Vassar College Digital Library

François Regnault, 1512-1551 -- Printer's Mark

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Main (Thompson) Library location: North wing -- Fifth window. François Regnault of Caen (c.14-- – c. 1540/1), occasionally referred to as Renaldus, first appeared in Paris in 1475. While on of the first books attributed to Regnault is Sermones by Jacobus de Voragine in 1500, this is contested by the inclusion of his printer's mark in the colophon, which he did not develop until 1513. Therefore, his period of independent activity probably began in 1501. In 1522, Regnault transferred his practice to building he purchased from stationer Guillaume Roland, where he established the Sign of the Elephant. Many of his assignments involved printing liturgical documents for the Church in England, including Bibles, Books of Hours, and papal records. Regnault also printed a great number of historical and classical texts. Following his death, Regnault's sons assumed responsibility of the press and kept his original woodcuts and typesets in operation. The printer's mark of Regnault is comprised of the initials F.R. surmounted by a cross and an abstracted pennon, or triangular heraldic flag. At the top of this flag is a small eight-pronged wheel. In the many of his full devices, Regnault used shepherd and shepherdess imagery, including crooks and houlettes; in others, he used the motif of an elephant embedded in a landscape with forestry and crenellated architecture interspersed. Regnault employed meticulously crafted woodcuts in his devices, which often contained the motto En Dieu est mon espérance, translating to, "My hope is in God."
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: