Gheboden ende uutgheropen, 20.12.1590. Alsoo verboden ende schandaleuse boecken bevonden worden, dat niemandt in eenighe sterf-huysen noch oude-cleercoopers gheen boecken en sullen vercoopen ten zy de selve zijn ghevisiteert ende ghepermitteert

Antwerpen, Jan I Moretus, 1590.

£3,950

Large Folio ff. [1]. Gothic and Roman letter. Woodcut arms of the town of Antwerp above, large scrolled woodcut initial. Very sight age yellowing with a few very minor creases to corners. A fine copy, clean and crisp, with full margins as issued.

A very fine copy of this most interesting broadside, a remarkable survival in such condition, concerning the regulation of sale of second hand books in the town of Antwerp, printed by Plantin’s successor Jan Moretus. The broadside concerns a crack down on the selling of second hand or old books in the town of Antwerp as many of these books were now prohibited or considered scandalous. Antwerp had been the town at the forefront of the Protestant rebellion until it was taken back by the forces of Alessandro Farnesse, Duke of Ferrara, five years before this broadside in 1585. Protestant citizens were then given two years to settle their affairs before many of them left for the United provinces. This probably meant that there were still many protestant or anti-catholic works in the town that then freely circulated on the death of their previous owners.

The full translation of the broadsheet was very kindly provided for us by Arthur der Weduwen “Ordained and proclaimed by my lords the under-sheriff Grammaye, Burgomasters, Aldermen, and Council of the city of Antwerp, on 20 December 1590. As it is observed that various prohibited and scandalous books have been found in several houses of the recently deceased, which are there sold to the public, and that the old-clothes hawkers sell the same, as if they were good and proper [books], and that by the same old-clothes hawkers, and others with intent to sell old books, buy these books, in order to sell them on their fronts and in their shops, so that the common man reads, sees and buys the same books, thereby offended, degraded and scandalised, which in a city of good order should not be allowed nor condoned. THEREFORE one ordains and orders as above, that no-one in any houses of the recently deceased, nor any old-clothes hawkers, or others with intent to sell old books, henceforth is allowed to sell any books, neither in their shops or on their fronts, unless they have been visited, inspected and permitted by the lords commissaries of the aforementioned visitation: on the pain of loss of said books, and above that further arbitrary punishments, in relation to the particular circumstances.”

One of the very few broadsides concerning the book-trade to have survived. Of huge interest and exceptionally rare; USTC lists five copies of this sheet all of them in Belgium, three of those at Antwerp itself.

USTC 414069

L2045

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