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Early Printing & Manuscripts / 15th Century

The "Doctrinale" with authoritative commentary by Johannes Synthen, one of two known copies

ALEXANDER DE VILLA DEI and Johannes SYNTHEN. [Doctrinale part 1, with the commentary by Johannes Synthen]: Glosa super prima parte doctrinalis Alexandri. Per Joannem Synthen Daventriae extremo labore collecta.
Deventer, Jacobus de Breda, [between 5 April and 21 May 1490]. 4to. With only 2 initials executed: first chapter: a red R with red pen work and a red V at the beginning of Chapter 5 (damaged). Lacking 4 leaves. Binding lost except front cover: a vellum leaf from an early 15th-century rhetorical manuscript, rubricated in red. Full description
€ 6,500
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1498 edition of a ca. 1338 forged letter, supposedly written in 1000 by a rabbi promoting Christianity

[BUENHOMBRE, Alfonso]. SAMUEL OF FEZ, Rabbi (false attribution). Epistola Rabbi Samuelis Israhelite missa ad Rabbi Ysaac magistru[m] synagoge in Subiulmeta. civitate regis Morochorum. ...
(Colophon: [Nürnberg], Caspar Hochfelder of Nürnberg, 19 March 1498). 4to in 6s (22 x 15.5 cm). With the main text set in 2 columns of 35 lines each and the preliminaries in 1 column, with more than thirty spaces (most with printed guide letters) left for 3- to 5-line manuscript initials (not filled in). Set in an 88 mm/20 line Schwabacher gothic type, with the title-page in a 112 mm/20 line rotunda gothic. Parchment (20th century with ca. 1700/50 endpapers?). Full description
€ 9,500
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Rare Hebrew incunable: 2nd edition of the classic "Book of roots" of the Hebrew language

DAVID KIMHI (KIMCHI, QIMHI). Sefer ha-shorashim.
(Colophon: Naples, [Azriel ben Joseph Ashkenazi Gunzenhauser], Elul [5]250 [= August/September 1490]. Small folio (25.5 x 20 cm; most leaves 25 x 19 cm). Set in 2 sizes of sephardic meruba Hebrew (without points) and with shoulder notes in a semi-cursive (Rashi) Hebrew of a smaller face (but cast on the same body as the meruba of the main text). Lacking 11 leaves, but with the first two replaced in manuscript at an early date, including a manuscript title-page not in the printed edition (with an elaborately decorated architectural border) on the recto of the first manuscript leaf (which had been blank in the printed book), including an imprint incorporating information from the colophon. The other 9 leaves that are lacking supplied in lithographic facsimile. Loose leaves in a 20th-century paperboard wrapper and slipcase. Full description
€ 20,000
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12 leaves from an incunable with an autograph letter by William Blades

[INCUNABLE - GERMANY]. [12 leaves from: Statuta synodalia herbipolensia].
[Würzburg, Georg Reyser, ca. 1486]. Folio. Printed in red and black in rotunda type (32 lines; printed area: 18 x 12 cm; type: 112a). With illustrations cut from 19th- or 20th-century reproductions of early woodcuts (ca. 21 x 14 cm) pasted on the front (Annunciation) and back pastedown (Christophorus, with the year "cccc xx tercio").. Later bound in two leaves from a 13th-century vellum theological manuscript, rubricated and decorated with alternating red and blue initials with penwork. Full description
€ 3,500
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Gheraert Leeu's first illustrated book: no copy in the Netherlands, in the tradition of Arabian Nights.

[INCUNABLE - GOUDA]. Historia septem sapientiu[m] Rom[a]e.
[Gouda, Gheraert Leeu, before 3 June 1480]. 4to (20.5 x 14 cm). With 4 full-page woodcuts plus 14 repeats. The first initial is supplied in manuscript, in a rich ornamental uncial style in red and blue with brown penwork. All other initials are supplied by hand in simple red uncials. The text is rubricated throughout. Most of the plates are lightly highlighted in yellow and red, by a contemporary hand. Contemporary limp sheepskin parchment without a spine, so that the sewing is completely visible. Kept in a modern brown half morocco clamshell box. Full description
€ 250,000
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Letters about Saint Jerome, by the first printer in Blaubeuren (near Ulm) ca. 1475/77

