The technique of decorating with motif punches is very old. Greek painters of the early Byzantine period used them as several icons of the 6th and 7th centuries show: these rare works survived the general destruction by being hidden away in the monastery of St Catherine on the Sinai peninsula 2. It might seem from today's state of preservation of ancient icons that this technique was only exceptional in Byzantium 1. Yet there is nothing more treacherous than to draw any conclusions on the characteristics of early Byzantine icons from a fraction of one percent of survival. In my view Byzantine painting was of considerable importance to Western painting also in the decorative respect, anda claim that the technique of the motif punches was reborn in Toscan painting of the Duecento should be relegated to the realm of overly self-confident hypotheses 2.

Merit for the marvelous spreading and elaboration of the decorative possibilities of the technique belongs, of course, to the Sienese painters of the early Trecento, headed by Simone Martini. He began by accentuating the engraved Duccesque patterns by the addition of minute punches as we see in his Enthroned St Louis of Toulouse with King Robert of Anjou of 1317 in Naples, and progressively proceeded to diminish the impact of the engraved designs and finally to eliminate them in favour of exclusively punched patterns 3. Characteristic for the changes in the attitude toward decorative appearances is the fashion of working the ground of the patterns in the halo. In Duccio's works the floral patterns are silhouetted against the criss-crossed background. Simone, on the other hand, filled the ground with impressions of tiny round hollow punches which created an effect of a »filigree«; his contemporaries in Siena, Pisa and Bologna adopted this technique. (Fig. 2) This elegant treatment was abandoned for hard-to-explain reasons in the following generations: punching the ground with an ordinary pointed punch produces afar less refined effect. In the later fourteenth century we see in Siena a new »short-cut« procedure. A rectangular flat punch with prongs ranging from four up to sixteen, produced by cutting or filing the surface in two perpendicular directions, tools the ground speedily. (Fig. 3) Since the tooling was done densely, often it is very difficult to visualize the exact shape and size of these punches. It must be noted that Simone Martini used this type of punch already in his early production. Punching the gilded surfaces was calculated to multiply as much as possible the reflexions of the flickering candle flames to create the ethereal and mystical mood of the halos.

I am convinced that a comprehensive photographic recording of all attainable instances of our type of decoration is essential to make sure that the results are solidly and broadly anchored and are not based on a selective statistical method that has somehow become fashionable. When I started to record the details systematically more than a quarter of century ago, I did not foresee that the material would grow to be so extensive, I have made over 16,000 negatives with life-size details (1:1) 4. A Catalogue of all shapes of punches with a list of all paintings in which each particular punch occurs illustrates over 3,000 punches in macrophotographic details (3:1). There are a few among them that are almost indistinguishable, and the is true mainly of small punches of simple, basic shapes, such as the four-prongs and bar-stars. The great majority comes from Italian workshops, with Siena playing a dominant role because this decorative technique reached a high level of sophistication and imagination there during the 14th century. Prominent painters, such as Simone Martini and his brother-in-law Lippo Menni and the Lorenzetti brothers had in their shops dozens punches of most diverse shapes, ranging from tiny ones of 1 mm to large ones of 20 mm; the last ones are predominantly of vegetal inspiration.

Decorations on Pisan and Florentine paintings are clearly inspired by the Sienese models, and this applies to some degree also to Bolognese paintings. A striking testimony of the Sienese influence was the transfer of the technique to Catalonia and to Mallorca. The Serra brothers acquired in some way several punches from the shops of the Lorenzetti and imitated still others and grouped them in typical Sienese clusters introduced in the first quarter of the century by Simone Martini and also used by the Lorenzetti 5. (Fig. 1) The inspirational dependence of younger painters on the masters of the preceding generation can be well documented in the sphere of decoration.

