([Speyer]: Peter Drach, [after 17 Jan. 1484, not after 1486]). 300 x 215 mm. (11 3/4 x 8 1/2").  leaves. Double column, 48 lines, gothic type. FIRST (and only incunabular) EDITION.
IMPOSING CONTEMPORARY BLIND-STAMPED CALF over bevelled wooden boards, covers with repeating griffin, eagle, and lion tools attributed to an Uelzen workshop [EBDB w000321], original brass cornerpieces and centerpieces, clasps expertly renewed, upper cover with manuscript titling on vellum preserved under modern metal frame and plastic overlay, raised bands, pastedowns from an early printed Bible in Latin (in a typeface associated with George Stuchs at Nuremberg), fore edges with remnants of vellum tabs marking sections of text. Rubricated in red, paragraph marks in red or blue, numerous three-line initials in red or blue, three large opening initials in red or red and blue (one with penwork decoration), printer's device at end. Several brief contemporary annotations in margins; two descriptive cut-outs laid down on front free endpaper and one loosely laid in; first (blank) page with manuscript notation and blue stamp of the Ministerial Bibliothek, Uelzen. Goff H-38; BMC II, 493; ISTC ih00038000. Spine a bit rubbed and with minor loss, covers showing a little general wear, lower cover with water stain in one corner, but the impressive contemporary binding quite pleasing, sturdy, and with nice impressions of the stamps on the lower board; intermittent light marginal dampstaining, a little scattered thumbing and minor stains in margins, a few short marginal repairs (tear on I8 torn just into text), but overall a very good specimen, the substantial text block quite clean throughout and with comfortable margins.
This is a handsomely bound copy of the first printing of this collection of 222 sermons by Flemish Franciscan Hendrik Herp (ca. 1410-77), known for his mystical works of devotion. He began his religious career with the Brethren of the Common Life in Delft, where he was greatly influenced by "Devotio Moderna," the undogmatic practice of simple piety. His best known work, "The Mirror of Perfection," was widely read and translated into many languages. On a 1450 pilgrimage to Rome, Herp joined the Franciscan order, and returned to the Low Countries to serve as the superior at several convents. The present series of sermons for the seasons of the Church year draw heavily on the works of Doctors of the Church, especially Thomas Aquinas and Bernard of Clairvaux. Printer Peter Drach and his namesake son operated a press in Speyer, Germany from 1477 until the end of the century. Our volume long resided in the library of Uelzen, the city where it was bound, as indicated by the early ink inscription and the more modern ink stamp on the flyleaf. The pastedowns, from another early printed book, contain passages from the Gospels of Matthew (26:18-36) and Mark (14:5-21). (ST15176)
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PJP Catalog: SE19BF.058