Introduction

Adam Lonicer, who had recently qualified in medicine and was practising in Frankfurt-am-Main, bought the text volume of this Venetian edition of Avicenna's works at the Frankfurt Spring Book Fair of 1556. It was bought as unbound sheets as was the usual practice and he had it bound before August 1558 by an unidentified German bookbinder. The Index volume to this text was published in 1557 and its owner (presumably also Lonicer) had it bound by the Frankfurt master-binder Thomas Drechsler in or after 1560 as we know from a signed and dated tool used in its binding. The evidence for this is described briefly in my articles in the College Journal: Part 1; Part2.Avicenna on shelf
 

On the right, the text volume with the index on its right as they appear on the shelf today. The red labels were added later; before this the titles were written on the spine as can still be seen.

 

On the far right, the fore-edges of the books with the titles written in ink. This shows that they were once shelved fore-edge out, as was the 16th century practice. Note the bronze clasps to hold the books shut. Those on the index volume are still in full working order.

There is a larger view of the inscriptions on the fore-edges here:

Avicenna Text volume 1555

front

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Avicenna Text volume 1555

layout of binding

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Avicenna_text_1557 Click to see the images of biblical figures Click to see the images of biblical figures Click to see details of panel Click to see details of panel

Avicenna Index volume 1557

front

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Avicenna Index volume 1557

layout of binding

move mouse over image and click an area to see details of it

Index volume layout Click to view images made by the border tools Click to view images made by the border tools Click to view images made by the TD 1560 tool Click to view images made by the TD 1560 tool Click to view images made by the border tools Click to view images made by the border tools Click to view images on small biblical roll-tool Click to view images on small biblical roll-tool Click to view images made by the border tools Click to view images made by the border tools