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being fixed by that of the recorded gift. The woodcut, der Aa, in 1597; then Italy with one attributed to the in imitation of similar devices in old MSS., is hand year 1622. The earliest known American example is the plain printed label of one John Williams, 1679. A sketch of the history of the book-plate, either as a minor work of symbolical and decorative art, or as an accessory to the binding of books, must obviously begin in Germany, not only because the earliest examples known are German, but also because they are found in great numbers long before the fashion spread to other countries, and are often of the highest artistic interest. Albert Diirer is known to have actually engraved at least six plates (some of very important size) between 1503 and 1516 (Fig. 3), and to have supplied designs for many others. Several notable plates are ascribed to Lucas Cranach and to Hans Holbein, and to that bevy of so-called “ Little Masters,” the Behams, Yirgil Solis, Matthias Zundt, Jost Amman, Saldorfer, Georg Hiipschmann, and others. The

Pig. 1.—Gift-plate of Hildebrand Brandenburg of Biberach to the Monastery of Buxheim. Circa 1480. painted. In France the most ancient ex-libris as yet discovered is that of one Jean Bertaud de la TourBlanche, the date of which is 1529; and in England

Pig. 3.—Book-plate of Lazarus Spengler, by Albert Diirer (1515). influence of these draughtsmen over the decorative styles of Germany has been felt through subsequent centuries down to the present day, notwithstanding the invasion of successive Italian and French fashions during the 17th and 18th centuries, and the marked effort at originality of composition observable among modern designers. The heavy, over-elaborated German “ style ” J^.Tiaconeques auratus & magm never seems to have invaded neighbouring countries; but since it was undoubtedly from Germany that was spread Jigilh aAnghae Cujios librum bunc bu the fashion of using ornamental book-plates as marks of possession, the history of German ex-libris remains on bhothecae Can tabriy, dicauit, that account one of high interest to all those that are curious in the matter. 1574. It was not before the 17th century that the movable Pig. 2.—Book-plate of Sir Nicholas Bacon. ex-libris became tolerably common in France. Up to that of Sir Nicholas Bacon, a gift-plate for the books that time the more luxurious habit of stamping the cover he presented to the University of Cambridge (Fig. 2). with a personal device had been in such general favour Holland comes next with the plate of a certain Anna van with book-owners as to render the use of labels super-