BOOK OF HOURS. Use of Paris, French and Latin.

[northern France (doubtless Paris), c. 1440-50]


Miniature illuminated manuscript on vellum. 105 x 70mm 226 leaves (plus later paper endleaves), bound tightly and uncollatable, wanting 5 leaves (with illuminations). Single column, 15 lines of lettre bâtarde (some Calendar entries also in blue and liquid gold), capitals touched in pale yellow, rubrics (some in elaborate calligraphic strokes), small initials in liquid gold on blue and burgundy grounds, larger 2-line initials in blue or pink enclosing coloured foliage on gold grounds, line-fillers in same, numerous pages with decorated panels of border foliage in single-line terminating in gold flowers and fruit entwined with more realistic foliage with blue and red flowers, some tendrils loosely locked together with gold ‘O’-like bands, twelve three-quarter miniatures, within thin gold frames, similar gold frame around the text with full decorated borders of foliage as before, coloured acanthus leaf sprays at corners, one leaf with a forgotten section of text added in the lower margin, seventeen pages with blank spaces filled with coats-of-arms of later owners (see below). Vertical margin cut from fol. 223, some chipping to miniatures in places, thumbing and smudging to some edges affecting decorated borders in places, overall in good condition.; French eighteenth calf over pasteboards, gilt tooled spine with foliage and “Heures en Latin / Mss sur velin”, marbled endleaves, some bumps and chips to edges, but overall good and solid.


  1. Written and illuminated in Paris for, most probably, a local patron (note St. Genevieve, the patron of the city, in the Calendar, in gold on 3 January). Contemporary or near-contemporary inscriptions in French added to the foot of two leaves (now erased, but easily visible under UV light) perhaps added by this patron, as well as the numerous pilgrim badges once stitched to a blank page and lower margins of other leaves at the end of the volume (note prick marks and circular discolouration there).
  2. In ownership of family whose various but repeated coats-of-arms were added to originally blank space on no less than seventeen occasions. Some of these arms are in trick or were left incomplete, but those that are finished show them all to be arms of various branches of a single family.


The text includes (i) a Calendar; (ii) Gospel Readings; (iii) the Obsecro te (here named the “oratio valde devota”); (iv) the O intemerata (here “Orisonde notre dame”); (v) Passion Reading from John; (vi) prayers to the Virgin, wanting first leaf, and ending with the Ave marie gratia plena; (vii) the Hours of the Virgin, with Matins, Lauds (wanting first leaf), Prime (wanting first leaf), Terce, Sext, Nones, Vespers and Compline; (viii) the Seven Penitential Psalms, ending in a Litany; (ix) the Hours of the Cross; (x) the Office of the Dead; (xi) Suffrages to the saints; followed by (xii) nine leaves of contemporary added prayers.


The figures with their oval faces, drooping noses and eyes formed by black dots hanging down from single-stroke eyelids, as well as the sumptuous interiors, identify the artist as a follower of the Maître de Coëtivy, who flourished in Paris from 1450 (see F. Avril & N. Reynaud, Les Manuscrits à Peintures en France, 1140-1520, BnF, Paris, 1993, pp. 58-69).

The miniatures here are: (i) John writing a scroll in a rocky landscape; (ii) the Pieta, the Virgin and Child flanked by angels; (iii) the Annunciation to the Virgin; (iv) the Visitation of the Three Magi; (v) the Presentation in the Temple; (vi) the Flight into Egypt; (vii) the Crucifixion; (viii) a funeral scene with clergy singing from open books before a coffin; (ix) St. John the Baptist; (x) St. Sebastian; (xi) a male saint with a palm of martyrdom.


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[Ledger of the Company of Bakers, Millers and Gingerbread Makers].

Manuscript, Czech, early 17th to early 19th century.


