Printers’ Devices in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth

Iconographic Sources and Ideological Content


This book discusses the printers’ devices used in Poland-Lithuania in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The compositions that served to identify the products of individual printers are explored here as previously unacknowledged research material for cultural studies: they allow for the reconstruction of the mentality of contemporary printers as well as their co-workers and reading public.

The book investigates relationships within early modern intellectual communities and shows that the textual and visual discourses of the printers’ devices were pan-European, reflecting the networked communities of European centres of learning and commerce. It documents the broad range of the output of Polish-Lithuanian presses as well and is therefore also a study of book culture in a multinational and multilingual state, whose inheritance is poorly recognised internationally.

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Justyna Kiliańczyk-Zięba, Ph.D (2005, the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland), is professor at that university. She has published on the history of literature, book history, emblematics, and the history of ideas, and has edited various sixteenth-century texts.
 Books Cited
 Libraries and Museums
Introduction: Existing Research
 1 Source Base
 2 Typology, Terminology, and Functions of Woodcuts
 3 Research Subject, Objectives, and Methodology
 4 Geographic Scope
 5 Chronological Scope
 6 Structure of the Work

1 Heraldic Traditions
 1 The First Polish Device: a Model of Heraldic Exposition
 2 The Municipal Coat of Arms and the Merchant’s Mark as Used by Printers
 3 Municipal Heraldry and State Symbols
 4 Devices Featuring Merchants’ Marks
 5 Coats of Arms in the Function of Printers’ Devices
 6 Aleksander Aujezdecki (Augezdecky)

2 Sources from Antiquity and the Emblematic Filter
 1 Terminus
 2 Alciato and the Emblematic Taste of the Age
 3 In Praise of Silence
 4 Concord
 5 The Device of the Zamojski Academy Printing House
 6 Ancient Tale and Emblematic Structure
 7 Printer’s Device or Not?

3 Within the Christian Community
 1 Lutheran Printers in Königsberg: Hans Weinreich, Hans Lufft, Hans Daubmann, and Georg Osterberger
 2 Maciej Wirzbięta
 3 Stanisław Murmelius
 4 The Polish Brethren: Aleksy Rodecki and Sebastian Sternacki
 5 The Sign of the Pelican
 6 IHS in Vilnius: Jesuit Symbol or Printer’s Device?

4 Devices Used by the Drukarnia Łazarzowa
 1 Łazarz Andrysowic – Wietor’s Successor
 2 Jan Januszowski (Łazarzowic)
 3 The Devices: the Obelisk (Astronomy, Prisca Theologia, and the Recycling of an Erudite Tradition)

5 Books in Jewish Languages
 1 The Halicz Brothers and the Prostic family
 2 Lublin

6 Where, When, How Often: the Printer’s Device within the Structure of the Book

Specialists of book history, art history and literary studies, scholars in the fields of literature, musicology, theology, and history of religion. Librarians, academics, and booksellers of early printed books. Keywords: printer’s device, Poland, Lithuania, iconography, iconology, sign of recognition, sign of ownership, visual communication, Krakow, early modern, book culture.
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