These observations can be taken as indication of the schooling of the painters, about whose background there is no other information. Similarities in the shapes of punches, their choices and application muy well suggest the issuing of these younger painters from the shops of known masters. For example, Niccolo di Ser Sozzo imitated some distinctive shapes of the Lorenzetti, probably as a token of his indebtedness to their art in his formation. Similar is the case of Allegretto Nuzi, a painter from Fabriano. Scholarly literature emphasizes his dependence on Florence and his schooling there since Allegretto was documented temporarily in Florence. Our comparative method, on the other hand, suggests that his first artistic training was not in Florence but rather in Siena. He brought with him to Florence some punches whose kinship with the punches of the Lorenzetti shows his indebtedness to them. Imitating shapes can be interpreted in some cases asan expression of admiration of the pupil or assistant for the master. A group of Sienese punches, mostly used by Bartolomeo Bulgarini (the Master of Ovile) was brought to Florence after the middle of the century, presumably by Giovanni da Milano two was documented in Florence but with a gap of several years; he may have been in Siena in this period. These transferred punches occur, in addition to Giovanni's paintings, also on paintings of several Florentine painters, principality the Cione brothers and then Giovanni del Biondo and Francesco di Ser Cenni.



2 Pietro Lorenzetti,(Madonna Enthroned with Saints) Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, No. 731

3 – Bartolo di Fredi, (Adoration of the Magi) Siena, Pinacoteca No. 104

13 – Guido da Siena, (Madonna Enthroned) Siena, Pinacoteca No. 587 - penta-rosette

15 – Follower of Duccio, Madonna, Florence coll. Sir Harold Acton penta rosette

17 – Niccolo di Ser Sozzo - Lucca di Tome, pentaptych z r. 1362. Siena, Pinacoteca No. 51

16 – Ugolino di Nerio, pentaptych Siena, Pinacoteca No. 39


A hypothesis was put forward that, perhaps, a cooperative had been set up in Florence into which the member-painters would have brought their panels to be gilded and decorated by a specialist in these crafts. 6 From one case we know that indeed a division of labour may have existed on special occasions. At the bottom of an altarpiece, today dispersed and called Monteoliveto Altarpiece although it was commissioned for one of the churches in Rome, there is an inscription identifying such a collaboration 7. On the part that is today in the museum in Budapest it informs us about the carpenter-woodworker: Magister Simon Cini de Florentia intalavit. On the right side-wing in the Fogg Art Museum in Cambridge, Mass, is the name of the painter who was in charge of the decorative aspects of the altarpiece: Gabriellus Saracini de Senis auravit MCCCLXXX (V). A contract concluded in Lucca in 1385 names these two and another painter, Spinello Aretino who is known to us by a sequence of fresco and altarpiece commissions throughout Toscany. Both painters (we know from a Sienese record that Gabriello was inscribed in the local painters guild around 1357) were to be paid equally whereas the carpenter would receive one half. Interesting for our study is the fact that the contract stipulated that the altarpiece should be decorated in the same way as aprewious commission from these three collaborators. The preceding altarpiece for San Punziano in Lucca was decorated with gilded reliefs in pastiglia, which apparently was such a success that the commissioner requested it also for his altarpiece. Gilding and decorating are interdependent, and both operations precede the painting phase but have to be coordinated Punching was completed beforehand, and we can observe in several instances that the paint of the hair or veil partially overlays the impression of the punch. Generally, all these tasks were carried out by the same person the painter of the altarpiece. In this exceptional instance two painters shared in the execution and had to collaborate closely because the halo sould have been worked on only after the contour of the figure had been established.



Follower of Duccio, Madonna
Enthroned, London, National Gallery No. 565
a) macro-photo of original penta-rosettes;
b) macro-photo of similar pentarosettes applied to restored parts of Jesus' halo.


Other Italian schools were making more use of simpler schemes of punch application, than was the habit of the Sienese, i. e. depending mostly on iterative punching. Some provincial centers even did not use any motif punches. Venetian painters used mostly small star punches, and it is only in the second half of the century that a  greater variety can be observed. Their stars and pronged punches are comparable with the tools used in Rimini. Making these punches is quite simple because it is limited to the basic techniques of filing and drilling.

