Posts by Ina Nettekoven

  • A painted Christmas tale

    A tantalizing page from a 15th century Swiss-German Breviary

    The birth and especially the resurrection of Christ are the most important festive days for Christianity. They form the beginning and the end of the winter cycle during the ecclesiastical year. Many medieval liturgical books revolve around the celebration of saintly feasts throughout the year. Here we encounter a beautiful Swiss-German Breviary from the 15th century with a great number of decorated initials and a glorious page that tells the story of Christ's nativity in an entertaining and endearing way.

  • An almost forgotten skill

    Austrian chained binding in cuir-ciselé technique
    An almost forgotten skill

    The present beautiful and well preserved old binding from the first half of the 15th century is not only a magnificent example of the rare and sublime technique of cuir-ciselé (carved leather), but also still has its original chain with which the book was attached to its lectern in the library. 

     

  • Upside Down World

    These foolish things...
    Grotesque creatures from a French Book of Hours
    Grotesque creatures from a French Book of Hours

    Many of you might have experienced the most bizarre and foolish of times in Basel: since four o'clock a.m. last Monday, "Frau Fasnacht" (Madame Shrovetide) ruled the city. Cliques were parading up and down the city centre as well as in front of the Antiquariat Dr. Jörn Günther, playing their music; stopping only occasionally to have a drink or a hot flour soup to refresh and restore themselves. 

    The idea of the inverse world – where everyday laws are turned upside down and those who usually have to bow their heads and serve call the shots – reaches back to antiquity. The chasing away of winter, darkness, and evil spirits has been a tradition since ancient times.

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Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG

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