778. [Belgium - Leuven]

SERVASANCTUS, O.F.M.

Antidotarius animae.

Leuven "in alma universitate lovaniensi", Joannes de Westfalia Paderbornensis, s.d. [1484/85-1487]

Sm. folio: [4] ff., ff. [i]-clx, [10] ff., ff. clxi-cclxxvi (i.e. cclxxvii), [1 bl.] f.

Original binding: contemp. blind-stamped calf over wooden boards, bevelled edges, covers with rectangular ruled border frames and lozenge-shaped central ruled frame with a sm. star stamp at the intersections and sm. stamps in frames (flower, fruit, fleur-de-lys and crown), traces of metal clasps & catches and metal corner and side pieces, gilt titled spine with 4 raised bands, modern cloth box. Binding expertly repaired by the Cockerill Bindery (restoration report pasted on lower pastedown), spine rebacked with 18th-c. gilt panels pasted on.

Exceptional and precious copy of an incunable printed in Leuven by Joannes de Westfalia, together with Dirk Martens the first printer in the Southern Netherlands. This editio princeps of a collection of edifying texts is very well preserved in its rare contemporary blind-stamped binding. Even though this is the copy of the abbey of the Red Cloister (Rouge-Cloître) in Auderghem (near Brussels), which had an important library and its own bookbindery, this binding was probably made in the workshop with which Westfalia used to work with. As Goldschmidt signals: "the binder's practice to place a star tool at each intersecting point of the fillets is extremely characteristic" (Goldschmidt (Gothic and Renaissance bookbindings) p. 153; see also reproduction pl. XII).
The present copy is complete with all the non-paginated and all the blank ff. that are sometimes lacking. Printed in 2 col., in gothic type. Very neatly
rubricated in red and blue. The first text f. is decorated with a large (6-line) initial in red and blue and historiated with a floral motive and with red penwork filling up the whole margin. Some other initials in the book have the same fine penwork. Smaller initials in red or blue.
Joannes de Westfalia with Dirk Martens was the first typographer of the Southern Netherlands. He worked in Leuven from 1474 till ca. 1499. The present text is the editio princeps of a work of Servasanctus de Faenza (d. ca. 1300), a Franciscan monk. After finishing his studies in Bologna, he served as preacher and confessor in Tuscany, mostly in Florence. His "Antidotarius animae" is a collection of "exempla", anecdotes, fables, proverbs and other edifying tales.
Ref. ISTC is00476000. - GW M41855. - Goff S-476. - ILC 1980. - Polain 3528 (2 incompl. copies). - IDL 4114. - BMC IX:152. - CIBN S-239. - Not in BSB-Ink.
Prov. Library of the Augustine Priory of the Red Cloister (Rouge-Cloître or Rood Klooster), in the Sonian Forest in Auderghem, south-east of Brussels, founded in 1367 (old long ms. inscription on the first blank f.). - The Law Society (mod. engr. bookpl. signed "J.F. Badelay 1926"). - Some marg. contemp. notes.

€ 12.000 / 15.000

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