Description This friendship book was bound in 1615 for Joannes Carolus Erlenwein (Hans Carl Erlenwein), a student in the seminary at Fulda. Books such as this one were passed around to friends and filled in with personal imagery and messages for the book's owner, and were in many ways precursors to the modern yearbook. The Walters' book contains the heraldry of fifty-five aristocratic German families, whose sons were in school with Joannes. It has further value in that a rare printed book is also contained within it: the complete first (and only) edition of Isaac Hillaire's Speculum Heroicum, including half-page engravings by Utrecht artist Crispin de Passe the Elder. The personal inscriptions in the book, the majority from Erlenwein's classmates at Fulda, date from 1615 to 1619, with several additional hands visible throughout. One hand has written the family names over the coats of arms on most of the personal messages from 1615; a later hand (possibly from the Erlenwein family) has added notes to many pages on the dates of births, deaths, marriages, and offices held; an even later hand created an almost complete index of the family names in the book on the last pages, and is possibly the same hand that added a second set of notations on important dates to several pages.
Page from Liber Amicorum of Joannes Carolus Erlenwein: Men at Play on the Grounds of the Seminary at Fulda
- Living by the Book: Monks, Nuns, and Their Manuscripts. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2013.
Provenance Joannes Carolus Erlenwein, Kaiserwerth, Germany; Erasmushaus Antiquriatt, Basel, Switzerland [date and mode of acquisition unknown] until March 2011; Maggs Bros., Berkeley Square, London, 2011; Walters Art Museum, 2012, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase with funds provided by the Rare Book and Manuscript Acquisition Fund and the W. Alton Jones Foundation Acquisition Fund, 2012
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