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Symonds Rare Books Ltd

Sermon des grosz gelarten in gnade[n] erlauchte[n] doctoris Iohannis Thauleri predigerr ordens. Weisende auff den neheste[n] waren wegk. yn geiste czu wa[n]dern durch uberschwebe[n]den syn. Vnuoracht vo[n] geistes ynnige[n] worva[n]delt i[n] deutsch ma[n]che[n] me[n]sche[n] zu selikeit. [with]] Hystoria Thauleri

Sermon des grosz gelarten in gnade[n] erlauchte[n] doctoris Iohannis Thauleri predigerr ordens. Weisende auff den neheste[n] waren wegk. yn geiste czu wa[n]dern durch uberschwebe[n]den syn. Vnuoracht vo[n] geistes ynnige[n] worva[n]delt i[n] deutsch ma[n]che[n] me[n]sche[n] zu selikeit. [with]] Hystoria Thauleri

Tauler, Johannes [with] Maister Eckhart [with] [Merswin, Rulman]] FIRST EDITION. Quarto. 290 leaves: 281 numbered leaves (ff. I CCLXXXI); 8 unnumbered leaves (title-page and index). Gothic letter. Two 36-line columns. 8-line opening title on upper half of first leaf; 7-line capital space with a large rubricated initial at the beginning of the first sermon, several 3-line capital spaces with small printed guide-letters throughout. Completely rubricated with numerous painted Lombard initials, which were added on top of the printed guide-letters in bright red ink. Some occasional offsetting of red ink. Occasional marginalia in an early hand. Bound in contemporary blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards, spine with three low-raised bands covering thick double sewing supports. Original brass clasp and catch, closing on the left board, both decorated with etched sphinxes. Geometrical frames on covers, lines arranged in a hatched or lozenge design within central panels, and imperial eagles tooled within the four-square sections at the corners. A nicely rubricated and clean incunabulum; only two small repairs to blank foot margins of title and second leaf. A fine copy. This is the first printed edition of the Sermons of Johann Tauler (c. 1300 1361), one of the great Rhineland mystics of the fourteenth century. He was educated in the Dominican convent of Strasbourg, where Maister Eckhart was giving lessons in theology in the same years. After completing his studies, he returned to Strasbourg and started his career as a preacher for the Dominican convents of the city. As a result of the tensions between the papacy and the Emperor Louis IV, the Dominicans were forced to leave Strasbourg and Tauler found refuge in Basel. Here, he became acquainted with the Friends of God (Gottesfreunde), a movement of priests and laymen for the spiritual renewal of the Church. Their teachings were taken from Eckhart s sermons and other mystics such as Henry Suso and Mechthild of Magdeburg and they were deeply influenced by the Beghard movement, which was later regarded as heretic. This book collects the complete sermons of Tauler, including four sermons by Maister Eckhart, also printed for the first time.[1] The sermons are followed by an account of Tauler s life probably written by Rulman Merswin (c. 1307 1382), the leader of the Friends of God.[2] In this short biography, the anecdote of the learned man s conversion to the more experiential spirituality of the Friends of God by the mysterious Layman from the Oberland is told for the first time. This will be later repeated in Merswin s autobiography The Story of the First Four Years of a New Life. Tauler s teachings remained popular throughout the fifteenth century and his undogmatic approach to spirituality was later taken up by Martin Luther. His writings are widely considered to be one of the best achievements in German prose of the fourteenth century. His sermons encouraged the faithful to find God s presence within themselves rather than looking outwards. He further implied that the adoption of a perfect lifestyle could lead to experiencing unity with God in this life. HC *15346; GW M45246; BMC III, 628 (IA. 12345); Goff T-48; BSB-Ink T-62; ISTC it00048000. [1] Cf. GW, M45246 [2] Cf. A. Chiquot, Jean Tauler et le Meisters-Buoch (Strasbourg, 1922)
Biblia Latina

Biblia Latina

Royal folio (369 x 256mm). Single leaf, on thick paper; 42-lines, double column; type: 1:140G. Bull s head watermark. Two initial I s, book headers and chapter numbers rubricated in alternating red and blue ink. Capitals highlighted with red strokes. Rubricator s guidelines in black-brown ink to upper blank margins in a neat German hand. Minimally dusty, very minor spotting to upper blank margin, tiny interlinear hole (f. 83r, lines 16-17); faint fading caused by the mount in the frame covering the outer margins by about 1 cm. A remarkably clean, well-margined and rubricated leaf from the 1455 Biblia Latina the first substantial European book to be printed with movable types and the symbol of the printing revolution. This Bible was produced in the course of five years, from 1450 to 1455, at the workshop of Johann Gutenberg and Johann Fust in Mainz, Germany. Each of the two volumes featured over 300 leaves of text in double column, the majority of which has 42 lines per page. Only 64 copies (several of which fragmentary) have survived out of approximately 158 to 180 originally produced, a quarter of which were probably printed on vellum. These copies all required the addition of initials and book headers by the hands of rubricators. In 1455, the then papal legate, and future Pope Julius II, wrote to the Cardinal Juan de Carvajal that he had seen quires from the Bible exhibited by Gutenberg in Frankfurt: The script is extremely neat and legible, not at all difficult to follow. Your grace would be able to read it without effort, and indeed without glasses. [ ] buyers were said to be lined up even before the books were finished .[1] The present leaf features a section from the Old Testament of St Jerome s Vulgate: Jeremiah 25:19 to 27:6, mentioning the Seventy Years of Captivity of the tribe of Judah, Jeremiah being threatened with death and God s command that the tribe of Judah serve King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. The leaf has been identified as vol. II, quire 9 (leaf 3), fol. 83; the Bull s Head (type I or II) watermark suggests this was a first setting. This leaf one of the Noble Fragments , so named by the book collector A. Edward Newton (1864-1940) comes from an imperfect copy once in the Mannheim library of Carl Theodor von Pfalz-Sulzbach (1721-94), Electoral Prince of Palatinate and later Bavaria. In 1803, the copy was transferred, with Carl Thedor s other books, to the Royal Library of Munich. It was thence sold as a duplicate in 1832 and purchased by Robert Curzon, Baron Zouche (1810-73). Next sold at Sotheby s in 1920, the copy was acquired by Joseph Sabin and, subsequently, by the bookdealer Gabriel Wells. Wells removed the eighteenth-century binding with the gilt Palatine arms and subdivided the copy into smaller fragments or individual leaves. He sold these separately (several with initials replaced in facsimile), the great majority bound in gilt dark blue morocco and accompanied by A. Edward Newton s bibliographical essay, A Noble Fragment: Being a leaf of the Gutenberg Bible . Many are now preserved in institutional libraries [2] (see White, Editio Princeps, p. 135). In the past few years, individual leaves, rather than longer excerpts, have been offered for sale. The Noble Fragments are the closest a dedicated bibliophile can get to acquiring of this monument of Western printing. Bibliography: H *3031; BMC I, 17; GW 4201; Needham P-18; Goff B-526. [1] E. M. White, Editio Princeps: A History of the Gutenberg Bible (2017), p. 135 [2] M. Davies, Juan de Caravajal and Early Printing on The Library XVIII, 3 (1996), p. 196.
Discorsi Militari dell Eccellentiss. Sig. Francesco Maria I. dalla Rovere Duca di Urbino. Ne i quali si discorrono molti avantaggi

Discorsi Militari dell Eccellentiss. Sig. Francesco Maria I. dalla Rovere Duca di Urbino. Ne i quali si discorrono molti avantaggi, & disavantaggi della guerra, utilissimi a ogni soldato

Della Rovere, Francesco Maria I 8vo (14.5 x 9.5 cm), 32 numbered leaves: ([6], [8], 1 32, [6]). Text in Italics, except for the opening dedicatory pages. Title-page with printer s device and handwritten signature of Scottish bibliophile Andrew Fletcher de Saltoun (1653 1716) to head of page. Some floriated initials; tail- and end-pieces; two schematic illustrations of battlefields. Bound in seventeenth-century calf, gilt to borders and spine, with minor wear to joints and corners. This is the first edition of the military memoirs of Francesco Maria I della Rovere (1490 1538), Duke of Urbino and one of the great condottieri of the Renaissance. The Duke s account refers to the years after his exile from the Papal States, when he went under the service of the Venetian Republic as General Governor of the Militias. Under his leadership, Venice secured its independence on the mainland, during the turbulent times of the wars opposing the Empire and the Kingdom of France for the dominion of Northern Italy. After returning from the exile, he spent the last years of his reign promoting the arts and combining personal unions between his and other notable families of the Marche. He died in 1538 after being poisoned by a servant through injection of the poison into his ear. It is believed that his death has been an inspiration for Shakespeare s Hamlet. This copy comes from the famous library of Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, a pre-eminent Scottish patriot and writer, who opposed the 1707 Act of Union and supported the failed Darién Scheme aiming to give to Scotland a free-trade port in Panama. Nonetheless, Fletcher was an expert in military tactics and he was commander in chief of the chivalry of the rebel army of the Duke of Monmouth against James II, during the years before the Glorious Revolution. In his treatise A Discourse of Government regarding Militias (1698) he stresses the importance of organising local-based, self-governing military units as the best way to ensure a real presence of well-regulated militias throughout the land. Della Rovere s account of the division of his army into smaller units in order to face threats coming from multiple sides might have been a source for Fletcher s arguments. Bibliography: BM Catalogue of Italian Books, p. 278; P. J. Willems, Bibliotheca Fletcheriana (1999)
Quadragesimale

