ATTRACTIVE SPANISH BINDING
Libro de la regla y constituciones generales de la orden de nuestro padre sant Francisco.
Sevilla, por Clemente Hidalgo, 1607.
Folio. ff. (ii) 140 (ii). Roman letter, some Italic. Attractive engraved Franciscan device dated 1603 to t-p; guide letters within woodcut frames; decorated tailpieces. Light age browning, faint water stain to some margins, heavier to first few gatherings, occasional slight foxing, small spots in places. A good copy in contemporary Spanish polished sheep, traces of ties, some repair to extremities. Blind-tooled to a double-ruled panel design, outer and second border with male heads within roundels, leafy curls and rosettes, centre panel tooled in silver with fleurons to each corner and small centrepiece tool with spiral lines and floral decorations, all oxydized. Rebacked, joints cracked. Early bookplate of Monastery of St Francis (Mexico City) to front pastedown, bookplate of Los Angeles Law Library to front ep, branded ex-libris of the Mexican Monastery of St Francis to upper fore-edge.
The panel design and border decorations of the handsome binding closely resemble those on BL c64g4, produced in Spain in the late C16.
Good copy of this second edition of the statutes of the Franciscan Order in Castilian, compiled by Louis de Rebolledo. Rebolledo (fl. early C17) was provincial superior in Andalusia; in 1603, he oversaw the establishment of the first Franciscan theological school in Spain at the Casa Grande de San Francisco monastery in Seville. Originally published in 1600 with no specification of place and printer, ‘Libro de la regla’ was the official book of regulations for the religious life of Franciscan communities. The work is prefaced by St Francis’s testament and an epitome of the rule of the Order in Latin, detailing the code of behaviour concerning admission, itinerant preaching (e.g., among the Saracens), work, penance, and the ban from entering nuns’ convents if not with a special licence in order to avoid rumour and ‘scandalum’. The rest of the work, written in ‘romance’, is devoted to papal decrees concerning the Franciscan rule—e.g., the admission of novices and taking of the habit—and to compendia of general meetings of the Order in France, Italy and Spain in the C16. One section is devoted to friars ‘en las Indias’, who had a dedicated ‘Commissario general’ representing their interests in Spain. This copy was in the possession of the Convent of St Francis in Mexico City, founded in 1525.
Only St Bonaventure copy recorded in the US.
Iberian Books Volumes II & III, 27276; Domínguez Guzmán, Sevilla 97; Palau 137944;
Palau 252102. Not in Alden. A. Martínez Ripoll, La iglesia del colegio de San Buenaventura (Sevilla, 1996).