Thursday, 27 August 2020

album amicorum

Long before the more modern manifestation of social media, there were friend books (see previously here and here) and as the Guardian reports one of history’s finest exemplars Das GroรŸe Stammbuch of Philipp Hainhofer has been acquired for the library of Wolfenbรผttel (also home of Jรคgermeister) nearly four centuries after the institution tried to purchase the celebrated and celebrity-filled volume.
The seventeenth century equivalent of an influencer found in Augsburger merchant and diplomat had acquired many followers whose signatures were illuminated with an elaborate artistic commission, and include autographs from the Holy Roman Emperor, the pope, the Medicis, various kings and many other contemporary luminaries. The duke for whom the library owes its patronage tried to purchase it from the estate of Hainhofer after his death but it was at the time fame and followers were out of his price range.