15 August 08

Printer's Companion

Diego is not the first cat to develop an interest in the printing arts. The special collections librarian Donald Kerr at the University of Otago discovered on page 250 of the library’s copy of Astesanus de Asts Summa de casibus conscientiae, an extremely rare work from 1472 or 1473 printed in Strassburg by Johann Mentelin, three cat paw prints in ink.

Kerr noted that Mentelin had been described as “a careless printer”, so perhaps this was a good example. He checked with several other libraries holding copies of the work to see if there were any other cat paw prints to be found, but no such luck. The librarian at the State Library of Berlin noted however on their copy that there was bad damage on the initial and final leaves from rodent nibblings, which could explain why Mentelin kept a cat around the print house.

(From PhiloBiblos.)

Posted by at 09:41 PM in Cats | Link |
  1. Hm. Each has three paw prints. Derivative work?

    Peter    15. August 2008, 22:33    Link
  2. I trust you also have a copy of the definitive study of the genre, called Why Cats Paint !

    Jarrett    20. August 2008, 13:08    Link

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