Hendrik van den Keere
About this printer
Hendrik van den Keere was born in Ghent at the beginning of the sixteenth century and succeeded the printing press of Jan Cauweel in 1556. Before becoming a printer, however, van den Keere was a professor of French, as well as a poet and playwright. In 1558, he entered a partnership with renowned printer Christopher Plantin; this only lasted until 1574, when Plantin reclaimed the rights to all his printing material and publications. During his relatively short career, van den Keere published more than forty works, including Chantz funebres sur la mort de Maximilien d’Egmont and Mortalité de guerre et de paix. Hendrik van den Keere the Younger continued his legacy following his death in 1580.
About the device
Van den Keere’s mark in the Vassar Library is a simplified version of the device he used in the colophons of his publications. Displayed is the circular face of a clock, marked with Roman numerals, with the printer’s decorative monogram H.V.D.K. directly beneath. The Old Flemish phrase Anziet thende appears above this symbol, meaning, “behold the end.” In his original devices, the center of the clock contains a skull; this detail was probably omitted from the Vassar window because of its intricacy. The mark evokes a traditionally Flemish sentiment of transience.