(Venice: Paganinus de Paganinis, 21 December 1499). 188 x 102 mm. (6 1/2 x 4 1/2"). 14 p.l., 479 leaves (leaf numbers 393-97 skipped, but text complete). Double column, 49 lines in gothic type.
Contemporary pink blind-stamped pigskin decorated with floral stamps and "Maria" banners, rebacked with white pigskin at an early date, raised bands, remnants of inked paper shelf label to spine, each cover with two brass bosses, two corner guards and two edge guards, upper cover with early vellum title label but lacking central brass ornament, one brass clasp (strap renewed), FRONT PASTEDOWN A FRAGMENT FROM A NINTH CENTURY MANUSCRIPT BIBLE (Matthew II, 1; Caroline minuscule), final leaf of text serving as rear pastedown, original tiny vellum tabs to fore edges, marking sections of the text. With one four-line and one six-line hand-painted blue initial on aa1r. Verso of a10 with later (17th century?) ink ownership inscription of the monastic library at St. Peter's Abbey in Salzburg. BMC V, 460; Goff S-50; ISTC is00050000. Four small holes to pigskin on boards, head of spine with shallow chip, leather a bit rubbed, but the binding entirely sound and the early manuscript fragment quite legible. Occasional mild marginal foxing or small ink stains to edge of leaf, otherwise A FINE COPY INTERNALLY, clean and crisp.
This is an excellent portable edition of an influential manual of confession written by Franciscan monk Battista Trovamala in 1483 and first printed in 1484. Intended to guide priests in performing the office of confessor in an informed and judicious manner, such manuals began to be produced after the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. The present item is a revised and expanded version of the 1484 original from distinguished Venetian printer Paganino de Paganini (fl. 1483-1538), who began his career with the press of Giorgio Arrivabene before marrying the daughter of German printer Franz Renner (Francesco Della Fontana), who operated in Venice from 1471 to 1496. Though he primarily issued religious books or legal and medical works for the university, he is best remembered for printing the first Quran in Arabic. Our volume, with its helpful index tabs, offered a quick reference guide for the Benedictine fathers at St. Peter's Abbey in Salzburg Austria, founded in 696 and still operating today. The Abbey's library is the oldest in Austria, particularly rich in early manuscripts, Benedictine works, church history, and items relating to Salzburg and its history. Measuring 105 x 90 mm., the ninth century manuscript on the pastedown here comes from a Bible or Gospel Book. The visible section contains part of the opening of Matthew chapter 2, on the Magi seeing the star and journeying to Jerusalem. The fragment is possibly French in origin, and quite likely from the first half of the ninth century (and maybe even the first third) based on the very early, archaic looking "a" resembling two sloping "i"'s (see for example "natus" in first line resembling "nutus," and "magi" in third line resembling "mugi"). At the top of the fragment, someone has re-copied part of the first three word "[Cu]m ergo natu[s]" in a more developed Caroline minuscule, using the normal ninth century "a." It almost goes without saying that leaves from this period are very rare and extremely desirable; the present fragment, with its dark, legible ink and earlier letter forms make it all the more so. (ST15093)
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PJP Catalog: BOS19BF.041