As I mentioned above, it is remarkable how close to Toscan art was the decoration of paintings on Mallorca and in Catalonia. This particular influence did not reach Aragon where we see a modest choice of shapes, again basically reduced to stars. The number of early French panel paintings is minimal and no motif punches were used (there is an outstanding exception in the Annunciation in the Sachs Collection, today in Cleveland.) The practice of motif punching appears to have been restricted to three centers Cologne, Nuremberg and Erfurt. Only a few instances exist in Austria. From the viewpoint of our investigation, Bohemian painting is by far the most important north of the Alps. The influence on the decorative modes did not come from Tuscany but rather from several northeastern centers 8. In Bohemia, the choice was initially restricted, as we have seen elsewhere, to little stars and prong-punches. Parallels to stars exist in Venice (Paolo Veneziano), in Rimini (Baronzio), and in Bologna (Jacopino dei Bavosi). An exception to this dependence on the simple schemes at home in more peripheral centers is a small diptych with a madonna and Misericordia Domini in Karlsruhe and the HolyTrinity'from Swierzawa in Wroclaw in which we find two variants of a Gothic arch punch. This type of punch was widely used in Tuscany and in its outposts in Bologna. It is perhaps of some interest that the only instance of the arch punch in transalpine painting exists in Nuremberg painting which parallels other mutual contacts and exchanges.



Punches of I. F. Joni, their rubbed impression on a paper and identified application.

Tri-lobe:
10a - style Matteo di Giovanni, Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery No. 1035;
10c - Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Siena, Museo dell' Opera del Duomo tetra-foil:
10d the same Madonna as 10a);
10f - Master of Osservanza, Nativity of the Holy Virgin, Asciano, Museo d'Arte Sacra


Bohemia manuscript illumination occupies an exceptional position in European production because of its keen interest in the decorative qualities of the punch work. The offshots of this tradition can be seen in the activities in Vienna, Wroclaw, and Cracow. This corroborates the documents about the transfer of illuminators from Bohemia to the centers unaffected by the Hussite wars. Some contact with the only other foyer where the decoration of manuscripts by motif punches was practiced, namely with Siena, may be deduced from the similarity of one of the earlier punches used in Prague, a tetra-circle. This tradition was transferred from Siena to Florence by Lorenzo Monaco (Scuola degli Angeli). The extraordinary richness in the punch repertory of the illuminators working on commissions from the royal court and high ecclesiastic dignitaries- there are some twenty punches in the great Bible of King Wenceslaus IV in Viena, ONB. is without parallel. The execution of these fine punches (Royal lion, Imperial eagle, floral motifs) is of goldsmiths ' quality, and one is tempted to see them as carved in silver. Close contacts of painters with goldsmiths in Prague evoke a comparable presumption about the origin of the early punches of Simone Martini in some Neapolitan goldsmith's atelier. The figurative representations such as the Florentine enigmatic monster are, on the whole, rare among the punch repertories. It seems that this tradition came from the decoration of the leather bindings where we find anterior instances of zoomorphic forms, the popularity of which continued. The analysis of all attainable instances of motif punching confirmed a hypothesis that the masters owned their own sets of punches that were used by the members of the shop. The determination of such punch repertories can be sagely accomplished if there are signed works by the given master; the punches ascertained in these autographic works form the core of the repertory. In other cases, we have to depend on uncontested attributions. When we recognize a distinctive punch, certain to have belonged to a particular shop, on a painting so far unrelated to any production, we still cannot assume that it is a work of the master of the shop. Stylistic analysis is in order because the master rarely worked just by himself, and his collaborators did not have to be merely pupils. Diferent types of association could have been formed. Some towns (Siena) had ordinances forbidding foreign artists to set up shop in the town, and the outsiders had to seek arrangements with the local painters. From our collected data we also know that the punches occasionally were transferred from father to son when the latter opened his own shop. (It was customary that the son would continue in the profession of his father.) There were also transfers for which we can only propose plausible explanation such as, e.g. that the younger user of the punch was a former pupil and acquired the punch after the closing of the master's shop. Many more times, however, we do not find that the punches, admittedly sturdily made to last a long time, would have been used in different circumstances after the owner's shop ceased its operation; one such moment in history certainly was the Black Death epidemy in 1348. Reasons would have been manifold, such as, for example, superstition, and one can also consider the idea I already mentioned, namely that a specific punch might have an additional function, to testify to the master's vouching for the work. (Pietro Lorenzetti wrote at the bottom of his Enthroned Madonna in Cartona next to his name that he painted the work manu dextra.) A few of the punches from Sienese production of the seconds half of the 14th century reappear in the second and third quarter of the following century. This re- utilization might reinforce the hypothese of the vouching function of the punch as autograph: after several generations this impeding factor might have been forgotten or was nolonger relevant. Also, this hypothesis would help to explain why the Catalan painter was able to acquire the punches of Pietro Lorenzetti during his presumed visit to Siena some time after the Black Death. The datum ante quem is 1363 because we see these punches in Jaume Serra's paintings in Zaragoza.

