What We Find In Books: Fabulous Trompe L’oeil Dog Ears

Written by Erin Hammeke, Conservator for Special Collections.

This two volume set came through the lab recently for rehousing, and we were little prepared for what we found inside. The set is a from a small collection called the Jantz Early Manuscript Collection and little is known about it.

Both volumes are handwritten and illustrated and bound in wooden boards with blind-tooled leather covering. They appear to date from the 18th or 19th century. The texts seem to cover a variety of subjects from emblems to architecture and music to optics.

They contain a variety of different examples of decorated Dutch gilt paper bound in throughout the text. There are numerous hand-painted illustrations and the neatest ones involve cutouts that expose parts of the subsequent page. There is even a trompe l’oeil dog-eared page!

We look forward to learning more about this fascinating set.

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