BIBLE, Cistercian

A MONUMENTAL 12TH-CENTURY CALLIGRAPHIC MASTERPIECE

BOOKS OF ISAIAH, JEREMIAH, EZEKIEL, DANIEL, EPISTLES, ACTS, APOCALYPSE AND GOSPELS. Illuminated manuscript on vellum.

Italy, Lombardy, circa 1170-1190.

£250,000

460 x 310 mm, 251 leaves on parchment, substantially complete: I8-1 (i excised, probably blank), II-XIII8, XIV8+2 (bifolium added between vi and vii), XV-XVII8 (iii and vi as singletons), XVIII-XXXI8), wanting a quire after VIII (fol. 63), two after XXIV (fol. 194), and quire XXXII but for fol. 251, Catchwords at lower margin of last verso of quires; paper flyleaf and conjoint pastedown at beginning and end. 325 x 204 (93, 21, 90) mm; ruled for two columns and 34 lines of text in lead point, pricking at upper and lower margins and fore-edge (from recto), additional vertical line between the bounders dividing the two columns. North-Italian transitional caroline script (Littera carolina) in brown, corrections and additions in black throughout and text on additional leaves 110-111 provided by a second contemporary North-Italian Cistercian hand (Littera protogothica textualis); marginal notes referring to readings in the refectory in the Gospels: “Hic dimittatur legere in refectorio” (fols 201r,  215r, 239r) and “Hic incipiatur legere” (fols 217v, 242r); marginal chapter references in an Italian hand in grey ink throughout, c.1400. Rubrics, often with notes in small hand (littera glossularis), in lower (occasionally upper) margin as on fol. 109v, providing guidance to the rubricator, chapter numbers and marginal numbering of the biblical readings (Lc .I. , Lc .II. etc) in red throughout; running titles by rubricator in red at beginning and end of gatherings up to fol. 103r, otherwise in dark brown or grey ink by different hands to the end of the Epistles (fol. 166v).

Two large initials (9-15 lines), the first in blue, the second blue and red, both with penwork decoration in red, blue and green and followed by first words of text in red capitals touched in blue (fols 2r and 35v); one large 7 line initial in blue with reserved blank and penwork decoration in red and yellow (fol. 95v); similar large initials (6-13 lines) in red, occasionally extending into the margin, at beginning of texts (fols 119v-242v); minor initials (2-4 lines) in red, green and red (fol. 15v) or blue and red (fol. 107v) throughout. Three large initials (16-25 lines) in red with reserved red and black penwork decoration supplied to the additional text on fols 110r, 111r and 111v.

Strong Italian parchment, with a number of natural flaws and some cuts with medieval repairs (see fol. 20); fol. 119 with a long horizontal cut, but complete; lower margin of fols 232-233 and 237 and fore-edge of fol. 238 cut away; overall in good condition. In later brown sheepskin over unbevelled wooden boards, some scuffmarks, sewn on four double-split spine bands of alum-tawed skin, two endbands on parchment core with yellow sewing thread, now loose, and title “Quat. [?] Proph. mai / et / Plus [?].Lib.N.Test.” on spine, shelfmark “229” in black ink on upper pastedown; shelfmarks “35” and “67” on spine, all 17th/18th century.

This large splendid volume was produced in Northern Italy in the second half of the twelfth century for the use of a monastery of the Cistercian order, established in 1098 by Robert of Molesme at Cîteaux. The unusual order of the biblical texts (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel; Epistles, Acts and Apocalypse; the Gospels), reflects a programme of reading in the Night Office carried out in Cistercian communities from Advent to Epiphany, Lent, and Easter to Pentecost (ordo librorum ad legendum; Reilly 2005, pp. 169-170). The Cistercians included the reading of the four Gospels into the refectory element of their annual cycle, but excluded the Passion narratives as highlighted in the manuscript by the marginal notes “Hic dimittatur legere in refectorio” (fols 201r,  215r, 239r) (Webber 2010, pp. 20 n. 47, 32). The large size of the volume, the two-column layout, well-spaced lettering and use of red minor initials throughout were designed to assure legibility for reading aloud. The additional punctuation supplied by the second hand in a darker ink in accordance with the Cistercian practice of indicating short, medium and long pauses in the reading, supplied further helpful guidance (Parkes 1992, pp. 195, 197). The textual corrections by this second hand testify to the attention paid to the correctness of biblical texts in accordance with St Bernard of Clairvaux’s wishes.

