Timbri EX Libris da ieri a oggi. | TimbriExLibris

EX Libris stamps from yesterday to today.

Ex libris is a Latin phrase that can be translated as "from books", which generally indicates a mark used to prove ownership of a book. The history of the ex libris is as old as books, already in medieval manuscripts it is possible to find writings attesting to the identity of the owner or warnings to those who did not return borrowed books.

In the 15th century, with the invention of movable type printing, the ex libris became an illustrated slip created based on the personality of the client. The ex libris, in fact, demonstrated a possessive and vain attitude of the owner towards the book, often bearing family mottos or coats of arms. First widespread in Germany, it appeared in Italy in the sixteenth century. Initially they spread only in monasteries or among noble patrician families who used to mark the books in their libraries, also called ex-bibliotheca. In the 18th century, its use became more common and finally in the 1900s it spread as a real art.

The techniques and subjects reflect the author's personal taste: they are often monochromatic drawings that can be used as a stamp or engraving. Among the most common themes we find books and animals, especially the owl ; often in addition to the author's name we also find mottos. Sometimes they are based on puns linked to the author's name and/or surname, sometimes they are linked to his passions or profession.

The ex libris represents a unique symbol that allows the author to stand out and a necessary condition for all book lovers.

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