The question of the appearance and make of the original punches cannot be answered because none has been preserved (orperhaps more cautiously: none has been identified). Judging from the character of the impressions in the gesso, metal seems to have been the material in the great majority. This does not seem to be true for all punches in the category which remains marginal to our study, namely the circular punches. They were widely used but they lack exact characteristics (or »personality« if you wish) which would permit their exact identification. Some impressions, mainly in provincial paintings, show a sloppy jagged contour, which is atypical of execution in metal. Rather, it seems to point to some vegetable material, such as wood, bamboo, reed, hollow bone. Unlike the punches for marking leather that require toughnees, this demand here was not so imperative, especially if we consider that the medieval craftsman was resourceful by e.g. adding a little honey to his gesso or exposing the gesso coated panel to dampness in a cellar before he proceeded to stamping it with punches 9. In the cases of such plasticizing, we do not see the concentric cracks around the punch impression.

A fair idea of what the original punches must have looked like is yielded by a group of 67punches which originally belonged to a Siense painter and restorer around 1900, llicio Federico Joni and came only recently into the open and were acquired by an art historian. The Norwegian an restorer Erling Skaug wrote an exmination report about them that awaits publication 10. They are, in the majirity, of metal (57 are of iron and 6 are of brass), three are of ivory, and one (a circular punch) is of wood. It is interesting that the punches used by the Russian painter Nikolai Lochov on his exact copy of Simone Martini's Annunciation, executed for the last Russian tsar, were carved from ivory in a Florentine shop at the painter's request 11(Fig. a). Through the courtesy of the present owner of the Joni punches, !received two of them, a tri-lobe and a tetra lobe. (Fig. p. 20) How old these Joni punches are cannot at present be determined. It seems possible that Joni had the first of them made in Siena when he had a restoration job and wanted complete the missing parts of the halo as closely as possible.

  



Österreichische Nationalbibliothek No. 2760
5 - lion
6 - eagle


We know from his little autobiographical book that Joni tried, to acquire ruined panels which he then thoroughly restored and overpainted in order to be able to re-sell them with profit 12. Because there are no original counterparts on old paintings to some of the shapes injoni's inventory that seem to haide prompted his first punch acquisitions, we may conjecture that from this first modus operandi of ethically not objectionable behaviour a fraudulent habit of producing forgeries developed in time. These fakes are mostly in the style of Sano di Pietro, Matteo di Giovanni and Benvenuto di Giovanni, all fifteenth century artists, and indeed, most of his punches imi tate fifteenth century shapes. (Fig. 00) Skaug wrote that only a couple of Joni punches can be recognized on actual paintings (restorations and outright forgeries) and frames imitating old frames. He based his opinion on the ta bles which I published in my two articles on forgeries 13. In fact, I found 18 (possibly 19) punches in these three kinds of works mentioned which amounts to almost one third of Joni's punches. Two or three are so close to the original that they are practically indistinguishable. This ascertaimnent should make us very cautious and careful in examining, lest we should fail to notice warning signais 14.

1 - Lippo Memmi, Madona Siena, (Pinacoteca) No. 595 aggregate

7 - Lippo Memmi (?), (S. Agnes) Pittsburgh, Frick Art Museum fleur de lis, hexa rosette, tetra-circle, tetrafoil rosette