Quadragesimale

GRITSCH, Johannes [pseudo-; Gritsch, Conradus] GRITSCH, Johannes [pseudo-; Gritsch, Conradus]. Quadragesimale [Ulm], Johann Zainer, [14]76. Royal folio (405 x 275mm). 269 leaves (of 271, without blanks). Gothic letters, double-column text of 50 lines. Exquisite and extremely rare decorative woodcut border on the first leaf of text, very uncommon in printed version as this sort of foliation in early printed books was usually illuminated or rubricated by hand. Numerous fine and sumptuous 10-line printed initials at the beginning of each sermon. Smaller 3-line initials in the last section of the book. The opening border as well as the decorative printed initials have not been coloured, as was customary for other copies of the same work. Manuscript corrections to the misnumbering of the early numerical quiring printed in the centre at the head of the leaves. A few marginalia throughout. Early inscription at the top left corner of the upper pastedown regarding the influence of the moon over sea levels; and the unfortunate conjunction of Jupiter and Mars according to Albertus Magnus (see, Philosophia Pauperum, XXV). Early handwritten title in ink to the fore edge. Watermarks featuring a bull’s head and a flower clearly visible on both pastedowns. Some very small wormholes evenly scattered on first and final leaves, not affecting the text, and negligible soiling and thumb marks on page margins. Bound in contemporary Landshut blind-stamped pigskin over thick wooden boards [EBDB w000032]. Front cover magnificently decorated with tools showing deer, dragons, rampant lions, flowers and floral motifs on four concentric panels divided by double-fillet ruling. Minor loss of leather to foot and lower edge. Rear cover with a different floral decorative pattern. Spine in five compartments with four raised bands covering thick double sowing supports. Catches, metal centre- and corner-pieces have been removed, whilst the original clasps are still present. Despite the loss of most metal embellishments, the binding is remarkably well-preserved and the rich tool work is in near perfect condition. Faded name of the author inscribed on centre of front cover. This copy is incredibly fresh, clean, still crisp, and considerably wide-margined. This collection of Latin sermons was written by the Franciscan Konrad Gritsch between 1440 and 1444. His book was published under the name of his brother, Johann (1409 – 1475), a famous Basel preacher, who distinguished himself in canon law, natural science and exegesis (see, A. Munith, ‘Jean et Conrad Grütsch de Bâle. Contribution à l’histoire de la predication franciscaine au XVme siècle’, Freiburg 1940). This is the third of 24 incunabular editions of this work, the second published by Johann Zainer. Compared to Zainer’s first edition, there are very few changes to the text or in the general outlook of the book. Gritsch’s sermons were meant to guide the faithful through fasting and meditations of Lent, providing them with practical advice that were taken from the Bible and other secular sources including Ovid. The text is accompanied by an index with an interesting reference system that makes use of both numbers (referring to the Sundays within one year) and letters, dividing each sermon into smaller sections. This mnemonic device is duly described in the preface. The index is followed by fifty sermons in Latin regarding Lent (from 27a to 252b); a list of sacred readings for the main festivities of the year (from 253a to 268b) and a final list of meditations, with the unusual explicit at colophon, in which the date format is shortened to ‘76’, hence omitting the millennium and the century. The splendid decoration of this book also appeared in other books printed by Zainer’s workshop and it was praised by William Morris as being one of the finest examples of C15th woodcut decorations (see W. Morris, ‘On the Artistic Qualities of the Woodcut Books of Ulm." in Bibliographica: Papers on Books, Their History and Art, 1893). BMC II, 524; ISTC ig00491000.