Half folio. ff. 113 (one blank, 2 pp. of text on pastedowns), five initial stubs. Ms, in Czech, occasional Latin, in black-brown ink, over a dozen secretary hands, typically 20 to 40 lines per page. Somewhat browned, minor water stain to lower margin, a few sections crossed out or a bit smudged, occasional thumb marks, edges dusty, teeth mark to fore-edge of first two ll. with very slight loss, small ink splash to upper fore-edge of first few gatherings, single small worm hole at head of first few gatherings. A very good, remarkably well-preserved copy, on thick paper, in Bohemian calf c.1600, four ties, triple blind ruled to a panel design, outer border of small heads within roundels and tendrils in blind, centre, upper and lower panels with interlacing fleurons, raised bands, spine in four compartments, upper joint slightly detached but firm, some worming and minor loss to extremities.

Beautifully bound Czech ms.—a rare and remarkable witness to the world of provincial guilds in early modern Europe. It is a working ledger, for quick note taking and reckoning, used by the Company of Bakers, Millers and Gingerbread Makers of Slany (or Kladno), a few miles north-west of Prague. It features over one hundred leaves of notes, in several hands, concerning payments to the guild by its members, spanning two centuries.

Half of the ms. text was written in the C17. This ms. provides a fascinating picture of the small community of bakers and millers who operated in Kladno. Whilst Prague had over 100 bakers in the early C17, it is reasonable to think a small town like Slany did not have more than 10 (Janáček, ‘Dejiny obchodu’). Bakers and millers were, historically, connected professions; in smaller cities, as here, they could share the same corporation or confraternity (Patkova, ‘Bratrstvie’, 122). Bakers could employ their own millers to grind flour which could only be used for making bread and not for sale as such (Winter, ‘Remeslnictvo’, 643-44).

The baker Adam Sobotka, and the millers Jan Oliwa, the Jirašeks, Jan and Waclaw Kozak and the Cynt family are among those mentioned in the first half of the C17. Their names appear with others at the bottom of several annotations, as they were, in turn, part of the company’s council, renewed every year (Lacina, ‘Pameti’, 60). Their businesses were interconnected. For instance, we know that Adam Sobotka and his wife Dorota bought a bakery from Jan Jirašek in 1594; Dorota later sold it after Adam’s death (Lacina, ‘Pameti’, 292).

Each entry features the year, the date, a brief summary of the occasion of specific payments or donations to the company. Many are concerned with the company’s devotional activities, some for specific feasts (e.g., St Lucas Evangelist or St John Nepomuk). In particular, in addition to cash payments, many record payments or donations in pounds of wax. Guilds typically owned chapels or chantries in churches, which they kept illuminated with expensive beeswax candles; the largest candles could weigh up to 30 pounds (Richardson, ‘Craft Guilds’, 149). Members were required to contribute to expenses regularly, usually quarterly—hence the regular but not too crowded entries in this ms. As here, wax was given for celebrations ‘for the dead’ and ‘in good memory’, to commemorate deceased members or relatives. In one case the money was donated by a furrier, outside the company, probably related to a member of the guild. Due to the high cost, payments in wax were also used as a punitive fine for the infringement of the company’s regulations, including absence from commemorations, or upon someone’s appointment to an office (Richardson, ‘Craft Guilds’, 156-57), as happens in the ms. when Mathaus Jiška was introduced as a baker. Sometimes a different hand crossed out a note or added ‘solutum’ or ‘dedit’ (paid) below, meaning that this book was of official standing, but also for quick reference. Though the hands are many, they often repeat themselves in the course of a short period; also, in some notes the author refers to himself in the first person (e.g., ‘the money was given to me’). He was probably treasurer in that year.

A fascinating insight into the life of the skilled artisan in early modern Europe.

Janáček, Dejiny obchodu v predebelohorské Praze (Prague, 1955); J. Janáček, Pivovarnictví v českych královskych mestech v 16. Století (Prague, 1959); Z. Winter, Remeslnictvo a živnosti XVI. veku v Čechách (1526-1620) (Prague, 1909); H. Patkova, Bratrstvie ke cti Božie (Prague, 2000); G. Richardson, ‘Craft Guilds and Christianity in Late-Medieval England’, Rationality and Society 17 (2005), 139-89; J. Lacina, Pameti kralovskeho mesta Slaneho (Slany, 1885).