The sober yet elegant decoration of the initials also follows the Cistercian practice of austerity, including restrained decoration in their manuscripts. The initials to Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel are similar in style to those found in a 12th-century manuscript Bible now in the Biblioteca Civica “Angelo Mai” at Bergamo, MA 600 (olim Alpha V 17; see Zizzo), with an almost certain Cistercian origin. The three initials in red with reserved and red and black penwork decoration on leaves 110r-111v are consistent with the decoration of Cistercian manuscripts produced in Italy, as in two 12th-century codices; an Office lectionary at Harvard, Houghton Library, Typ 223 online at http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/collections/early_manuscripts/bibliographies/Typ.cfm, from the Abbey of Morimondo (Ferrari 1993, p. 299) and from Acquafredda Abbey (see Ferrari 1993, p. 295) a 12th century Commentary on The Old Testament-Pentateuch by Isidore of Seville and Hugh of St Victor’s Rex Salomon, now at Berkeley, Bancroft Library, MS UCB 16.

Both these manuscripts have covers almost identical to the present, and bear similar titles on the second spine compartment, also found on Jerome’s Commentary on the Minor Prophets, now Milan, Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Gerli MS 12, identified by Ferrari (Ferrari 1999, pp. 36, 41-42, 44) as one of the manuscripts mentioned in the twelfth-century book list from the Abbey of Morimondo found on the last verso of the Abbey’s Office lectionary mentioned above (Houghton Library, Typ 223).

The present manuscript shares the same 18th-century provenance, if not origin, as those three manuscripts now at Milan, Berkeley and Cambridge. From the beginning of the eighteenth century many manuscripts from Cistercian abbeys in Lombardy were collected at the monastery of S. Ambrogio in Milan to support the programme of cultural reform promoted by the Congregation of St Bernard in Italy and the Austrian government. On arrival at S. Ambrogio, they may have been supplied with new covers and a manuscript title on the spine. The present manuscript must have arrived about the same time, when the influx increased exponentially with the suppressions of the monasteries in the last quarter of the century; many of these codices were then dispersed onto the open market. A good number were acquired by the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, but many entered private collections, such as those of the marchesi Trivulzio of Milan, Count Francesco Giovio (1796 – 1873) of Como, and Matteo Luigi Canonici (1727 – 1805), Jesuit and antiquarian of Venice, further dispersed through later sales.

A twentieth-century note in English pencilled on the upper flyleaf suggests that this manuscript may have passed through the hands of the bookseller Giuseppe (Joseph) Martini of Lugano between 1913 and 1942, though it is not mentioned by Ferrari in her list of Cistercian manuscripts described in Martini’s catalogues (Ferrari 1999, pp. 34-35). It was Martini who probably invented the myth of provenance from the library of the celebrated humanist Paolo Giovio (1483 – 1552) still recorded in the literature of some Italian Cistercian manuscripts (see Berkeley, University of California, Bancroft Library, MS UCB 16, in Digital Scriptorium).

K56

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BOOK OF HOURS

PRINTED ON VELLUM

Book of Hours, Use of Rome, in Latin and French. Ces presentes heures sont a lusaige de Romme toutes au long sans requerir.

[Paris: Germain Hardouyn, 1534].

