THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY
The AbececJarium1 was bought by Teyler's trustees when the Enschedé library was
sold in 1867 and offered as a gift to the city of Haarlem. It is now to be seen in the
Frans Hals Museum,
xvtk-century type I have dealt in some detail with the oldest of the works coming under my second
cast ¡и copper 1^^ 0f impressions from type cast in leaden matrices, partly because of their spe¬
cial associations with the name of Enschedé, but also because leaden matrices went
on being used in later centuries, though only for the largest sizes of type. I shall re¬
turn to this technique in the chapter on the sixteenth century. Johannes Enschedé
possessed a set of leaden matrices with the corresponding master letters of brass,
and we still have them in our collection.
To come now to the third group, of printing with types cast in copper matrices, we
have fifteenth-century copper matrices in our collection for six founts.2
The foregoing paragraphs will doubtless have convinced the reader that 'chalco¬
graphy' was a laborious and expensive way of producing even the simplest of books.
Printing made great progress as soon as steel punches and copper matrices were
introduced by Peter Schoeffer of Gernsheim, as is maintained by some.3 From
that time onwards printing presses were abundant. In the northern provinces
of the Netherlands we find printers established in Utrecht (1473), Delft, Deventer,
Gouda (1477), Haarlem, Leyden, Schiedam (1483), 's-Hertogenbosch (1484), and
It is probable that at first printing and typefounding were a single trade, though
even then not all printers made their own types. We know, for example, that a type
used by Gerard Leeu at Gouda in 1484 and one of Pieter van Os of Zwolle were cast
from the same matrices; and that from 1484 Gerard Leeu used the same type as
Jacob Bellaert of Haarlem; likewise, that the presses in Delft of Jacob Jacobsz. van
der Meer and Christiaen Snellaerthad identical types. In those days the name of the
founder was not recorded : it was the printer who became known, because he dealt
with the public.
The earliest founder of letters to make a specialty of this work was the printer
Henric, of [Rotterdam], who described himself in the colophons of his books as
Lettersnider (in modern Dutch Lettersuijcler), letter-cutter.. .5 His career is worth tracing,
because the typefaces, nos. 1 and 2 of our inventory and displayed in specimens on
 See note 3 on p. 1.
 Thus the original. But founts no. 5 and no. 6 will be
shown to belong to the sixteenth century (see note 1 on p. 26
and note 1 on p. 30).
 See note 2 on p. 4.
 There is at present no evidence that a printer was es¬
tablished in Schiedam before 1498 (HPT 2, p. 444).
 A sentence giving information now known to be wrong
has been left out. Charles Enschedé's pioneer account of
Henric has been superseded by the study of him by Father
Bonaventura Kruitwagen o.f.m., De incuiiabeldriifcker en letterstcker
Henric Pieterssoen die Lettersnider van Rotterdamme, De Gulden Passer 1,
1923, pp. 5—43. The main fafts brought to light in the article
are the following. The earliest use of the English-bodied Black
Letter was by Matthijs van der Goes at Antwerp in 1492. The
earliest book with Henric's imprint was Jacob van Maerlant,
Wapene Martijn, Antwerp, 1496, CA 1026. The English-bodied
(98 mm.) Black Letter appears in the books printed by Henric,
the following pages, are certainly by him.' One of his books printed at Delft was an
осЪѵо beginning with the words Dit sijn commendacien die men voorden sielten leest, a col¬
lection of prayers to be said for the sick, concluding with words meaning: 'Printed
at Delft in Holland, close by the Nieuwe Kerk, by me Henric Lettersnider'.2
A copy of this little book belonged to Johannes Enschedé, but it was sold in 1867
and I do not know where it is now.3 For want ofthat I give in fig. 1, a resetting of a
piece of Henric's printing done in 1496, while he was in Antwerp. It ends to this
effect. : 'Here is ended and most diligently corrected a very noteworthy and profit¬
able little book made by the great philosopher and poet Jacob van Maerlant, printed
in the city of Antwerp, in the Kamerstraat next to the Golden Unicorn, by me Henric
Lettersnider, in the year 1496, the 28th day in August'.4
<&at goo npemat en ijcdt Icct
Wien afyztit l)i ЫаіщЦс lette
Jboe Den 0tyenen Die Cent is tmeet
£>oe Die tyem met mimte" tyeet.
<®nDec0aen is glieblcuc
3íích Detf шеі Гед0І;еп op mpnê eet.
abijn ^ueûtyept rnaet ong^ecleet
ILíet Цр Den 0^enë fneue
Шс al tönen Diêfle fleet
<Эіё0 0í?elt jen uni ich glicccct
«Ben loen Xyact meDec rjtjeiirn
Ili ftotteOe Ooec ôo ûjn bluet toot
Щ fj^eeft ono фетеІСфе btoot
<®p Datrne tyem œeDet mimte
and the Lombardie Initials (no. 2 of the Enschedé inventory)
in several; a Great Primer (115 mm.) Black Letter occurs regu¬
larly after about 1501 (nk 665). All three are taken, therefore,
to be the work of Henric, who was a professed cutter of letters.
Before 1540 forty-three printers in the Low Countries, and
Hermann Bungart and Ludwig von Renchen in Cologne had
possessed founts of the smaller Black Letter. Henric had
moved from Antwerp to Rotterdam before the end of 1504;
about four years later he moved to Delft. The last trace of him
is in his imprint on Die negen coiiden, nk 624, at Delft, 1511. His
name and life-span make it reasonably certain that Cornelis
Henricx. Lettersnijder of Delft was the son of Henric Pietersz.
Father Kruitwagen, a learned palaeographer, considers the
Black Letters cut by Henric as renderings of the book hand
written in the Netherlands at that time, particularly by the
Çt^tec eo uolepnDt. eñ nu 0cotec Di
Ií0encien 0ljetottí0eert een feet no=
tabel eñ profttcüc boecjrtten 0emaect
bp Den 0toten pljüo;opljc enDe poe=
cametftraet. naeft Den rjtilDë een^o
ten îêp miì^entich Die lettecfníDet
Unno. 0i.€€€€.pmí. Den jtjtuúj.
Datti m auguíro.
Fig. i.English-bodied Black Letter No. 1.
Resetting of two pages from
Jacob van Maerlant, Wapene Martijn,
Antwerp, Henric Lettersnider, 1496.
Brothers of the Common Life. See also the account of Henric's
types in HPT 1, pp. 95-101, type 1: 98 G and Vervliet pp. 20—1,
T 20. Besides the typefaces by Henric surviving at Haarlem
there is a remnant (19 matrices) of his smallest type, a Pica
(78 mm.) Black Letter, at the Museum Plantin-Moretus (not
listed in Inventory of the Plantin-Moretus Museum Punches and Matrices,
i960), Vervliet pp. 140-2, T 30.
 CTV 38, No. 1.
 NK 591 (c. 1508).
 Catalogue auction Enschedé 1867, lot 540. The copy is now in
the University Library, Amsterdam, Nederlandse uitgaven 35.
C. P. Burger, Catalogus van incunabelen en andere verzamelingen, 1919,
Nederlandsche uitgaven, 1473—1540 No. 35.
 CA 1026.