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Relacion verdadera de la insigne vitoria que los catolicos del reyno de Irlanda han obtenido contra los ingleses que no son catolicos romanos.

[Madrid, Catalina del Barrio, 1642.]


FIRST EDITION?. Folio. 2 unnumbered and unsigned ll., [*]2. Roman letter, little Italic. Uniform slight age browning, minimal marginal spotting, bifolium partly torn at centre fold. Disbound, traces of sewing, ‘225’ and ‘226’ inked to upper outer corners.

Exceedingly scarce ephemeral survival—an important witness to Spain’s perception of Ireland during the Siglo de Oro and the life of the Irish exile community in Spain. Also issued with the same title in Seville by Juan Gómez de Blas in the same year (priority has not been established), this work belongs to the popular European genre of ‘relaciones’, two-leaf folio news reports on major international events, here concerned with Ireland. It is one of several news sheets reporting on the Irish Rebellion of 1641, answering rumours of a possible invasion by the English and Scots. It praises the ‘clear understanding’ of the ‘beloved’ King and the importance of Laud’s ‘Prayer Book’ of 1637, harshly rejected by the Scots. Aware of the ‘deformity and monstrosity of the religions practised by his subjects’, Charles had thus reaffirmed the principles of the High Church, closer to Catholicism, much disliked by Protestants, Puritans and Calvinists (e.g., the use of sacred images and crucifixes in churches ‘to differentiate them from profane houses’). With mentions of Laud and Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Stratford and Lord Deputy of Ireland, the ‘relacion’ describes the Catholic occupation of cities and regions in Ulster and the rest of Ireland in 1641, especially the Irish victory led by General Roe O’Neill over the English in Carrickfergus. It stops short of Wentworth’s execution in 1641 and the English counterattack of early 1642. The ‘relacion’ sought to make Spain more sympathetic to the Irish exile community, which had sensibly increased in the early C17. It was ‘designed to spread information about the Irish and their situation at home and abroad’ among both the elites and middle classes; as propaganda sheets, such ‘relaciones’ sought to smooth negative public opinion against the Irish exiles and ‘to ensure that the ruling Spanish elite were aware of the suffering of the Irish and of their duties to them as fellow Catholics’ (Tostado, ‘Irish Influence’, 49). A scarce ephemeral work portraying a major event with long-lasting effects on Irish national identity.

Only 4 copies recorded, none in the US.

USTC 5018314; Palau 258270. Not in Wilkinson. I. Pérez Tostado, Irish Influence at the Court of Spain in the Seventeenth Century (Dublin, 2008).


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The Missal of the Chapel of Saint-Pierre in Saint-Germain-Laval, near Lyon, Use of diocese of Lyon, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum

[France (Lyon), 1401]


285 by 200 mm., 262 leaves (plus 2 original endleaves at each end), complete, collation: i10, ii-xxxii8, xxxiii4, catchwords (many with line drawn human faces and animals), contemporary foliation and modern pencil foliation (the latter followed here). Double column, 28 lines in the angular gothic bookhand of Geraldus Lombardus (see below), capitals touched in yellow or red (crucial capitals following decorated initials enclosing human faces, and one on fol. 141v topped with a squirrel), red rubrics, red and dark blue initials with ornate penwork in red and purple, 3-line initials in gold on red and burgundy grounds heightened with white penwork, larger initials in blue or pink heightened with white penwork, enclosing sprays of coloured foliage or tessellated shapes, on coloured and burnished gold grounds, terminating in coloured and gold foliage bars in margin (that on fol. 195v with a coloured dragon biting a bezant), initials on fol. 130r enclosing a coat-of-arms (those of Pierre Vernin: gueles with three trefoil crosses, on a chef argent charged with an onde azur) and an agnus dei, frontispiece with very large initial in same with full border of simple foliage with a dragon in upper outer corner, enclosing a coat-of-arms in bas-de-page (as before), eighteenth-century devotional print of Crucifixion pasted by modern owner to fol. 129v, trimming to edges of leaves with losses to edges of borders of frontispiece, some wear to edges of leaves with occasional damage to edges of borders, some small areas of text overwritten later, minor spots and stains, but overall in good and solid condition, modern binding of leather over wooden boards tooled in faux-medieval style.