£22,500

8vo. 100 unnumbered leaves, A-M8, N4. 28 lines. Letter Bâtard. 15 large half page metalcuts, all freely illuminated in gold and colours by a contemporary hand, gold-painted architectural borders, ruled in red, to each large cut, borders to each page ruled in red painted with gold, entirely rubricated with liquid-gold initials and line-filler on alternate red and blue grounds, nine vellum leaves of additional prayers in Latin  (Gratiarum actio sanctissimae & individuae trinitati) and German in two later hands. A1r, title with Hardouin device, his printer’s device with shield overpainted with arms of the first owner, with two keys, painted architectural border, title manuscript in gold on red painted ground, sprays of flowers and laurels to the sides, A1v with verses in French beginning ‘Ohostie tressalutaire’, A2r almanac for 1534-1548, A2r-B1r calendar, B1v-3v Gospel sequence (one large cut), B3r-C3r Passion according to St. John (one large cut), C3r-E1r Hours of the Virgin (two large cuts), E1v-E2r Hours of the Cross and of the Holy Ghost (large cut of Crucifixion), E2v-H1v Office of the Immaculate Conception and Beata Maria (seven large cuts), H2r-I2v Seven Penitential Psalms (large cut Bathsheba), I3r-K1r Office of the Dead (cut of Job on his dungheap), K1v-N4r Suffrages, prayers to the saints, hours of the Virgin, Stabat Mater, N4r-v, table of contents, early autograph illegible at foot of title page, book plate of G. Nordback on pastedown. Vellum very fractionally yellowed in places, painting to outer margin of title a little rubbed, very rare marginal thumb mark. A very good, clean copy with the painting and gold absolutely fresh and clean, in early C17th black morocco, covers bordered with double gilt rule, fleurons gilt to corners, spine with gilt-ruled raised bands, richly gilt in compartments fleurons to centres, initials F. T. gilt to centre of lower compartment, all edges gilt. A little rubbed and scratched.

Extremely rare, finely printed and beautifully illuminated Book of Hours, on good quality vellum with the cuts finely illuminated in gold and colour in a small rectangular format. The illuminator has not simply coloured the cuts beneath, but has freely painted over them or extended the painting of the figures beyond the original borders. Books of Hours were used by individuals at home rather than in church. A calendar was attached to the front so that memorial days of the saints could be identified. They were typically structured around the hourly prayers observed in monasteries, and Catholics would recite the appropriate liturgy eight times a day. These books served as symbols of status and and were often luxurious items, gifts given on important occasions.

“An important point to notice in connection with the illustrations of French ‘Books of Hours’ at this time is that they are nearly all inspired by German artists and nearly all copied from illuminated MSS.” Joseph Cundall. ‘A Brief History of Wood engraving.’

The Hardouin’s workshop dominated the market of printed Books of Hours in Paris between 1510 and 1550. Gillet Hardouin worked primarily as a printer, between 1500 and 1542, and German Hardouin was registered in the Guild of Illuminators. They were the only editors capable of both printing and illumination without commissioning other professionals. They often used fine, densely ornamented metal cut borders, however they had gone out of fashion by the time this volume was produced, which gives it a much cleaner and clearer style than its early incarnations.

The quality of their work is remarkable. It seems that they produced Books of Hours in various formats, from ordinary copies printed on paper, to those printed on vellum with woodcuts, and the most luxurious where the entire book was illuminated over the original cuts, most often on commission for a specific client for whom the book was tailored, as here where the client has had his personal arms painted on the title. Extremely rare: we have found no other copy of this edition in any online catalogues or at auction. Bohatta cites a copy seen in a private collection. Lacombe cites two other editions by Hardouyn of the same year, also for the use of Rome, but with different collations, both less substantial than this edition.

The arms on the title are very similar to those Baron Etienne de Clugny’s ( Guigard II 149), and it is probable that this work was commissioned by an earlier generation of his family. Unfortunately, we have not discovered the owner of the initials F.T. on the binding. A very rare and beautiful work.

Bohatta 1170. Not in Lacombe.

L2026

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SUCQUET, Antoine

BECKFORD’S BOOK OF RELIGIOUS EMBLEMS

Via vitae aeternae iconibus illustrata.

Antwerp, Martin Nutius, 1620.

£2,750

FIRST EDITION. 8vo., pp. (16), 875, (21), plus 32 numbered plates. Predominantly Roman letter, little Italic; engraved title showing the distribution of souls between hell and heaven and 32 full-page engraved emblems, all by Boëce van Bolswert, a few foliated initials and decorative tail-pieces. A very good, well-margined copy in contemporary Dutch vellum, gilt with external panel and large central piece of interlacing ribbons, gilt title and floral decoration on spine, yapp edges, all edges blue; contemporary ex libris of the Convent of the Discalced Carmelites in Brussels at head of title, modern bookseller’s pencil annotation on front pastedown, nineteenth-century description and cut-out from a later sale catalogue pasted before front endpaper.

