(Würzburg: Georg Reyser, ca. 1486). 295 x 205 mm. (11 1/2 x 8").  leaves (first blank). Single column, 32 lines in gothic type.
Contemporary German blind-stamped calf by the Kloster Heidenfeld bindery, covers with frame and diapered central panel decorated with rosettes, lozenge-shaped eagle stamps, and round stamps of a pelican feeding its young and of the monastery's patron Saint Mauritius with a round buckler, palm branch, and sword, neatly rebacked, raised bands, original brass corner guards and catchplates, vellum pastedowns from a 13th or 14th century manuscript of sermons (rear pastedown lifted). Three woodcut "seals" with letterpress names. Half of first blank cut away, the remainder covered with notes in an early hand; front pastedown with small morocco ex-libris of E. Ph. G. [Ernst Philip Goldschmidt]; rear pastedown with small paper library shelf label; head of first page of text inscribed in ink "Monaster[y] Heydenfeldt" [Heidenfeld]; occasional neat underlinings or marginalia in several early hands. Goff S-741 (including T-320a); BMC II, 572. For the binding: Goldschmidt, "Gothic and Renaissance Book Bindings" 23 (this copy). Short crack to head of front joint, front board with small patch of lost patina from insect activity, first leaf of text mounted on a stub and with lower margin reinforced (not affecting text), a touch of browning to edges, occasional minor stains or thumbing, one leaf with marginal tear into text (no loss), but overall an excellent copy, the text almost always clean and fresh, with spacious margins, and in an sturdy, generally well-preserved binding of considerable character.
From the collection of E. P. Goldschmidt, this is the only incunabular printing of the ecclesiastical rules for administration of the diocese of Würzburg in Bavaria, and our copy has an appealing association, since it once was in the collection of a monastery in that diocese, where it was bound. Goldschmidt notes that the Saint Mauritius (Maurice) stamp used repeatedly here is "the characteristic stamp of the bindery" representing the Abbey's patron saint, a Roman soldier martyred during the Alpine campaign. According to BMC, this edition is distinctive because "documents mentioned in the Statutes are in many cases quoted in full after the Statute in which reference is made to them. Thus, the Statute of the Council of Basel . . . is quoted after the resolution accepting it, and [is] followed by the tract of Saint Thomas Aquinas 'De articulis fidei et sacramentis' which the Council recommended." Also recommended by the council and included here is the "De Periculis," once attributed to Thomas Aquinas, on the sacrament of the Eucharist, a document attached to a number of synodal laws of the period. Georg Reyser was the official printer for the prince-bishop of Würzburg, and also produced liturgical works, edicts, and forms for the diocese. The annotations here indicate that the monks at the Kloster Heidenfeld studied their bishop's rules closely. The Augustinian monastery at Heidenfeld was established in the 11th century, and continued until 1803. Ernst Philip Goldschmidt (1887-1954) was one of the great antiquarian booksellers and students of early bindings of his time; his "Gothic and Renaissance Book Bindings" is an essential reference. (CBJ1735)
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PJP Catalog: SE18BF.070