I like to introduce one instance, potentionally disturbing, to the problem of a possible preservation of old punches. It concerns a  large fragmentary Enthroned Madonna with Angels in the London National Gallery (x565)by a follower of Duccio. In accordance with the contemporary practice, only one shape of punch was used in conjunction with an engraved pattern (Fig. 17 a). This small penta-rosette ivas quite popular in Siena as shown by several close variants, especially by followers of Duccio who, however, does not seem to have used it himself. The version in London has slender pelals, whose punch was also used by a follower called the Master of Citta di Castello (after an Enthroned Madonna and Angels in the museum of of that Umbrian town). Slightly larger is the probable prototype of the entire group, the penta-rosette used in the shop of Guido da Siena. (Fig. 13) Slightly rounder are the petals on the punch used by other followers of 'Duccio, closer Ugolino di Nerio and Segna di Bonaventura. Segna himself, however, used the narrower version. Complication sets in when we notice that the wider version appears additionally on the London Madonna, in the areas of the Christchild's halo that appear to be restorations. (Fig. 17b). How are we going to uderstand its relation to the presence on early Trecento paintings? When was the presumed restoration made? Follón 'ing my inquiry at the National Gallery, I learned that there is no record of any early restoration; that would mean that it is to be considered as anterior to the export of the panel from Italy in 1857. This altarpiece once was in the Tosinghi-Spinelli Chapel of Santa Croce and then in the Lombardi- Bardi Collection, both in Florence. If it is indeed an older restoration, it was probably made at the time of the sale of the painting. Now we are facing the problem that a punch used in a nineteenth century restoration appears to be that present on several early Trecento paintings. (Fig. 15)



above detail: Nikolaj Lochov, copy of the Annunciation by Simone Martini from 1333. Pittsburgh Uni versify, Frick Fine Arts Building

below detail: Follower of B. Daddi, Coronation of the Holy Virgin, Florence, Accademia No. 3449


We cannot rule out the possibility that the restoration was a very old one, still from the' fourteenth century. I do not regard it a good explanation as the procedure of partial regilding does not look so old to me. (Some help informing an opinion minght come from checking whether the thickness of the restoration gold leaf coincides with the custom of medieval fashioning of the folio. We would need to know also the norms for gold leaf making in the nineteenth century and finally, when the change toward a modern fabrication of a thin leaf took place as a result of changing technology.) I see two alternatives for the rationalization of the presence of two kin punches on the London Madonna: around the middle of the 19th century an original Sienese punch still existed in some Italian workshop to which the unknown restorer had access. The second possibility is that the rounder rosette used for for restoration was made in the 19th century for the purpose of restoration. At once an objection comes to mind, ná mely why would the restorer be anxious to get a punch that did not duplicate the original shape on the halo but which imitated another Sienese punch presence of two kin punches on the London Madonna: around the middle of the 19th century an original Sienese punch still existed in some Italian workshop to which the unknown restorer had access. The second possibility is that the rounder rosette used for for restoration was made in the 19th century for the purpose of restoration. At once an objection comes to mind, namely why would the restorer be anxious to get a punch that did not duplicate the original shape on the halo but which imitated another Sienese punch from the same time. This objective may be alleviated by proposing that the restorer had previously done another restoration job of a Duccesque painting and that the punch was made to match the one present in the first restoration, I have to admit that there is no absolutely satisfactory explanation to this baffling situation but an appealing conjecture remains that punches exceptionally might have had a very long life.
There is a group of punches whose characteristics reveal that they were made in a different technique than the majority of the punches. They represent vegetal forms which were not transferred into a linear form but they record a gentle relief form. (Fig. 16-17) Such quality was attainedby sculptural treatment using a chisel and not a file and a drill. When Italian goldsmiths were creating various reliquaries, crosses and chalices, they often adorned them with scuptured foliage. These artists employed similar approach to that used for the punches mentioned when they cut into silver plaques to create forms to be filled with translucent enamel, which became very popular in the early 14th century 15. Matrices of seals were also made with sculptural procedures. Such exceptional sculptural punches can be found especially in the paintings of Simone Martini, Ugolino di Nerio, and Niccolo di Segna 16. The chances are that these painters did not fashion them themselves but obtained them from some goldsmith of high standing such as Cuccio di Mannaia, Goro di Gregorio, or Ugolino di View 17. For late medieval artisans and artists disciplined themselves into adhering to division of various work tasks as sanctioned by the guild institutions. These restricted work responsibilities were reinforced and moulded by the specific channels of supplies and materials, such as pigments, Sinope clay, precious metals, and tools (brushes and, of course, punches as well. Tools were relatively more precious and costly than they are today.) As I have already said, I assume that the punches were commissioned in the shops of goldsmiths (perhaps not those crude ones appearing in certain provincial paintings) but it is difficult to estimate to what degree the painters were responsible for the subject and the shape of the punching motif. From case to case, the determining party may have been one of the two, the commissioner and the actual maker. I think that prominent creative painters probably at least suggested their choice if not actually designed its shape in a drawing or otherwise; it seems fair to state that the product was mostly a result of collaboration between the paitner and the goldsmith-engraver.
The group of illuminators working in Prague on the commissions for the royal court and the church dignitaries quite likely were in close contact with some goldsmith's shop as may be deduced from the refined appearance of many punches in the bible of King Wenceslaos IV. Fine punches in several manuscripts in the Wroclaw University Library such as in a missal bearing the name of Nicholaus Czyrps de Boleslavia of 1436, seem to have been products of the same Prague goldsmith's shop taken away by the emigrant illuminators. The same fine metalworkers probably supplied the shops of book binders with punches, which occasionally represented the same heraldic subject (fleur-delys, eagle, lion) 18. Of course, they produced the punches for their own needs such as those struck into the patens, plates, bowls. The tradition of the figurative representations stamped into leather bindings is older than the relatively rare instances of punches on panel paintings; the common source for both activities will have been in the shops of the metals engravers and goldsmiths.

