(Strassburg: Printer of the 1483 Jordanus de Quedlinburg (Georg Husner)], 13 July, [not after 1483]). 305 x 210 mm. (12 x 8 1/4").  leaves. Double column, 41 lines plus headline in gothic type.
EXCELLENT CONTEMPORARY BLIND-STAMPED PIGSKIN OVER WOODEN BOARDS, upper cover with diapered central panel, each compartment containing a floral tool, lower cover with central panel divided into eight sections by diagonal, horizontal and vertical lines formed by a rope roll tool, the rope accented in spots by fleurs-de-lys, raised bands, remnants of ink titling to spine panel, ornate brass central boss and cornerpieces, two brass catches and plates (straps lacking; neat older repair to head of spine, joints expertly restored). Capitals struck with red, six-line hand-painted "Q" opening text, numerous two- to four-line initials in red (some of these bleeding through the page). With extensive contemporary manuscript notes to pastedowns as well as later ownership inscriptions at front and back: Petrus Rasinus, pastor of M[?], dated 1617[?],1667 purchase note of Pastor Johannes Sch[?]ius of Staucha, and signature of Matthew H[olbeche] Bloxam of Rugby, dated 1831; blank verso of final leaf with ex-libris of M. H. Bloxam and armorial bookplate of Rugby School. Three 19th century handwritten notes (possibly by Bloxam?), one with a sketch of architectural features, laid in at front. Goff D-427; BMC I, 130; ISTC id00427000. A sprinkling of tiny wormholes to lower cover, a1 with chips to (generous) tail and fore-edge margins and with paper flaw reinforced on blank recto at an early date, occasional mild browning, intermittent minor foxing to margins, last three quires with faint dampstain to lower margin, occasionally touching the last three lines of inner column of text, but A VERY ATTRACTIVE COPY that is otherwise quite fine--the text bed clean, the margins wide, the leaves fresh (and crackling pleasantly when turned), the binding sturdy and with considerable antique appeal.
Offered in very pleasing period German blind-stamped pigskin, this is a handsome and intriguing copy of a work Timothy Thibodeau describes as "arguably the most important Medieval treatise on the symbolism of church architecture and rituals of worship." Written by French bishop Guillaume Durand of Mende (1230-96), the book was a standard work for many generations, and some measure of how important the text was can be seen in the fact that this was apparently the first substantial book to be printed after the Bible, the first edition being issued by Fust and Schoeffer in 1459. Although Durand was an active and highly successful churchman who also played an important role in the governance of the papal territories in Italy, his enduring fame rests on his scholarship as a distinguished canonist and liturgist. Thibodeau, who produced a modern translation of the work, notes that "it served as an encyclopaedic compendium and textbook for liturgists and remains an indispensable guide for understanding the significance of Medieval ecclesiastical art and worship ceremonies."
The present edition was issued by a figure of perplexing untidiness in the history of printing. Georg Husner is known to have been a goldsmith who married a citizen's daughter in Strassburg in 1470. We know further that he printed and signed his books in their colophons from 1473-79 and then again intermittently from 1493 on. But for reasons that have never been fully understood, books--like the present item--that are easily recognized as coming from his workshop between 1479 and 1493 do not contain his (or any other) name in their colophons. Within this period (and extending to 1499), there is an important grouping of Husner books, very similar typographically, the first one of which was the sermons of Jordanus of Quedlinburg, printed in 1483. As is the case with the present volume, Proctor has designated these editions as having been produced by the "Printer of the 1483 Jordanus de Quedlinburg (Georg Husner)."
In addition to an attractive contemporary binding, our volume is enhanced by the extensive and legible notes added by an early owner. The (originally blank) recto of a1 is filled with a list in Latin and German of books of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament, and an epitaph for Durand, while the front pastedown features a rubricated manuscript list of Apostles, and the rear pastedown a manuscript fragment of a saint's life. The laid-in notes are the work of a later scholar, likely former owner Matthew Bloxam (1805-88), an architectural historian and author of "The Principles of Gothic Architecture" (1829). Bloxam's father was a master at Rugby school, which his son attended and remained attached to all his life. Though a solicitor by profession, Bloxam stayed active in school life, presenting prizes, giving lectures, and encouraging boys who evinced an interest in archaeology and architecture. He bequeathed his library of rare books and manuscripts to the school. (ST17231)
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PJP Catalog: 79.048