A Binding by Thomas Krüger 1580

Signed and dated: T.K. 1563. British Museum. Dept. of Prints and Drawings. No. 1867,0713.115

Full length portrait of Philip Melanchton. ‘Modern impression’ print acquired by the British Museum in 1867, of panel signed and dated: T.K. 1563., viz., Thomas Krüger, Wittenberg bookbinder.
British Museum. Dept. of Prints and Drawings. No. 1867,0713.115

Front cover of  Ex 5646.604.

Full length portrait of Philip Melanchton. Panel signed and dated: T.K. 1563., viz., Thomas Krüger, Wittenberg bookbinder. Panel stamped in gilt on front cover of blind-tooled pigskin binding of the first Latin edition of the Lutheran Konkordienbuch (Leipzig, 1580). Call number: Ex 5646.604.

From a description of an instance of the use of this panel on a binding at the British Library:

“Thomas Krüger, possibly the son of the binder Nikolaus Krüger of Wittenberg and himself a binder, started work not later than 1560. A number of his panels were signed, either with his full name or with his initials, and some were dated. … The large Melanchthon panel on this binding, dated 1563 and with Cranach’s device at the bottom, … [Ed.: note Cranach’s device: Cranach's.device.from.Weale1]… was copied from a woodcut by Cranach dated 1561,showing Melanchthon wearing the same fur-trimmed robe, neckcloth and shoes as on the panel, but with a closed instead of an open book in his right hand and a cap in his left. The face and hair are remarkably alike. The same woodcut served as example for the panels of other Wittenberg binders, such as those signed by Severin Rötter and Nikolaus Müller.” (- Mirjam M. Foot, “A Binding by Thomas Kruger, 1573. ” The Book Collector Vol 30, no. 2 (Summer 1981) p. 232-3. For image see the British Library Database of Bookbindings [link])

The back cover of this Leipzig, 1580 Latin edition of the Lutheran Konkordienbuch (Book of Concord) is stamped in gold with a full length portrait of Martin Luther, a panel also made by Thomas Krüger. Surrounding both panels is a blind decorative roll composed of four portrait heads and three coats of arms. The roll is signed ‘H.B.,’viz., Heinrich Blume, also of Wittenberg. Further details and bibliography about these two panels and one decorative roll are available in the Einbanddatenbanken (EBDB). For Luther, see Zitiernummer EBDB p002949; for Melanchthon, Zitiernummer EBDB p002950 and for roll signed ‘H B’ with four heads and three coats of arms, see Zitiernummer EBDB r000351

❧ Larger images

Signed and dated: T.K. 1563. British Museum. Dept. of Prints and Drawings. No. 1867,0713.115

Full length portrait of Philip Melanchton. ‘Modern impression’ print acquired by the British Museum in 1867, of panel signed and dated: T.K. 1563., viz., Thomas Krüger, Wittenberg bookbinder.
British Museum. Dept. of Prints and Drawings. No. 1867,0713.115

Front cover of  Ex 5646.604.

Full length portrait of Philip Melanchton. Panel signed and dated: T.K. 1563., viz., Thomas Krüger, Wittenberg bookbinder. Panel stamped in gilt on front cover of blind-tooled pigskin binding of the first Latin edition of the Lutheran Konkordienbuch (Leipzig, 1580). Call number: Ex 5646.604.

Full length portrait of Martin Luther. Panel signed T.K., that is,  Thomas Krüger, Wittenberg bookbinder. Panel stamped in gilt on back cover of blind-tooled pigskin binding of the first Latin edition of the Lutheran Konkordienbuch (Leipzig, 1580). Call number: Ex 5646.604

Full length portrait of Martin Luther. Panel signed T.K., viz., Thomas Krüger, Wittenberg bookbinder. Panel stamped in gilt on back cover of blind-tooled pigskin binding of the first Latin edition of the Lutheran Konkordienbuch (Leipzig, 1580). Call number: Ex 5646.604

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