  author
Mojmír S. Frinta, University at Albany (New York), AHVT A 036 (M. F.)



1 M. Frinta »Punchmarks in the Ingeborg Psalter«, The Year 1200: A Symposium, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 1975, 251-60. (Pietro Amato, De vera effigie Mariae - antiche icone romane, Milano 1988, fig. 1, str. 48) Three representations of Byzantine Agiosoritissa (Madonna Avvocata) painted in Rome in the following centuries (in S. M. del Rosario a Monte Mario; in SS. Bonifacio e Alesso; in S. M. del Aracoeli) have in the circumferences of their halos characteristic small star punches. (Pietro Amato, see above).

2 Paintings such as the Maesta Rucellai in Florence and the Enthroned Madonna with Twelve Scenes from San Martino in Pisa can hardly be imagined without a direct Byzantine model. Perhaps these prototypes were smaller icons brought from Constantinople after its occupation by the Crusaders; their small punched decoration would have inspired Toscan painters to their rendering in large scale paintings without an attempt to enlarge its scale.

3 Frinta, »The Decoration of the Gilded Surfaces in Panel Painting aroung 1300« Europäische Kunst um 1300, vol. 6 Acta of the XXV International Congress of History of Art in Vienna 1983, Vienna 1986, 69-75.

4 My method of photography is very simple. I insert a 50 mm extension tube between the lens and the hody in order to obtain a life-size image. Whenever possible, I juxtapose a cm scale to the punchwork for control during enlargement. I fasten a flashlight obliquely to the camera to generate »raking light which accentuates the visibility of the punch impression. When I was first planning my recording procedures, William Young, director of the research laboratory at the Boston Museum of Fi ne Art recommended to me the use of a special camera used by police investigators to record finger marks on objects. Light is built in and the images are of life size. The problem, however, was that the ring of the lens has to rest on the surface to be recorded; no museum curator, of course, would give his permission for this.

5 Frinta, »Evidence of the Italian Influence on Catalan Panel Painting of the Fourteenth Century« Actas del XXIII Congreso Internacional de Historia del Arte, Granada 1976, vol. 1, 361-71.

6 Erling Skaug, »Punch Marks what are they worth? Problems of Tuscan Workshop Interrelationship in the Mid-fourteenth Century: the Ovile Master and Giovanni da Milano«, La pittura nel XIV e XVsecolo. Il contributo dell analisi tecnica alla storia dell'arte (Atti del XXTV Congresso C.I.H.A in Bologna 1979), p. 257.