This is a large and imposing codex, and a crucially important record of the liturgy and life of the towns of Saint-Germain-Laval and Lyon. While the quality of its decoration is not that of the very greatest artistic centres such as Paris or Rouen, it has significant charm, and without doubt this codex was the focal point of worship for the town of Saint-Germain-Laval throughout the late Middle Ages. It will have acted as one of the key symbols of Christianity and local identity to the worshippers there, and is almost certainly the sole surviving record of the liturgy of the community. Sachet had only room to print a brief codicological description and the contents of its calendar, much remains to be studied by specialists here.

Saint-Germain-Laval lay in the hinterland of Lyon in the late Middle Ages, and the latter was of equal importance and wealth to Paris. The position of Lyon at the hub of several overland routes leading out of northern Italy into mainland Europe ensured that the town would become the focal point for the trade of various luxury goods entering the main European market, such as silk, and Italian merchants had regular and permanent trade fairs there throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. These trades placed a substantial amount of moveable wealth into the economy of the region, and created the need for a sophisticated banking system. Thus, Lyon became not only wealthy, but also the banking capital of France. The facts that the colophon records about this particular volume accord well with this: perhaps only in the hinterland of such a prosperous site as Lyon could a local lawyer and judge acquire enough wealth to found such a substantial expression of his devotion as an entire chapel, apparently also donning it out with the vestments and books needed for its use as place of worship. Moreover, the name of the scribe (and perhaps artist) of this volume, Geraldus Lombardus, points at a northern Italian origin and the source of this wealth. He was probably a member of one of the region’s prominent immigrant mercantile families.

The contents comprise: prayers and readings from Church Fathers; a Calendar; and Masses for the entire year, with lists of saints crucial for certain Masses and a Litany.


1. This manuscript stands among the tiny handful of surviving books from the Middle Ages which make explicit almost all parts of their creation through the addition of lengthy descriptive colophons. On fol. 262r, an inscription in red ink in the main hand at the end of the text records that it follows the Use of Lyon, and was made on the order of the nobleman Petrus Verninus, a practitioner of law and serving judge for the comte de Forez, for a chapel he had founded in honour of St Peter in the town of Saint-Germain-Laval (of which the tower still stands), and which was completed by the hand of Geraldus Lombardus on 16th day of June in the year 1401. A truncated version of the same has been added in the space left for the incipit at the beginning of the Missal text proper on fol. 13r, with an overspill of 4 lines onto blank space at the end of the calendar on the preceding leaf. A later hand has added “1401” at the head of the Calendar. As noted by Sachet it follows the Use of Lyon, in which diocese Saint-Germain-Laval lay, with numerous local saints such as St. Aubrin, the patron saint of nearby Montbrison.

Notes on fols. 129r and at the front and end of the volume of devotional tracts and sayings, prayers and offices in sixteenth- and perhaps seventeenth-century hands, as well as the pasting in of the devotional printed image of the eighteenth-century, show its continual use by the community during those centuries.

During the Revolution, Lyon and the inhabitants of its surrounding towns rose up against the National Convention, and in 1793 the region was invaded by the French Revolutionary Armies. The city of Lyon was besieged for two months, during which its hinterland was ravaged, with religious buildings destroyed and their contents looted. In Lyon itself some 2000 inhabitants were executed and most of the buildings around the Place Bellecour levelled following their surrender. The present Missal most probably passed into private ownership at this time.