Beckford’s copy of the first edition of ‘an immensely popular book’ (Praz) of Catholic devotion. Antoine Sucquet (1574 – 1627) was a Belgian scholar and leading member of the Jesuits in the Low Countries. Together with his Testamentum Christiani hominis, this is his only published work, providing complex visions of Heaven and Hell through a strong combination of text and images. Each emblem is beautifully illustrated with a high-quality plate by a pupil of Rubens, the Flemish artist Boëce van Bolswer (1580 – 1633), and is accompanied by biblical quotations and in-depth explanations in prose referring to the figures depicted. The book found immediate success, with frequent reprints and translation into the main European vernacular languages, even if no later edition was able to retain the remarkable style of the engravings illustrating this editio princeps. 

As pointed out in the modern pencil annotations on the front pastedown and the following cut-out from an early twentieth-century sale catalogue, this copy comes from the library of two eminent British collectors, William Beckford (1760 – 1844), and the 10th Duke of Hamilton (1767 – 1852). It was sold as lot 2302 during the eleven day-sale of the third portion of his renowned collection, in July 1883. In light of Beckford’s interest in Catholic culture, it is not surprising to find marks of his illustrious ownership on Jesuit books.

BM STC Simoni, S269; Brunet, IV, 577; Graesse, VI, 519; Funck, 398; Landwehr, Low Countries, 761; Praz, 506; Sommervogel, VII, 1690; Hamilton Palace Libraries: Third Portion, Sotheby’s and Co., 1883, lot 2302.

L1888

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BIBLE

ENGLISH BIBLE AND PSALTERIUM IN ORIGINAL BINDING

 

[BIBLE]. The booke of common prayer and administration of the sacraments: and other rites and ceremonies of the Church of England.

London, By Robert Barker, printer to the Kings most excellent Maiestie, and by the assignes of Iohn Bill, 1635.

(with)

The genealogies recorded in the Sacred Scriptvres, according to euery family and tribe. .. by J.S.

[London?: by F. Kingston] Cum privilegio, Anno Dom. 1636. (with)

Holy Bible: containing the Old Testament and the Nevv.

London : by Robert Barker, ..: and by the assignes of Iohn Bill, 1636. (with)

The whole book of Psalmes: collected into English meeter by Thomas Sternhold, Iohn Hopkins, and others, conferred with the Hebrew,

London : Printed by G. M[iller] for the Companie of Stationers, 1636.

£2,750

8vo. Four vols. in one. 1) pp. [civ]. [A-F⁸ G⁴.] 2) pp (xl) [A-B⁸ C-D².] 3) pp. (dcccxcvi) [A-3K⁸] 4) pp. [x], 91, [iii]. [A-F⁸ G⁴] Roman, some Italic and Black letter, in double column. Title page to the Book of Common Prayer within fine architectural border, to Genealogies and Psalms within typographical borders, to Bible, and New Testament within heart-shaped woodcut borders with twenty-four small compartments, left, the tents of the twelve tribes; right the twelve Apostles, the four Evangelists at centre. Woodcut illustrations and double page map of the Holy Land to Genealogies, Psalms with woodcut printed music, small woodcut initials, head and tail-pieces, typographical ornaments, early autograph of “Andrew Buchan” on pastedown, manuscript ex dono to Mathew Raby from Dr Paul Charron 1734 on verso of last of NT. Light age yellowing, minor ink stain to first title page, the odd ink scribble, occasional marginal mark or spot. A very good copy, crisp and clean in contemporary English calf, covers bordered with a double blind rule large scrolled lozenge gilt stamped at centres with the initials M and C at each side, spine with blind ruled raised bands, small star fleuron gilt at centres, blind ruled edges, brass catches, lacking clasps. a.e.r.,  a little worn at foot of spine and on lower cover. 

A handsome copy, very finely printed in a tiny Roman type, of this Carolean bible, complete with all the constituent parts required for worship, including the Book of Common prayer and the Psalter, with a profusely illustrated edition of the Genealogies, making up the collected devotional works of the Anglican church in its Laudian heyday. In 1633 Land was appointed Archbishop of Canterbury and for the next seven years he applied his considerable energies to the promotion of a national church that in its liturgy, its discipline and canons was sacramental without being Catholic and protestant without being puritan. His efforts ended in apparent ignominious failure on the scaffold, but though he could not force the establishment of his principles during his lifetime, the Anglican church he envisaged was the one which it eventually became. The Booke of Common prayer contains, printed in Black letter, “A proclamation for the authorizing an uniformitie of the Booke of Common Prayer to bee used throughout the Realme.” This proclamation was put into practise a year later with the production of a Book of Common Prayer for Scotland with disastrous results.

