Images Online: 17th Century Emblem Book

New Special Collections Flickr Set

A recent enquiry from a researcher has prompted our latest Flickr set of Roemer Visscher’s ‘Drawings for the Sinnepoppen’ (SM 1891A).


SM1891A: Folio 1 detail 2

‘Drawings for the Sinnepoppen’ is an emblem book (c.1614) that contains 84 drawings, approximately 75 x 60 mm in size. The drawings come in ink with some in ink and wash and are mounted on late eighteenth century paper. Below each drawing a motto is written in a late eighteenth century hand.

This manuscript was bequeathed to Glasgow University Library in 1956 under the terms of the will of Sir John Stirling Maxwell, Sir William’s son, it was received by the Library in December 1958. Sir William assembled an unrivalled collection of emblem and device literature over forty years. It can now found in the Special Collections Department of the Library, in the Stirling Maxwell Collection.


SM1891A: Folio 6

Sir William Stirling Maxwell, in a note attached to a fly-leaf, says these drawings appear to be the original sketches for the engravings in Sinnepoppen. From the style of the drawings and the paper on which they are drawn, which could have been made in Holland in the late sixteenth or early seventeenth century, it would seem that Sir William’s assumption is correct.

The Flickr set of 105 images (an image of each folio, and then each individual emblem) is already assisting our enquirer in their research and will allow others, particularly those who can’t visit us here at Glasgow University Library, to access this manuscript online. Enjoy!

The complete Flickr set can be found here.

The catalogue record for this manuscript can be found here.

Categories: Special Collections

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