By the end of the fifteenth century, bookbinders were seeking ways to save time and labor to meet the demands of increased book production and expanding readership. Several changes were made in forwarding methods to increase speed and efficiency. In terms of finishing, the development of panels and rolls helped answer the same need. Rather than creating a cover design by repeated stamping with small tools, the binder could use a roll to run a line of decoration in a single pass, and a panel stamp could be used in a press to make a complete cover design from a single impression. Flemish binders took the lead in the use of panels, and the technique spread across Europe in the early sixteenth century. Both panels and rolls were skillfully made, engraved or cast with abstract floral designs, depictions of biblical scenes, representations of various virtues, or portraits of contemporary notable persons such as Erasmus, Luther, and Melanchthon. In Germany, panels were often used in combination with concentric rectangles created with decorative rolls.
French, sixteenth century
A sixteenth-century French manuscript in a contemporary panel-stamped brown calf binding by Andre Boulé.
Title: Problemata theologica.
Locale: Paris, 1515.
Location: Manuscripts Division
Call number: Princeton Ms 90
Dimensions: 18 x 13 cm

Flemish, fifteenth century
Flemish panel-stamped calfskin binding on a Basel printing from 1490.
Author: Bertoldus, Dominican, fl. 1350
Title: Horologium deuotionis circa vitam Christi.
Published: Basel: Johann Amerbach, not after 1490.
Location: Rare Books: Incunabula Collection (ExI)
Call number: 5866.174
Spine height: 16 cm

French, sixteenth century
A French incunable in a brown calfskin panel-stamped binding.
Author: Gregory I, Pope, ca. 540-604
Title: Epistole ex registro.
Published: Paris: Ulrich Gering and Berthold Rembolt, 1508.
Location: Rare Books: Graphic Arts
Call number: Early books -- arranged chronologically
Spine height: 21 cm

German, sixteenth century
A German sixteenth-century blind-stamped pigskin binding.
Author: Brodeau, Jean, 1500-1563
Title: Epigrammatum graecorum libri VII.
Published: Basel: Froben, 1549.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: 2978.1549q
Spine height: 33 cm

French, sixteenth century
Strip panels were a characteristic of French bindings in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Author: Juvenal
Title: Iuuenalis familiare co[m]mentu[m].
Published: Lyons: Estienne Gueynard, 1511.
Location: Rare Books (Ex)
Call number: PA6446.A21 M36 1511
Spine height: 26 cm