1 ESTC S122835. STC 16402 2) ESTC S2898. STC 23039e. 3) ESTC S125344. STC 2322.5 Darlow & Moule, 391. 4) ESTC S116328. STC 2322.5.

L2197

 

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FIRENS, Pierre (Ed.)

SAINTS IN SOLITUDE BROUGHT TO LIFE IN ENGRAVED FORM

Figures of Holy Monks Hermits.

Paris, Pierre Firens, c. 1600.

£1,750

Large 8vo., 48 numbered fine engraved plates by Pierre Firens I, detached fictitious title engraved about 1800; light small damp stain occasionally in lower margins. A very good copy in seventeenth-century speckled calf, contemporary gilt French title on morocco label on spine, raised and gilt bands; all edges red, original marbled endpapers; skilfully restored at joints and spine extremities; red library stamp of the French Confraternity of Fra’ Beato Angelico on front fly and verso of three plates.

An extremely rare set of fine religious engravings. Pierre Firens (c. 1580 – 1638), Flemish engraver and publisher, trained in Antwerp, moved to Paris at the beginning of the seventeenth century and was subsequently naturalised as French. Amongst his achievements were two royal portraits of Henry IV and Louis XIII, as well as some religious popular prints after old masters, including Rubens’ St. Anne. This unique collection was put together by borrowing from a vaster series published by the Sadeler brothers, Maerten de Vos and Jan van Londerseel during the last quarter of the sixteenth century, from which the Latin labels are also drawn. The plates, here in a superb and very neat impression, are often reversed and focused on the hermit saint, leaving out part of the original background. The influence of Durer and more so of Golztius models is very strong.

Among the many figures illustrated worth mentioning are Jesus as the prototype of anchorites when he fasted for forty days in the Judean desert resisting Satan’s temptations; the early fourth-century Saint Paul of Thebes, the first Christian hermit, dressed, as usual, in palm leaves; the Benedictine St. Andrew Zorard, who prayed and meditated all day in a narrow cavern, sitting dangerously surrounded by chains, prongs and swinging stones; St. Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury (953-1012), and another popular English saint, Jodocus of Brittany (600–668). Occasionally, the holy men are tempted and tormented by little devils. An interesting and attractive work in the history of iconography.

The collection was bound in early France. In the nineteenth century, an unscrupulous owner commissioned a fictitious engraved title page, which includes Firens’ signature and the inventively anachronistic imprint: Lyon, rue de S. Jacques at the Guardian Angel, 1572.

Excessively rare. No recorded copies in the US or elsewhere.

Not in Berlin cat. nor MET, BM and V&A online cat. On Firens: Benezit, IV, 377; Nagler, IV, 2953.

L1348

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DREXEL, Jeremias

THE VIRTUES OF SEXUAL ABSTINENCE FROM AMBASSADOR KENELM DIGBY’S LIBRARY

Nicetas seu triumphata incontinentia.

Cologne, Cornelius van Egmondt, 1631.

£3,250

24mo., pp. (14), 284, (2). Roman letter, little Italic; engraved title with putti and Jesuit monogram and two detailed plates, all by Philip Sadeler, one decorative tail-piece including Christ’s face; very lightly dust-soiled. A very good copy in contemporary tan calf with gilt panel and the arms of Kenelm Digby (1603-1665), his cypher and title on spine, compartments richly gilt, all edges red, slightly rubbed, old repairs to one corner; on front pastedown, ex libris label of Mary Augusta Elton (1838-1914) with a quotation from Martial.

Rare, early edition of a successful Jesuit book about Christian morality, first published in 1624. Three variants are recorded in VD17, of which this is the rarest. Raised a Lutheran, Jeremias Drexel (1581-1638) converted very early to Catholicism and joined the Society of Jesus. Besides teaching rhetoric in Dillingen, he served as a preacher for 23 years at the court of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, and his wife, Elizabeth of Lorraine. He was a prolific and successful writer of some 34 devotional books, widely read and translated.

Nicetas comprises a fictitious dialogue about the advantages of sexual continence and the many vices connected to promiscuity. A young Christian Egyptian, Nicetas is presented by St. Jerome as an example of virtue: bound with silk laces to a bed by some pagans who wanted to convert him and tempted by a beautiful courtesan, he preferred to bite his tongue and spit blood in her face than give up his faith in Christ. Drexel’s work is named after him, creating a pun with the meaning of Nicetas’ Greek name – winner – and the idea of the moral triumph of chastity over voluptuous desire. Two engraved illustrations emphasise this message with unexpected brutality. In the first plate, Nicetas, dressed as a Roman general and depicted as a Christian saint, is hailed by a crowd of angelic putti while stepping on a dying Cupid; in the second, Cupid himself is crucified, tortured and mocked by diabolic children or dwarves.

This copy bears two interesting English provenances. Kenelm Digby (1603-1665) was a versatile scholar, ambassador and Catholic politician. A founding member of the Royal Society, he could count amongst his friends Van Dyck, Ben Johnson, Thomas Hobbes and Queen Henrietta Maria. His long but troubled career in the service of the Stuart monarchy and the Commonwealth was affected by his religious faith, for which he spent portions of his life exiled in Paris. His library was great both in quantity and quality.

This binding betrays the influence of the French taste of the period, and in particular of the distinctive style adopted by De Thou for his books. Mary Augusta Strachey Elton (1838-1914) was a prominent woman bibliophile; together with her husband, Charles Isaac Elton, MP and FSA, she authored the well-known bibliophilic study The Great Book-Collectors, 1893. Part of their vast library was sold by Quaritch in 1891.

Rare. Only one recorded copy in the US (Harvard).

Not in Brunet or Graesse. VD17, (23:287985G); BM STC Ger. 17th, D735 (Variant C); Sommervogel, III, 186:6 (Variant B); Landwehr, German, 251 (Variant A); Praz, Studies, 319.

L1881

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DREXEL, Jeremias

THE ANNOTATED TORMENTS AWAITING SINNERS

Infernus damnatorum carcer et rogus aeternitatis pars II.

Cologne, Bernhard Wolter, 1632.

£1,750

16mo., pp. (16), 315, (3). Roman letter, little Italic and Gothic; fine engraved title with standing figures of Eternal Life and Death and St. Michael as judge holding a scale, plus dedicatee’s coat of arms at foot; 9 full-page engraved illustrations neatly impressed, decorative tail-pieces, mostly with Mary or Jesus inside heart-like border; one or two tiny pinholes to outer upper corner of gatherings C-E. A very good, well-margined copy in contemporary northern European vellum, yapp edges; all edges blue; early case numbers on front endpaper and pastedown.

Uncommon edition of a curious booklet illustrating the dreadful tortures for sinners in hell, first published in Munich in 1631. Raised as Lutheran, Jeremias Drexel (1581-1638) converted very early to Catholicism and joined the Society of Jesus. He was a prolific and successful writer of devotional books, widely read and translated. Besides teaching rhetoric in Dillingen, he served as a preacher for 23 years at the court of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, and his wife, Elizabeth of Lorraine. This work is said to have been presented to them, though the dedication addresses the apostolic nuncio in Germany, bishop Pier Luigi Carafa (1581-1655), whose arms appear at foot of title.

Eight torments are described, commented on and vividly illustrated with fine engravings, i.e. darkness, lamenting, hunger and thirst, stench, fire, excruciating remorse, ill company and desperation. The engraving related to lamenting shows an improbable music sheet with notes and lyrics (‘Vae vae vae, ah ah ah ah, heu eheu aeternitas’) of the chant of sorrow sung by the damned.

This edition is particularly remarkable for the numerous printed annotations below the main text, providing German translations of unusual Latin terms. Not only do they make clear that the targeted audience of this popular book is German and literate, but may also be one of the earliest examples of editorial footnotes in print.

Not in Brunet or Graesse. Sommervogel, III, 195:15.

L1882

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DREXEL, Jeremias

SINNERS’ HELLISH REWARDS, FROM THE HAMPTON PALACE LIBRARY

Infernus damnatorum carcer et rogus aeternitatis pars II.

Antwerp, Jan Cnobbaert, 1631.

