Vassar College Digital Library

Alexandre Aliate, 1499-1505 -- Printer's Mark

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Main (Thompson) Library location: North wing -- Fifth window. Originally from Milan, Alexandre Aliate (c.14-- – c. 1505) began working as a printer in Paris in approximately 1497, where he is first documented working at the Sign of St. Barbara. In 1499, he printed his first known work, Carmina, sive Centones vergilii by Falconia Proba. Aliate's career was relatively short; by 1505, he had printed fewer than twenty books. Titles attributed to him include Aristotle's Problemata and Plato's Axiochus, in addition to a number of classical texts. Aliate's mark in the Vassar Library features his initials A.A. in an overlapping Gothic font with small diamond shapes on both sides. This monogram generally appears in the upper hemisphere of an orb. In the full version of Aliate's device, this orb floated over a body of water and a leafless tree grew upward from its center. A scroll wrapped around the tree bore the words "Alexandro de Milano," while the Latin phrase A fructibus eorum cognoscetis eos ("By their fruits ye shall know them") from the Gospel of Matthew appears in the border.
Photograph by Amy Laughlin

This project was created by Katherine Durr (VC '15) as part of the Ford Scholar program under the supervision of Professor Ron Patkus in Summer 2013.

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"The Mark of the Renaissance Printer" blog post by Katherine Durr, 2013 Vassar Ford Scholar: