Design for an Ornament or Signet Ring with the Arms of Lazarus Spengler
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Albrecht Dürer
German, 1516
Pen and brown ink
2 5/16 x 2 1/8 in.

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Scholars do not know the object for which this small circular design containing a coat of arms surrounded by two branches was actually used; suggestions have ranged from a signet ring to a bookplate. The coat of arms contains a demi-fleur-de-lis at the left and a demi-rose at the right; these might have belonged either to Matthaeus Lang von Wellenburg, cardinal of Salzburg, or to the Nuremburg humanist and lawyer Lazarus Spengler. As both the arms of these men reversed the position of the rose and fleur-de-lis, Albrecht Dürer could have made this design for an engraving. The trimmed flourish at the top of the sheet shows that someone cut the image from a larger sheet.