparative Diagram 2- Gid imprint fer 15 vs Pierre roffet imprint vs Guignard Roffet imprint model 2.

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When I was arranging the diagrams for the Gid 309 binding shown above, I avoided fer 15 because frankly, I do not see it in the rubbing. However after seeing the imprint model in Guignard's plate 1, I went back and copied Gid's rubbing of this imprint to show it here in Comparative Diagram 2. This is a convincing bit of evidence indicating that binding 309 is indeed a Pierre Roffet binding.

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Comparative Diagram 3 - Nixon 1965 C de P. 43 rubbing vs Pierre Roffet imprint vs Picard imprint.

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Within Guignard's Plate 16 reproduction we can see a small imprint that is also found in the 309 rubbing but not catalogued by Gid. I show it above in Comparative Diagram 3, it compares well with Jean Picards tool of the same shape, but is perhaps slightly different.

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