2. Ch. De Visser: his perhaps late eighteenth-century ex libris twice at the head of fol. 262v.

3. By 1895 it had passed to the local Lyon historian and prolific antiquarian author, the Abbé Alphonse Sachet (1848-1924), who served as the Licencié ès-lettres Professeur de Philosophie au Petit-Séminaire de Saint-Jean and was awarded the Prix Thérouanne in 1919. The volume was the subject of a short publication by him for the Lyon historical journal, Bulletin de la Diana VIII, pp. 3-24 (copy enclosed in volume), and the scholarly pen notes in the margin of fols. 3r, 111r and 131r et passim are probably in his hand.


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Use of Autun

[France, c. 1480]


130mm x 88mm, 208 leaves, some catchwords but collation impractical, wanting 2 leaves after fol. 24, another after fols. 85 and 152 and one at end, single column of 15 lines of lettre bâtarde, red rubrics, one- and 2-line initials in blue and liquid gold with contrasting penwork, larger initials in dark blue on burgundy grounds enclosing liquid gold scrollwork, some leaves with decorated borders of coloured and acanthus leaves and more realistic foliage on liquid gold or blank vellum shapes, 5-line historiated initial opening the Office of the Dead, with a young woman (perhaps the original owner) being struck down by Death, here as a spear wielding skeleton, some slight cockling and small spots and stains, else excellent condition; contemporary binding of brown calf over wooden boards, blind-stamped in rectangles filled with fleur-de-lys, a monkey, a bird, and a foliate scroll, small scuffs and ink stains, rebacked and restored.


Written and illuminated c. 1480, most probably for a patron in Autun: Calendar with local saints, Nazarus and Celsus (28 July, with octave, to whom the original cathedral of Autun was dedicated), St Lazare (1 September, with “Hic fit de sancto Lazaro” on 2 and 3 September), the revelatio of St Lazare (20 October, with octave), Proculus (4 November), the adventus reliquiarum of Nazarius and Celsus (6 November), Amator (26 November), and the dedication of the church of St Lazare (20 December), with these and further local saints in the Litany (SS. Martial, Trophine, and Saturnine).


The volume comprises: a Calendar (fol. 1r); the Obsecro te (fol. 13r) and O intemerata (fol. 17v); the Gospel extracts (fol. 21r); the Hours of the Virgin (fol. 25r); the Seven Penitential Psalms (fol. 86r) with a Litany; the Office of the Dead (fol. 106r); seasonal variants for the hours (fol. 153r, wanting last leaf).


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SCORZ, Geraldo.


Relacion verdadera de la insigne vitoria que alcanço el rey de Polonia, contra el gran duque de Moscobia.

[Madrid, F. de Ocampo, 1634.]


Folio. 2 unnumbered and unsigned ll., [*]2. Roman letter, little Italic. Uniform slight age browning, minimal spotting. A very good copy in modern wrappers.

Very good copy of this remarkable ephemeral survival—an important witnesses to Spain’s perception of Russia during the Siglo de Oro. First issued with a slightly different title in Seville by Juan Gomez de Blas, this work belongs to the popular European genre of ‘relaciones’, two-leaf folio news reports on major international events, here unusually concerned with Muscovy, a monarchy with which Spain still had little contact. This ‘relacion’ reported, on the basis of an official Polish missive, the victory and basic events of the Russian siege of Smolensk in 1632-34, eventually curbed, despite the lesser forces, by Władisław IV who had just succeeded his late father as King of Poland. The Muscovy soldiers, it recounted, brought about ‘great havoc’ in Smolensk ‘by capturing people, destroying fields, stealing cattle and other things at hand’. Indeed, such early C17 ‘relaciones’ were still influenced by half-fictional accounts presenting Muscovy as a place inhabited by barbarians, traitors and faithless people ruled by an absolutist regime (‘Muscovy in the Golden Age in Spain’, 147). From the early C17, the increasing appearance of Muscovy in ‘relaciones’ as well as chronicles or literature, such as Lope de Vega’s ‘El gran duque de Moscovia’ (1619), revealed the Habsburg’s interest in the politics of Poland, led by the expansionist Władisław III, seen as a potential ally for curbing the Turkish and Russian pressure over Asian commercial routes (‘De Moscovia a Rusia’, 80). A scarce and important document.