£4,250

24mo., pp. (26), 353, (5). Roman letter, little Italic; fine engraved title with standing figures of Eternal Life and Death and St. Michael as judge holding a scale, plus dedicatee’s coat of arms at foot; 9 full-page engraved illustrations, typographical tail-pieces; clean tear at outer lower corner of A3, just touching text. A very good copy in very fine straight grained c. 1800 blue morocco, probably by Roger Payne, finely gilt panel with four flower and leaf pieces and studded background, gilt decorated spine with title, turn-ins with sprigs at corners and fleurs-de-lys at sides, gauffered edges; additional leaf recording Quaritch’s purchase from the Beckford Collection at Hamilton Palace, 1882, on front of first fly.

Rare edition of a curious booklet illustrating the dreadful tortures for sinners in hell, first published in Munich in the same year. Raised a Lutheran, Jeremias Drexel (1581-1638) converted very early to Catholicism and joined the Society of Jesus. He was a prolific and successful writer of devotional books, widely read and translated. Besides teaching rhetoric in Dillingen, he served as a preacher for 23 years at the court of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, and his wife, Elizabeth of Lorraine. This work is said to have been presented to them, though the dedication addresses the apostolic nuncio in Germany, bishop Pier Luigi Carafa (1581-1655), whose arms appear at foot of title.

Eight torments are described, commented on, and vividly illustrated with fine engravings, i.e. darkness, lamenting, hunger and thirst, stench, fire, excruciating remorse, ill company and desperation. The engraving related to lamenting shows an improbable music sheet with notes and lyrics (‘Vae vae vae, ah ah ah ah, heu eheu aeternitas’) of the chant of sorrow sung by the damned.

This copy comes from the library of two eminent British collectors, William Beckford (1760-1844) and the 10th Duke of Hamilton (1767-1852). It was bought at the famous ‘Hamilton Palace sale’ at Sotheby’s on 11 July 1882, lot 2625, as the additional leaf makes clear. The printed note is by the winner of the bid, Bernard Quaritch himself (1819-1889). Doubtless bound for Beckford, such a sumptuous binding is quite remarkable on a small format edition.

No recorded copy in the US or elsewhere on OCLC.

Not in Brunet or Graesse. Sommervogel, III, 195:15.

L1878

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MANUSCRIPT VELLUM LEAF. ILLUMINATED E

Leaf from a Book of Hours.

Northern France, probably Paris, c. 1510-20.

£650

Illuminated E letter on vellum, ‘Ego dixi in dimidio dierum…’. 24 lines of text with blank spaces filled by dark blue and gold bars. The same colours are used to decorate smaller initials at the beginning of each row. Both sides displayable. On its verso, an illuminated E at the bottom of the page starts Canticum (in red) ’Exultauit cor meum in domino.’

The parent book of Hours of this leaf was one of a small number produced at the height of the French Renaissance, probably in and around Paris, which have been named the ‘1520s workshop’ by Myra Ortha. For other examples see the Doheny Hours (Jaime Ortiz-Patino collection, sold Sotheby’s, 21 April 1998, lot 39), and another Book of Hours illuminated by the Doheny Master also sold in Sotheby’s, 20 June 1995, lot 121. Thin ropework borders on some of these have been taken to indicate that some of the original owners were members of the Cordelières, the order of Franciscan Tertiaries to which the women of the French royal family belonged (see Sotheby’s, 2 December 2003, lot 28d).  

CJS 6b

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BUTLER, Samuel

Hudibras, in Three Parts, Written in the Time of the Late War: Corrected and Amended. With Large Annotations, and a preface, by Zachary Grey, LL.D.. Adorned with a new Set of Cuts. Vol. I (II).

Cambridge, J. Bentham, Printer of the University, for W. Innys, 1744.

£200

8vo. Two volumes. Volume I: (xxxvi) + list of subscribers + pp. 440. Volume II: pp. 446 + (24). Frontispiece portrait of the author, engraved by George Vertue. In full modern calf antique. Fine copy.

Contains William Hogarth’s “Small Hudibras Series,” 17 illustrations re-engraved for this edition by J. Mynde (Ronald Paulson: Hogarth’s Graphic Works, 1965. Vol. 1, p. 125).

“Copies in fine condition are in considerable reques” (Lowndes). “Grey’s has formed the basis of all subsequent editions.” (Enc.Brit. 11th Ed.)

Lowndes: 335. Brunet: 15803.

X68

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