|Schat-Boeck der Verclaringen den Nederlandschen Catechismus… |
Amsterdam, C. Lootsman, 1694.
Thick quarto, engraved title-page; contemporary panelled dark calf with clasps, gilt VOC-M device at centre of front cover.
Fine and rare VOC binding
A rare example of a devotional book bound for use aboard a ship of the Dutch East India Company, or VOC, in the late seventeenth century. The ‘M’ in the device represents the Middelburg chamber of the company, and the book would have been used aboard one of their ships. John Landwehr illustrates a number of VOC bindings, one of which (p. xxix, top right) is of the same design as ours although it is on vellum rather than calf (Landwehr, VOC. A Bibliography… (Utrecht, 1993), pp. xxvii-xxx and passim).
Landwehr gives a long account of the VOC’s involvement with books and printing over a long period of time for a number of purposes - ranging from seafaring practical to religious - and as he notes “the chamber had its own arrangements… also with a bookbinder. The chamber provisioned its outbound ships… [and] also exported books to the East Indies, occasionally upon request of the VOC library in Batavia… and frequently to the overseas churches. All of these books were given bindings bearing the VOC-A monogram… The Zeeland chamber played second fiddle. It exported one book to every three of the Amsterdam chamber… However, books for the ship’s chest and for chaplains must have been provisioned chiefly by the Amsterdam chamber because very few VOC-M bindings have turned up. And those which have turned up have almost all been copies of Ursinus’ Schatboek. It is noteworthy that the letter M for Middelburg is used instead of Z for Zeeland. Normally the M is placed under the monogram…”.
Zacharias Ursinus (1534-1583) was a German Reformed theologian and long-time student at Wittenberg and Heidelberg. His Schatboek, of which this is a good example, was one of the most popular works of its kind, particularly in the Netherlands.
|Location of Origin: Europe|
|Medium/Materials: Printed book: refer description for details|
|Dimensions: Thick quarto|
|Primary Classification: Books, Manuscripts, and Maps : Other|
|Item Condition:||Water-stain affecting a few leaves of text; very good in well-preserved condition.|
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