»Ein Quadratmeter Standfläche auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse kostet im günstigsten Fall 231 Euro ohne Mehrwertsteuer. Wie preiswert! Denn das sind pro Quadratzentimeter kaum mehr als zwei Cent. Ein Quadratzentimeter Gebetbuch der Claude de France erfordert dagegen 37 Euro mit Mehrwertsteuer: Das um 1517 angefertigte Buch der späteren Königin von Frankreich ist nur 6,9 Zentimeter hoch und 4,9 breit, kostet aber als Faksimile mindestens 1480 Euro (bei Vorauszahlung). Doch wie preiswert! Denn dafür bekommt man 132 Illuminationen, also Kleinstgemälde, die in Komposition und Ausdruckskraft jeden Vergleich mit großen Renaissance-Meisterwerken aushalten – nur dass die Buchbilder farbfrisch wie am ersten Tag sind. Der drei Monate junge Quaternio Verlag aus Luzern hat dieses Kleinod zum Debüt mit auf die Messe gebracht und seinen wie der Einband in rotem Samt gestalteten Stand mit einer fast zwei Meter hohen Vergrößerung des Buchs geschmückt. Und siehe da: Die Bilder sind auch in diesem Format brillant – das schönste Buch der Messe.«
A booth with one single book
Quaternio has reproduced the Prayer Book of Claude de France
“Under the glass hood of a slender stele sits a faithfully reproduced painted manuscript, the Prayer Book of Claude de France (1499–1524), wife of King Francis I.
Its owner was able to carry this rare book art object ‘en miniature’ around in her delicate hand, painted with 132 splendid miniature scenes. The original, which is kept in the Pierpont Morgan Library New York, is no longer fit for such wear-and-tear. It is much too fragile to even be exhibited.
Facsimile means ‘make it similar’ and the four members of the independent Quaternio Verlag Luzern have long-standing experience with the making of facsimiles of valuable painted manuscripts. […] The four set up their own business during the summer of 2009 and declared the new name of the publishing house to be their working program en miniature: “Quaternio”, is the term for a quire made up of four double leaves which in the craft of book making constitutes the sound basis for binding paper to form the body of a book.”
James H. Marrow
Professor of Art and Archaelogy, Emeritus, Princeton University, Princeton NY
“The Quaternio facsimile of the Prayer Book of Claude de France has arrived safely and is very handsome indeed. The quality of both the facsimile and the commentary are excellent, which is what we got used to from Faksimile Verlag Luzern and naturally expect of the talented people who left that publishing house to start Quaternio. Warm congratulations from one of your great fans and admirers!"
Roger S. Wieck
Curator at the Morgan Library & Museum, New York“I took Claude home with me Monday and spent the night admiring her. The facsimile is a wonder. One great difference between the original and the reproduction is comfort: one can handle the facsimile – and enjoy its pictures – without fear of harming the delicate images! I felt as if I'd seen the book for the first time. Already, having it at my fingertips has turned it into my muse as I write.”
Professor at the Institute of Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin“True lovers of medieval manuscripts who wish to experience them tangibly and materially, will enjoy a facsimile book, especially in the form as it has been cultivated at its best on Lake Lucerne! Thus we will soon be presented with brilliantly reproduced and appropriately designed quaternions of medieval manuscripts in beautiful bindings. They will at the same time make it clear that Switzerland, Lucerne, and its lake are indeed ready to defy the fear of the world economic crisis even in this day and age, and dare to make a new start.”
Conservateur honoraire du Département des manuscrits
de la Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris“A new publishing house for facsimile editions, ‘Les Editions Quaternio Lucerne’ or ‘Faksimile Verlag Luzern’ resurrected? […] The particular effort allowed by the principal manuscript libraries of the world, to acquire these facsimile editions is the right proof of the stock they take in the research project.
[…] One just hears of the birth of a new publisher, the publishing house Quaternio Verlag Luzern, which strives to maintain, in Lucerne, the tradition of supreme quality facsimiles which formed the reputation of the ‘Faksimile Verlag Luzern’. One cannot but applaud this news and give one's best wishes for the success of this endeavour.”
James H. Marrow
Professor of Art and Archaelogy, Emeritus, Princeton University, Princeton NY“The founding of Quaternio Editions Lucerne is welcome news to all those who share an interest in the history and culture of the Middle Ages, and who appreciate the distinctive role illuminated manuscripts have in offering unique access to the beliefs and values of that period.
This new venture is being taken in hand by four of the principal members of the staff of Faksimile Verlag Luzern, the publishing house which has led the way during the past three decades in developing the highest technical, intellectual and aesthetic standards of fine art facsimile publishing. […]
There is every reason to believe that Quaternio Editions Lucerne will maintain and extend those traditions of excellence, so as to continue to foster appreciation and access to knowledge of some of the finest surviving products of medieval authors, patrons, scribes, artists, and collectors. As a scholar who collects and studies fine art facsimiles, uses them extensively in teaching, and knows how much pleasure they give to bibliophiles worldwide, I am delighted to learn that Quaternio Editions Lucerne will take up the mantle of Faksimile Verlag Luzern and continue its work of democratizing access to some of the finest monuments of human knowledge, belief, craft and imagination. I wish them every success.”
Head of the Manuscript Department at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich“Let me send you my best wishes for the good start of your Quaternio Verlag Luzern. […] I have always considered the facsimile reproduction of high-ranking objects from our holdings as absolutely essential for an effective presentation and a research-promoting use of these valuable and fragile manuscripts, and I do welcome good projects and initiatives in this field.
Having said this, I wish you much success with your new publishing house and an always lucky hand in selecting the manuscripts and producing the facsimiles to come.”