Famous Printers

Famous printers of the 16th and 17th centuries are well represented in the Ramseyer Collection. Three in particular are on display here.

Plantin established his business in 1555 but had to contend with many political and religious problems in his printing. His great work was a polyglot Bible in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldaic. He was denied permission to publish because the work was charged with being too Judaic. Only after many years did the Inquisition allow production. He also had difficulty because an unauthorized prayer book was produced in his shop without his knowledge.

Stephanus is the Latinized form of the French name Estienne. This family carried on a printing business for many generations beginning in 1502. The family were scholar-printers; in fact Latin was the language of the home. Their productions combined the best of French and Italian typography.

The Elezevier family were Dutch and kept a printing business going from 1581 to 1712. Their work was considered to be some of the best typography available. The Boccaccio on display is thought by connoisseurs to be one of the most beautiful of their productions

[click thumbnail for large view]

Old hard cover book
Sambucus' Elblemata
Anwerp, Plantin, 1576  #40
Patterned book spine
Latin Bible, Paris, 
Stephanus, 1545  #12
Blue book spine
Boccaccio's Decameron, 
Amsterdam, Elsevier, 1665  #295
Not Pictured:
Dutch Bible
Leyden, Elsevier, 1663

Greek New Testament 
Paris, Elsevier, 1675

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