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Vile Eight

Beware of Satanic Possession

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Here is an interpretation of an public pamphlet from the early modern period around 1500-1600.

32cm x 22cm x 4cm engraved and painted on reclaimed scaffold board 

This products are made to order please allow up to 10 days for production and dispatch. Due to the natural properties of the wood, wood grain and finish may vary from the photo.


After the print revolution brought about by Johannes Gutenberg and his invention of the moveable industrial type printing press, public pamphlets, notices and broadsheets were printed for mass consumption as the percentage of people who could read also rose. Before this point most books were religious texts which were hand copied by monks and reserved for the church or nobility.

Setting up a press was a painstaking process, each letter and image plates (woodcuts) were set up manually letter by letter, and often appeared misaligned on the page with wobbly letters. There was no formal dictionary so spelling was sometimes inventive aswell as a shortage of letter stamps which led to words like WITCH being spelt VVITCH.

Printing was an expensive business with the main cost being the paper, so if the image left the press imperfect, or misaligned it usually still made the cut.

Printing was usually done in black although it was popular in Europe (especially Germany) to also add a red accent to title letters. This was more expensive and was reserved for books or religious texts where many images were coloured by hand.

I've added a few examples of books and notices from the period and some of the more interesting pamphlets I have found contain insights to classic views of witchcraft, pirates, unethical church practices and religious miracles.

I've recreated a possession notice related to witchcraft, engraved and painted on reclaimed scaffold board with an original 17th century woodcut engraving.