JEROME (HIERONYMUS), Saint (subject). Epistola Beati Euseby ad Damasium Portunensem Episcopum & ad Theodomum senatorem Romanum de morte gloriosi Hieronimi doctoris eximy.
[d7:] Epistola Beati Augustini Episcopi ad Cirillum venerabilem Archiepiscopium Hierosolimitanum de vita obitu & miraculis Beatissimi Hieronimi prespiteri & doctoris eximy.
[e5:] Epistola Cirilli Archiepiscopi ad Beatimi Augustinum Episcopium de miraculis gloriosi Hieronimi necnon & de morte Beati Euseby discipuli Sancti Hieronimi.
[Blaubeuren, Conrad Mancz, ca. 1475/77]. Small folio (27.5 x 20 cm). Set in what is sometimes called a gotico-antiqua type (119 mm/20 lines, with 31 lines per page), in this case mixing some roman influences into what is largely a rotunda gothic type. With about 150 "Lombardic" initials in red ink: 2 4-line, 4 3-line, about 140 2-line (1 with pen-work decorations in brown ink) and 4 1-line, in spaces left for that purpose and capitals rubricated throughout.Modern parchment. Full description
€ 25,000
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A subtle mixture of Christian and Pagan wisdom

OTTO VON PASSAU. Boec des gulden throe[n]s of der xxiiij. ouden en[de] hoemen elke[n] vinden mach en[de] va[n] hoerre leringhen die si leren om te comen totten ewighen leven.
(colophon: Haarlem, [Jacob Bellaert], 25 October 1484). Folio (29 x 21.5 cm). With large woodcut printer's device (142 x 82 mm) on verso of last leaf (with the arms of the city of Haarlem above an eagle holding a larger blank shield, here filled in by a contemporary owner); 4 woodcut illustrations and 20 repeats, representing the 24 elders, each showing one of the male elders, standing, teaching a female novice kneeling before him. Further with spaces left for initials, all filled in with uncials by hand, about 25 with penwork decoration in 1 or 2 additional colours: 1 blue 6-line initial with decorations in red and violate extending far into the margin, about 24 red 3 to 9-line (mostly 7-line) initials with lavendar penwork (1 with 2 green dots), some extending into the margin, and more than 70 2-line red initials without penwork decoration; a few spaces left for ¶-marks, also filled in in red; capitals rubricated throughout. Set entirely in Baellart's textura (99 or 100 mm/20 lines or about 14.5 point). Lacking leaf 137 (the second to last text leaf) and the final blank. Modern sheepskin. Full description
€ 75,000
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1484 edition of a great Roman satirist, with the extensive commentaries by Bartolomeo Fonzio

PERSIUS FLACCUS. Satirarum opus [= Satyrae/Saturae].
(Colophon: Venice, Dionysius de Bertochus & Pelegrinus de Paschalibus Bononienses, 10 September 1484). Small folio (29.5 x 21 cm). With the verse text surrounded on three sides by Fonzio's prose commentary, Bertochus and Pelegrinus's woodcut device next to the colophon on the last printed page, with spaces left for manuscript initials without guide letters (not filled in). Set in 2 sizes of Venetian-style roman type (110 and 83 mm/20 lines) with an occasional Greek letter. 19th-century(?) sheepskin parchment. Full description
€ 14,500
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The "Mirror of human life", printed at Rome in 1473, with contemporary marginal manuscript notes: set in one of the first roman printing types ever produced

SÁNCHEZ DE ARÉVALO, Rodrigo (Rodericus SANCIUS or ZAMORENSIS). Speculum vit[a]e human[a]e.
Rome, Joannes Philippus de Lignamine, 31 July 1473. Small folio (26.5 x 20 cm). With spaces left for 2 large (6-line) and about 80 small (3-line) initials. Text block 19.5 x 11.5 mm with 31 lines per page. Set in a single roman type throughout (Lignamine 125R). Limp sheepskin parchment (ca. 1740/50). Full description
€ 22,500
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