No copies recorded in the US.

Wilkinson, Iberian Books, 56282; USTC 5011221; Moreno Garbayo, Madrid, 1311; Каталог коллекции Russica, 760. Not in Palau. J.M. Usunáriz, ‘Muscovy in the Golden Age in Spain’, Hipogrifo 1 (2018), 141-60; M.V. López-Cordón Cortezo, ‘De Moscovia a Russia’, Satabi 55 (2005), 77-98.


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Kitāb Al Fawayīd wa al-Ṣilāt Wa al-‘Awāyid [On Magic and Talismans]

[Sana’a, Yemen, AH 969/1562]


Arabic manuscript on paper, 100 ff. of text, two free end papers, pages numbered, each with 25 lines of black naskh script, text panel 157 x 100 mm, titles and some words picked out in red, some phrases underlined in red, text within red frame, including numerous arithmetical tables and some diagrams, later notes to the end papers, colophon signed ‘Abd al-Raḥīm al-Zubaydi in Sana’a in modern Yemen in Shawwal AH 969 (June-July 1562 AD) and dated, repair without loss, at least three different hands of marginal annotations.

Contemporary, polished natural high quality morocco with central stamped medallion, an excellent copy with minor damp staining and marginal finger-soiling.

Kitāb Al Fawayīd wa al-ilāt Wa al-‘Awāyid is a treatise outlining the various principles of numerology in Islam where charts and numbers are used for divination or to bring barākā (blessings). Most of the illustrations in this manuscript are of the Islamic talismanic design known as wafq – ‘magic squares’ (see Maddison, F., and Savage-Smith E., ‘Science, Tools & Magic in the Khalili Collection of Islamic Art’, Oxford; Oxford University Press, 1997 or Savage-Smith, E., ‘Magic and divination in early Islam’, Aldershot; Ashgate Variorum, 2004). A magic square is arranged to produce a constant sum in all rows and columns and were most commonly depicted on amulets or manuscripts. The wafq is sometimes described as ‘recreational mathematics’ because of the sophisticated mathematical principles they illustrate. Jacques Sesiano in the article ‘Magic squares in Islamic Mathematics’ has argued that magic squares in Medieval Islam were developed from chess which was hugely popular in the Middle East. Sesiano has also observed how there are references to the use of magic squares in astrological calculations. Magic squares are, generally, magic by association (because of the carefully arranged sums), physical proximity and in their supposed capacity to foretell future outcomes.Rare.

From the collection of Adrienne Minassian; formerly at Brown University.


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Bulla de cruzada…a estes Regnos de Espana.

[Spain], [], c.1573.


Folio broadside, 42.4 x 30.4 cm, 106 lines, Gothic letter. Decorated initial, woodcut arms of Gregory XIII (the Boncompagni wyvern) and crucifixion scene at head, woodcut Jerusalem cross within oval at foot. Browned, edges untrimmed, little spotting or dust-soiling to corners, minor repair and tear to folds touching letter, wax seal covered with paper slip. A good copy, contemporary annotation, printed signature of the Bishop of Segorbe.

A rare document in Spanish approved in Madrid—unrecorded in major bibliographies—reproducing a papal bull promising plenary indulgence for the year 1573 to all who complied with its requirements. It was specially addressed to residents of the Spanish territories, including the kingdom of Sardinia. Indulgence was granted to whoever joined as a soldier the war against the Turks—then focusing on the conquest of Cyprus—to religious institutions who contributed to the subsistence of soldiers, or to lay people who, even in groups of three or four, could raise what was needed to pay for one soldier. Confession and remission of sins were offered to those who repented sincerely and visited five churches or altars within or without the walls of Rome, according to the list provided at the end. This copy was acquired by ‘Donna Jeronima’ who contributed 18 golden ‘reales’; the use of ‘donna’ denotes her condition as lady of standing, in charge of a household—an interesting insight into the market for indulgences in C16 Spain.

