BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 439 Swabia, ca. 1510-1517
Gregorius Bock, Scribal Pattern Book
This model book for scribes is composed of two parts. The first illustrates
alphabets in various scripts; the alphabet is often preceded by a text written
in that style. The writing specimens appear in the following order; there are
no labels or names provided in the manuscript by the author.
1. ff. 1r-3r Gothic textura: well defined feet; the precise ductus for each
letter of the alphabet is given for this script, but not for the others. On
f. 1r: "1510"; f. 2r: "Anno domini Millesimo quingentesimo decimo."
2. f. 3r-v Epigraphic majuscules.
3. f. 4r-v Round gothic: well defined feet; signature at conclusion:
4. f. 5r-v Round humanistic: approach strokes and serifs more pronounced on
ascenders than in preceding script.
5. f. 6r-v Gothic bookhand: delicate hairlines; some batarde influence on
descenders; single-compartment a.
6. ff. 6v-9v Batarde: several styles, both formal and informal. The
specimens at the bottom of ff. 6v, 7v, 8v appear to be additions, the last of
which addresses the scribe's cousin "Hainrichenn Lorcher Lanndtschriber zu
Wirtennberge Burger zu Stutgarttenn" and is dated 1517.
7. ff. 10r-11r Greek alphabet with sections labelled: Literae [sic]
maiusculae, Diphthongi propriae, Diphthongi impropriae, Sequitur alphabetum
graecum. Each letter is spelled out, often in a peculiar manner (alpha, uita,
gama, delta, episim...lafda, etc.).
8. ff. 11v-13r Hebrew alphabet: Sequitur alphabetum hebreum, followed by
Sequitur alphabetum secundum in alium modum factum. Added in a slightly later
hand: Sequitur alphabetum Iudaicum; dales, gimel, bes, alep, tes, hes, saen,
vof, he, lames, schlechkoff....
9. f. 13r-v Batarde, signed at conclusion "gregorius Bock."
10. ff. 14r-v Round gothic, with angular a, g, q.
11. f. 15r Humanistic bookhand.
12. f. 15v Batarde [a later addition?].
13. f. 16r Coded script: pig-pen cipher.
14. f. 16v Gothic textura: gently curving feet, curves in upper portion of
letters broken; elaborate hairline finishing strokes. Rulings for the written
space and text have been boldly drawn in black ink.
15. f. 17r-v Documentary script: extravagantly tall ascenders and descenders
on a basically humanistic script.
16. f. 18r-v Gothic textura: no feet and few finishing strokes at bottom of
letters; even a portion of the lower arc of e is omitted.
17. ff. 19r-24v Documentary scripts: six styles in various degrees of
formality. The writing specimen on f. 20r copies an official letter by "Hugo...
Episcopus Constanciensis" who can be identified as Hugo von Hohenlandberg,
Bishop of Constance 1496-1529.
18. f. 25r-v Small neat running script; italic alphabet and passage added at
end much later (s. xvii-xviii?), f. 26r blank
The second part of the codex is composed of decorative initials arranged
1. f. 26r blank; f. 26v Small gothic majuscules stroked with red. ff.
27r-28r blank except for a few pen trials and notes
2. ff. 28v-30v Large gothic majuscules (ca. 55 mm. tall), some with red
added, all with elaborate black penwork designs composed of different styles of
3. ff. 31r-34v Fanciful large gothic majuscules alternating in red and blue.
4. ff. 35r-37v Large shaded epigraphic capitals followed by shaded Arabic
5. ff. 38r-49v Gothic capitals in black and red, often extending the full
length or width of leaf and incorporating human and animal grotesques as well as
floral motifs. ff. 48v-49v were apparently never completed. f. 50r-v. blank,
except for inscription on recto
Parchment, ff. ii (paper) + 50 + ii (paper), 178 x 123 (115 x 90) mm.
Format varies considerably. Rulings in lead, often with parallel rulings for
each line of text. Remains of prickings in outer margins.
I^^8 (+ 1 leaf at end), II^^10, III^^8, IV^^6 (+ 2 separate leaves at end), V^^2,
VI^^8 (+ 3 separate leaves at end), VII^^2.
Most passages of text in the first part begin with large decorative
initials, primarily white floral designs on black grounds. Initial (green and
red added) with full penwork border of swirling leaves on f. 1r; initial in
colors and containing arms on f. 4r (see Provenance below).
Some leaves stained, rubbed and difficult to read.
Binding: s. xx. Rebound in 1984 in the Yale University Conservation Studio.
Non-adhesive paper binding.
Written by Gregorius Bock (see arts. 3 and 9) ca. 1510-1517 (see arts. 1 and
6), probably in Swabia. The coat of arms on f. 4r (party per fesse, or and
sable, a goat rampant counterchanged; crest: a demi-goat rampant, sable) is
similar to that of the Boeckhli family of Augsburg; Bock mentions his cousin,
the official scribe of the Duchy of Wuerttemberg (art. 6), and one of the texts
copied is a document of the Bishop of Constance (art. 17). Belonged to the
Benedictine monastery of Ochsenhausen, Wuerttemberg, in the 16th century
(stamp, f. 1r, and inscription of s. xvi on f. 50r: "Fratrum
Ochssenhausanorum"). Unidentified stamp, f. 2r, may be that of Metternich
family of Burscheid (argent, 3 escallops sable); an illegible inscription in
gothic textura extends from dexter chief around base to sinister chief.
Acquired by H. P. Kraus from Bernard Breslauer in 1968.
Purchased from Kraus in 1969 by Edwin J. Beinecke for the Beinecke
Bibliography: Exhibition Catalogue, pp. 267-68, no. 82, pl. 31 (f. 48r).
The Secular Spirit: Life and Art at the End of the Middle Ages, exhib.
cat. (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975) p. 111, no. 120.
Barbara A. Shailor