Wolfgang Köpfel

Wolff Köpphel
Wolfgang Köpphel, Köpphel
Copy of Holbein's A
Wolfgang Köpphel, Köpfel: A

While the different publishers in Basel could share Holbein's original initials, publishers in other cities had to produce their own copies. One of them was Wolfgang Köpfel in Strasbourg, who used his own copies as early as in 1526. Köpfel spelled his name in many ways and sometimes he Latinized it (Kopf = head in German), so he goes under as different appellations as Wolff Köpphel (picture to the left), Wolfgang Koeph, Vuolphius Cephalaeus and Capito.

Francis Douce writes about Holbein's initials:

But they were not only used at Basle by Bebelius Isingrin and Cratander, but also at Strasburg by Wolfgang Cephaleus, and probably by other printers; because in an edition of Huttichius's "Romanorum principum effigies," printed by Cephaleus at Strasburg in 1552, they appear in a very worn and much used condition. In his Greek Bible of 1526, near half the alphabet were used, some of them by different hands.
(Francis Douce, The Dance of Death, page 216)

Copy of Holbein's Q
Wolfgang Köpphel, Köpfel: Q

Douce's text is somewhat self-contradictory: First he gives the impression that the alphabet that was employed in a rundown condition in 1552 was Holbein's original, but at the same time he says that the woodcuts are produced by various people: »some of them by different hands«.

The book of Hosea: The Lambda is an upside-down V.
Wolfgang Köpphel, Köpfel: Lambda

Douce's confusion is understandable because the book from 1552 that he mentions, contains Q and B, and the Q is in fact a rather good imitation (picture to the right). It is not quite as handsome as the genuine Q, but Holbeins initials were often badly printed and it can be very difficult indeed to distinguish between good copies and bad prints of well-worn originals. Köpfel's copy is very detailed and not laterally inversed.

Douce also mentions Köpfl's Greek Bible (i.e. the Septuagint) from 1526. This work in three volumes contains many of Holbein's letters besides an alternative K, a Greek Delta and a Pi (see below). When it comes to the Greek Lambda, Köpfl has cheated, because it is simply a V, which he has turned upside-down (picture to the left). The strange part is that Köpfl also used a genuine Lambda in the same book.

Köpfel: A
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: A
Köpfel: B
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: B
Köpfel: C
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: C
Köpfel: E
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: E
Köpfel: G
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: G
Köpfel: H
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: H
Köpfel: K
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: K
Köpfel: L
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: L
Köpfel: M
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: M
Köpfel: N
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: N
Köpfel: O
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: O
Köpfel: Q
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: Q
Köpfel: S
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: S
Köpfel: T
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: T
Köpfel: V
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: V
Köpfel: W
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: W
Köpfel: Y
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: Y
Köpfel: Z
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: Z
Köpfel: K
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: K
Köpfel: Delta
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: Delta
Köpfel: Lambda
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: Lambda
Köpfel: Pi
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: Pi
Köpphel
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpphel
Köpfel: Lambda
Wolfgang Köpphel 1526: Köpfel: Lambda

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