7 Ugo Procacci, »La creduta tavola di Monteoliveto dipinta da Spinello Aretino«, Il Vasari, 2, 1928, 35 48; Sherwood A. Fehm, »Notes on Spinello Aretino's so-called Monteoliveto Altarpiece«, Mitteilungen des Kunslhislorishen Institutes in Florenz, 1973, 85 99; Creighton Gilben, »Peintres et menuisiers au début de la Renaissance en Italie,« Revue de l'art, 37, 1977, p. 10; Frinta, »Le peintre siennois itinérant Gabriello Saracini«. Actes du Colloque Le Kaonnement de l'Art Siennois du Trecento en F.urope, Avignon 1983 (to appear shortly).

8 Frinta, „New Evidence of the Relationship of Central European and Italian Painting during the Fourteenth Century«, Acta of the XXII International Congress of History of Art in Budapest 1969, Budapest 1973, 64954.

9 In the monastic school of artisanal leather work at Santa Croce in Florence there is a collection of punches used since the Renaissance in adorning leather book bindings. All were cut in iron or steel.

10 Skaug, »A Collection of Punching Tools with Motifs in 14th and 15th Century Style, formerly Belonging to Ilicio Federico Joni, Siena«.
11 Information of the granddaughter of Lochov from Milan.

12 Ilicio Federico Joni, Le memorie di un pittore di quadri antichi, Sancasciano 1932.

13 Frinta, »The Quest for a Restorer's Shop of Beguiling Invention: Restorations and Forgeries in Italian Panel Painting«, The Art Bulletin, LX, March 1978, 7-23; idem, »Drawing the Net Closer: the Case of Ilicio Federico Joni, Painter of Antique Pictures«, Pantheon, XL, No. 3,1982, 217-24.

14 I would be interested to have one of the Joni punches thoroughly examined, namely an oblong tetra-lobe (Skaug's no. 33) I do not know it from any forgery or restoration while I recorded the presumably identical form on a number of Trecento paintings, mostly by Bartolomeo Bulgarini and also on Niccolo di Segna, and the Master of Palazzo Venezia. Skaug described its material as a yellowish-grey alloy which does not occur in any other punch of Joni. It probably means that the maker of this punch did not supply Joni with any other of his products. Still, I would like to be given a proof of a relative newness of this punch so that I could lay to final rest any wishful idea that perhaps there still exists one original punch.

15 For example, the reliquary of St. Galganus' head (1290-1300) in Sie na. Museo deli Opera del Duomo and the reliquary of St. Galganus (1315 20) in Frosini or the seal of the family Tolomei in Arezzo, Museo Statale, no. 15847. Il Gotico a Siena, Florence 1982, 78-81, 117-120, 135.

16 E. g. large trefoils of Ugolino di Nerio and of„Barna» and a still larger punch ofUgolino. These punches of „negative relief exist also in smaller scale, in tetrafoils of Barnaba da Modena, Simone Martini, and Pietro Lorenzetti. (Vide the forthcoming Catalogue: Gh 23, Gdl8, Ge34, H29, Ia3a, Ia7, Ib25, Ib26, Ib29, Ib31. Less prominent is the sculpturing on trefoils: Gb 10h, Gc 19, Gc26, and tetrafoiis: Jh33, Jh66, Jb86, Jb89a, Jcl4a, b, Jcl5a.)

17 Contact of painters with goldsmiths can be illustrated by the similarity of the Entombment from the Orsini tetraptych by Simone Martini and a translucid enamel of the same subject in the Reliquario del Corporale by Ugolino di Viero (before 1339) in the Orvieto Cathedral.

18 Remarkable is the richly punched decoration of two Bohemian leather bindings from the first part of the 15th century with the.same large figurai punches, the Martinici Bible and one French ms. of the 14th c. in Prague National Museum. Dr. Karel Stejskal kindly called my attention to their existence. Most of the photographic details from the Natío nal Gallery in Prague was kindly made by Mojmír Hamsik while I received the details from Bohemian manuscripts in the National Library in Vienna through the courtesy of Dr. Gerhard Schmidt.


A large monography by Prof Frinta »PUNCHED DECORATION ON LATE MEDIEVAL PAINTING I, II« will be published by OBELISK in English. The first volume present a large catalogue (motif vocabulary) of all punch shapes, the second contains the history and characteristics of different schools, workshops and individual masters. As the number of issues will be limited, an advance order to publishers is recommended.