François Fradin

Printer's Mark

View of Vassar Library window of François Fradin's mark

About this printer

Printer's name: 
Fradin, François
Birth and death dates of printer: 
c.14-- – c. 15--
Geographic location of printer: 

Biography

Based on the information compiled from the colophons of his publications, it is evident that François Fradin was originally from Poitiers. His career began circa 1493 in Lyon, where he worked with printer Jean Pivard. The first publication linked to Fradin himself is a Latin Bible from 1497. It does not appear that he ever left Lyon upon establishing his press, and books attributed to him there have been dated to as late as 1569; though it is unclear whether the colophons of some of these books refer to Fradin himself or point to a possible relative. Scholars believe that his career ended in 1537. Over the span of his prolific career, Fradin was mostly credited with the publication of religious doctrine, papal documents, and the writings of saints. A number of European humanists are included in his oeuvre of publication as well, such as Andrea Alciato and Nicolaas Everaerts.

About the device

Date(s) device used: 
1497-1536
Current library location: 
Class of '51 Reading Room
Device description: 

This traditional mark is composed of an orb-and-cross, specifically a patriarchal cross. Along the horizontally divided hemisphere, Fradin has inserted his initials, two elegants Fs. His full printing device displayed this mark on a shield presented by a mermaid and a knight. These two figures are thought to be Melusine and Geoffroy à la Grand Dent, the characters of folklore significant to Poitiers.