On 15 May Karl Kügle presented his research on the Koblenz fragments at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.
[Abstract] The Koblenz fragments: a new source of late medieval music, and the aesthetics of late fifteenth-century bookbinding.
The newly discovered Koblenz fragments (Landeshauptarchiv, Best. 701 Nr. 243, front and rear pastedowns and sewing guards) preserve several examples of late medieval music from 13th and early 14th century France and/or the southern Low Countries. Karl gave an overview of the fragments’ contents, presented the state of research on them, and offered some thoughts on their provenance.
In a second step, he reflected on the aesthetics of bookbinding in the late 15th century. In the Koblenz volume, physically attractive and easily legible elements of an older, discarded source were selected by the binder for both the front and the rear pastedowns, inviting readers to forge links between the pastedowns, the volume’s content, and its owner(s). Karl presented a few more cases of similar binding strategies. To what extent must these assemblages be taken as intentional? And what might they tell us about the milieux where such books were bound and used?