Music is our Love My special thanks to Dr. Friedrich Jacob in Zurich and Dr. Karl Schnürl in St. Andrä - Wördern, without their generous help this work could not have been created.

A cryptographic Exlibris from Zurich  1. Abb. in The Worid of Exlibris. A Historical Retrospective, Belgrade Exlibris-Circle 1995. The print originates from the estate of Herbert von Fels, the former President of the Swiss Heraldic Society.  After his death, it was sold by his children to Benoit Junod, the Swiss diplomat and exlibris collector, in 1983. It is not referred to in either of the two volumes of "Swiss Exlibris to the Year 1900"  by Agnes Wegmann, Zurich, 1933.

by Peter Rath

For the collector with an ability of precise observation, there are, again and again, new and until now hidden contents successfully to be discovered on his Exlibris. But not always does a bookplate like this one, for the Zurich Musical Society, let itself be found, that offers such an extraordinary volume of information.

The Exlibris from Zurich

The Exlibris, created about 1700, (Fig.1) is a copperplate etching by Johannes Meyer, the Younger, who was a painter and engraver in Zurich from 1659 to 1712. 2. Thieme - Becker, Leipzig, 1930. The artist produced all the title-plates in copper for the New Year prints of the Music Society from 1684 to 1707.
In the foreground on the bookplate, there is a Latin text positioned and in the center, Arion is riding a dolphin in Lake Zurich, before the City of Zurich. In the background, above the Church of St. Peter, sways, as Supreme mediating decoration, the coat-of-arms of the Canton and City of Zurich. One clearly recognizes, above Arion, part of the fortification positions, which were built between 1642 and 1678. 3. In  "Topographia Helvetiae", by Matthäus Merian, First Edition 1642, one cannot yet recognize any fortification positions on the etching called "Zurich seen from the Lake".
This subject appears for the first time on a New Year print of the "Music Society of the Music Hall at Our Lady’s Cathedral" in the year 1688, Then later, in the year 1718, as the title vignette on the Book of Proceedings of this same society. It was used once again to decorate the left inside of the double door of the cabinet housing the stops of the organ, which stood available for the musicians to use from the year 1727 on. (Fig.2) 4. Jacob, Friedrich "Organ Construction in the Canton of Zurich", Bern, Zurich 1971.
The print (Fig.1) is obviously a mark of ownership, that, while utilizing the same pictorial motif, has been put to use numerous times with a variety of text applications. Small traces of glue remnants on the backside, simply indicate that the etching was utilized as an Exlibris or an Ex Musicis.
The musical society at the Kornhaus, later "from the Music Hall of Our Lady’s Cathedral", founded in 1613 was presumably the oldest of the music societies of Zurich. This was one of the many Music Collegiums which were created in Zurich in the 17th and the 18th Centuries, because the Reformation banned all the music from the churches of Zurich.  5. "The musical Past of Zurich in Pictures", assembled by Max Pehr, Paul Sieber and Georg Walter, in the 133th and 134th  New Year prints of the General Music Society of Zurich, for the years of 1945 and 1946. These collegiums, encouraged only by private support, dedicated themselves to the cultivation of both the religious as well as the worldly music. In 1812 the unification occured, when all the collegiums joined together to form the "General Musical Society of Zurich". 6."Catalogue of the printed and handwritten Music of the 17th to the 19th Centuries, in the property of The General Musical Society of Zurich" edited by Georg Walter, Zurich, 1960.