Pinakes | Πίνακες

Textes et manuscrits grecs

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Résumé :

Abstract: From c. 1450 to c. 1580, Greek-style bindings made in western Europe (also known as ‘alla greca’ bindings) were produced in a number of locales, mainly in Venice, Florence, Rome, and the court of France. Popular with collectors from the fifteenth century to this day, these bindings show a variety of techniques and different degrees of hybridism between the Byzantine practices which they imitated and the western European techniques of the time. Various theories have been explored as to the ethnicity of their makers (Greek or Italian) but so far, very little is known on the topic. This article uses the case study of a manuscript at the Royal Library of Belgium (MS 11344 (Omont 79)) and its binding, which displays both Greek and Italian elements. The manuscript’s endbands were made according to a sophisticated Byzantine technique called ‘full wrapped on multiple additional cores twined endband’; the tooling of the covers, on the other hand, was made using typically Italian tools of the turn of the sixteenth century. This suggests a collaboration between a Greek and an Italian binder, which can cast new light on the making of Greek-style bindings more in general; it also makes a case for using the study of bookbinding techniques to investigate the social and cultural history of the book.