An Extremely Fine Copy of Han's ca. 1471 Printing of a Virulently Anti-Semitic Work, With the Original Owner's Purchase Inscription

SCRUTINIUM SCRIPTURARUM.

([Rome]: Ulrich Han [Udalricus Gallus], [not after April 1471]). 288 x 195 mm. (11 1/4 x 7 3/4"). [290] leaves. Single column, 35 lines, roman type.

Fine new pigskin over boards in the style of the period, covers with concentric panelling, thick raised bands, spine panels filled with various blind-stamped ornaments, pigskin clasps. Capitals struck with yellow, first page with seven-line illuminated initial in blue, white, brown, and red on a burnished gold ground, marginal extensions of hairline vines bearing numerous burnished gold leaves, terminating in a magenta lotus flower at either end; s2r with three-line painted red initial at incipit of Part II, s2v with seven-line burnished gold initial on a blue and magenta ground with white tracery. Final page of some quires with contemporary handwritten catchword in ink (sometimes trimmed away); front flyleaf with later ink bibliographic notes in French, first page with extensive later (18th century?) ink marginalia in French, with "Carthusiae Villenovae" [Charterhouse of Val de Bénédiction in Villeneuve-lès-Avignon] and a trefoil containing the initials "R L K" stamped in ink in tail margin; FINAL PAGE WITH THE ORIGINAL OWNER'S PURCHASE INSCRIPTION (see below). Goff P-202; BMC IV, 21. Occasional mild foxing, faint stains, or marginal thumbing, but A VERY FINE COPY, especially clean, fresh, and bright, in a convincing new retrospective binding.

This is an extremely pleasing copy of the second printing (the first was by Mentelin, not after 1470) of the influential work known as the "Dialogue of Paul versus Saul on the Treachery of the Jews," written by a former Talmudic scholar who became a Christian bishop. Born Solomon ha-Levi de la Cavalleria, our author Paul de Santa Maria (ca. 1351-1435) was the scion of a wealthy and influential Jewish family in Burgos. An erudite rabbinical scholar, he began studying the "Summa Theologica" of Thomas Aquinas, and found himself increasingly convinced by its scholastic arguments. He converted, was baptized in 1391, and went on to study theology at the University of Paris, receiving a doctorate before returning to Castile to assist with and promote the conversion (forced, if necessary) of Spain's Jews. "Scrutinium Scripturarum" ("Scrutiny of the Scriptures"), his chief work, was composed to aid in that cause, viciously attacking the foundations and beliefs of Judaism. It was an important source for later works, including Luther's "On the Jews and their Lies." The first part of the text is constructed as a dialogue between Saul and Paul discussing the evils of the Jews, while the second section continues the discussion between a Christian disciple and his master. It is a virulently anti-Semitic work, and was used, as the author intended, to force Jews into ghettoes, bar them from most livelihoods, and even put them to death in order to force conversion. Our Rome printing by Ulrich Han (d. 1479) followed the original Strassburg imprint of Mentelin by a matter of months. A native of Ingolstadt, Han was one of the very earliest printers in Rome; invited to that city by Cardinal G. Torquemada, he issued his first dated work at the end of 1467. His roman typeface has a simplicity and grace that reflect the humanist sensibilities of his time and place. Han was an industrious printer, producing perhaps 100 works before his death. The 31-word carefully written inscription on the final page here recounts the original owner's purchase of this volume on the first day of February in 1472; he says that he purchased it, along with a copy of Augustine's "De Civitate Dei," for 7 libri and 2 groschen and afterward had the volume illuminated and bound. He signs his name with a notable flourish as "A Poculoti." Someone accustomed to finishing an inscription in this ornamental manner would have been Andreas Poculoti, who was a notary from Lyon during this period, a person significant enough to be described favorably and at some length in Giasone del Maino's "Consiliorvm Sive Responsorvm" (see p. 90 of the Venice, 1581 edition); perhaps he was the original owner of our volume.
(ST15198d)

Add to Cart Price: $22,500.00

PJP Catalog: 76.024

SCRUTINIUM SCRIPTURARUM. PAULUS DE SANCTA MARIA.
SCRUTINIUM SCRIPTURARUM.
SCRUTINIUM SCRIPTURARUM.
SCRUTINIUM SCRIPTURARUM.
SCRUTINIUM SCRIPTURARUM.