Only one copy recorded in Spain.

Not in Palau, Norton or Wilkinson.


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Indulgencia plenaria…contra el Turco enemigo.

[Valladolid?], [], [1501?].


Broadside, oblong sm folio in two parts, 21.6 x 28.2 cm, 33 lines, Gothic letter. Decorated initial, circular woodcut stamp of the resurrected Christ and printed autograph of the Bishop of Jaen at foot. Washed, traces of glue to verso, couple of little interlinear worm trails, little tearing to lower margin, right: on thick paper, slightly soiled.

A rare vernacular indulgence probably printed in Valladolid c.1501, one of the two ‘authorised indulgence-presses, that is…Gumiel at Valladolid or Hagembachs’ successor at Toledo’ (Norton). The two parts were taken from the binding of the same folio where they were used as filling. The left side is in better condition, the right more soiled and washed. They do not align perfectly as they derive from different issues. Wilkinson identifies five printed in 1501: the only one with a woodcut E initial with fleurons, like the left-hand portion of this copy, is 5994; the only one which spells ‘infra’ with an ‘i’, not a ‘y’, and has ‘e’ attached to ‘Remision’ in the title is 5996. (‘Remision’ is recorded with either one or two Ss in bibliographies.) This bull, issued by Pope Alexander VI and addressed to the king of Spain, sought to raise alms for war against Turks, in which the Serenissima had lost territories in Greece and Dalmatia to the advancing Ottoman army. It promised those who would acquire it, for two golden ‘reales’, indulgence for sins including simony and an indulgence ‘in articulo mortis’ in case of sudden death prior to a final confession. This blessing would only apply at the moment of death, not when it was imparted. This copy was unused.

Four copies recorded in Spain.

Wilkinson 5994 and 5996; Palau 36846. Not in Göllner.


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Indulgence…redempción de captivos.

[Burgos?], [], 1507.


Single sheet, 28.5 x 20 cm, 54 lines, Gothic letter. Ornate typographic border, decorated initial. Slight toning, folds browned with minor repair to verso, edges untrimmed. A good copy. Woodcut stamp of Christ in majesty and printed episcopal signature at foot, name of recipient inked in two blank spaces.

Only recorded copy of this vernacular papal indulgence by Julius II seeking to raise alms for the release of Christian prisoners held by the Turks in Northern Africa, usually through the assistance of specially authorised religious orders. From the late C15 onwards slavery became a weapon of various Islamic princes to terrorize the Christian population especially of Southern Europe. It is estimated that some two million Christians were kidnapped by Muslim slave traders over a period of three centuries. The indulgence is mentioned in Palau and Norton but without specific bibliographic detail; Wilkinson reprises Norton adding that ‘no exemplars are currently known’. It was issued in the name of Fray Juan of the monastery of the Holy Trinity of Burgos to Don Juan de Pinza (?). Other indulgences for the ‘redempcion de captivos’ had been entrusted to the Order of the Holy Trinity in the late C15 (‘De la Redencion de Cautivos’, 164). The recipient could obtain partial indulgence, upon the payment of a fee, through confession and absolution from clerics and religious on specific feast days and by means of fasting and prayer for set amounts of time. Sins mentioned include offences against one’s father or mother, false oaths, usury and robbery. The bull provides three formulas for absolution: for a year, once in one’s lifetime and plenary. Norton writes that ‘Burgos is unlikely to be an imprint, and perhaps comes from a MS. note of issue’, adding that it was ‘probably printed by one of the authorised indulgence-presses, that is by Gumiel at Valladolid or Hagembachs’ successor at Toledo’. Wilkinson attributes it to the press of Andrés de Burgos.

Palau 36849; Norton 1336; Wilkinson, Iberian Books, 6073 (presumably this copy).


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