DE EFFICACIA AQUAE BENEDICTAE.

(Nuremberg: Johannes Stüchs, ca. 1515). 203 x 149 mm. (8 x 5 7/8"). [8] leaves.

Later (19th century?) light green paste paper boards decorated with an all-over pattern of gilt scrolling vines, some terminating in grotesques and inhabited by rabbits, wolves, and birds. Title page with a fine large (114 x 89 mm.) woodcut depicting a cleric preparing to bless a crowd with holy water in a courtyard outside a church. Final leaf with publisher's device. Inscriptions on title page (one a Latin motto) and on one other leaf in two or possibly three early hands. STC German, p. 876. Minor (partly patched) worming to foot of first three leaves (woodcut not affected, but with small losses to a handful of letters), title page faintly soiled, otherwise excellent, the binding clean and sound, the leaves fresh, and with deep impressions of the type.

First published ca. 1475, this treatise explains the origin of the custom of using Holy Water in church ceremonies and defends its healing efficacy to counter sterility and other lamentable conditions. Turrecremata (Juan de Torquemada, 1388-1468) was a Spanish Dominican monk who studied in Paris. He attended several church councils and defended the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception at the council of Basel. He became a cardinal in 1439 and was known for his charity. Incunabular editions of this work were published without illustration, and ours may be the first printing to be illustrated. Early printings of this work are uniformly rare: ABPC lists an aggregate total of four copies of all the editions at auction since 1975.
(ST11188)

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PJP Catalog: ELIST5.001

DE EFFICACIA AQUAE BENEDICTAE. JOHANNIS DE TURRECREMATA.