(Cologne: Ulrich Zel, ca. 1470). 217 x 144 mm. (8 1/2 x 5 3/4").  leaves (last blank). Single column, 27 lines to the page, gothic type. Second Edition.
ATTRACTIVE CONTEMPORARY BLIND-STAMPED CALF over thick wooden boards BY THE COLOGNE WORKSHOP OF THE MASTER OF THE ROSE (Kyriss 100), covers with blind-ruled frames, the outer one stamped with rosettes (Kyriss 100.01, 100.03) and rampant lion lozenges (Kyriss 100.06), inner frame with leaf-and-branch roll, central panel in diapered compartments decorated with either a rosette or a lozenge containing a rampant lion or unicorn (Kyriss 100.02), upper cover with inked vellum title label and two brass catch plates, raised bands, spine panels stamped with rosettes and lozenges, lower cover with brass anchor plates and part of triangular iron plate at head (for chaining?). Rubricated throughout, hand-painted initials in red, many with extensions into the margin. Pastedown with early ink inscription in Latin and Greek, evidence of bookplate removal; front free endpaper inscribed in ink with publication place and printer; rear pastedown with later pencilled bibliographic citations. Leaves signed at bottom throughout in red in a contemporaneous hand. Goff A-787; BMC I, 182; ISTC ia00787000. For the binding: Kyriss 100, stamps 1, 2, 3, 6; EBDB w000169. Half a dozen small stains to covers, a third of head spine compartment and all of tail compartment leather lacking, leather separating in places at joints, a handful of small wormtrails to pastedowns, margins of leaves with mild intermittent foxing and isolated minor smudges, otherwise a fine copy, clean and remarkably fresh internally, the thick paper with very ample margins (see below), and the binding solid and quite pleasing despite its defects.
This is a very desirable copy of an influential text on confession printed by the first press in Cologne and bound by the workshop considered by Kyriss to be the leading secular bindery in that city. Ulrich Zel (d. ca. 1507) served an apprenticeship with Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer before matriculating at the University of Cologne in 1464. He became the first printer in the city when he issued an edition of Cicero's "De Officiis" sometime in 1465 (his first dated work was in 1466), and he printed approximately 200 books on various subjects before the end of the century. The text here is the first of three treatises on the rite of confession by Florentine archbishop St. Antoninus (1389-1459), collectively known as the "Confessionale" or "Summa Confessionalis." Our volume deals with the powers of the confessor, the Seven Deadly Sins, methods of interrogating persons of varying social classes, absolution, and the imposition of penance. The final nine pages of the volume contain a sermon on repentance attributed (probably erroneously) to the fifth century bishop of Antioch, St. John Chrysostom. The binder here was dubbed by Kyriss the "Rose Master" for his most frequently used tool. The Rose Master's bindery was active from 1470-91, and Kyriss has identified 72 bindings produced there, using 42 tools. All of the tools that appear on our binding may be found in EBDB, and the design on the covers here is quite similar to that pictured in Kyriss plate 204. The iron plate on the rear cover indicates that our volume was likely chained in a monastic or ecclesiastical library, and the Latin inscription on the front pastedown, "Sufficiat mihi gratia Domini" ("The grace of the Lord is sufficient for me") is most appropriate for a work dealing with confession and absolution. The size of the margins here is demonstrated by the presence of hand-written signatures at the time of rubrication in the bottom margins throughout. (ST15127)
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PJP Catalog: BOS19BF.038