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PSALTERIUM
[Nuremberg: Friedrich Creussner, not after, 1484]. n. This is a copy of the Psalms with obvious sources of pleasure resident in its memorable illumination, distinguished provenance, and impressive 15th century binding--including even the recycled papal document used as part of its inner construction. Featuring various colors and fanciful marginal extenders, the capitals here are richly painted, dramatized by the application of glittering gold, and allowed to extravagate comfortably within wide margins. The binding is of such an animated design and is so well preserved, with all its hardware intact, that we can forgive its being a remboîtage, something suggested by the slightly unnatural swell of the spine and the more than usually ample size of the square (that portion of the boards that extends beyond the book block at the top, bottom, and fore edges). We suggest Bamberg as the origin of the binding because two of its stamps appear to be exact matches for ones Schunke attributes to Bamberg binderies (the phoenix stamp is #82 on p. 4 and the rosette #265 on p. 260). Although the large initial letter is cropped, the papal bull is a visually very pleasing addition to the volume. In the document, a canonry in the collegiate church of St. John, close by the cathedral of Regensburg, is conferred on Johann Pomez. The addressees of the bull--the bishop of Regensburg, the abbot of Prüfening, and the dean of the Alte Kapelle--are mandated by the pope to insure that Pomez receive the various perquisites of his canonry, in particular a prebend and associated benefice to provide revenues for his office. The presence of the papal bull as part of the structure of an early book is appropriate since Nicholas V (Tommaso Parentucelli, pope from 1447-55) is described in the "Oxford Dictionary of Popes" as "a compulsive bibliophile his whole life," someone who "spent vast sums on collecting manuscripts and having them copied," and "the real founder of the Vatican library." Spending his entire career in Nuremberg, our printer, Friedrich Creussner, appears to have issued books from 1472-99, but was most active between 1477-79. According to the BMC, the printing date here is established from a copy that was owned by the Dominican monastery of the Holy Cross in Regensburg, with manuscript notes indicating ownership in 1484. Creussner's large liturgical typeface is similar to Gutenberg's, though with more flourished capitals; those capitals, however, do not appear in this text since every single sentence begins with a carefully painted initial. Our previous modern owner, Jean (sometimes Hans) Furstenburg (1890-1982) put together one of the finest collections of 18th century French books ever assembled, and his library contained a discriminating selection of bindings from other periods. In 1974 the Furstenberg collection was sold en bloc to Dr. Otto Schäfer, whose marvelous library had already become distinguished for its collection of fine and historic bindings.. 318 x 222 mm. (12 1/2 x 8 3/4"). [86] leaves (lacking the initial and terminal blanks). Text in a single column of 26 lines in large gothic church type. IN A FINE (even if not original) CONTEMPORARY BAMBERG BINDING OF ELABORATELY BLIND-STAMPED CALF over bevelled boards, front cover with frame of tangent phoenix stamps enclosing a central panel with ogival diapering, each diaper enclosing a large vegetal fleuron, back cover with similar but narrower central panel surrounded by complex frame featuring large tangent rosette stamps, raised bands, original intricately chased central and corner bosses as well as clasps, pigskin tabs, pastedowns comprising a beautifully calligraphed papal bull on vellum (half on the front, half on the rear) from Nicholas V dated 14 June 1447, housed in a crimson quarter-morocco clamshell box. With extensive rubrication at various places in the text (and shorter rubrication in many other places), very many one- and two-line initials in red or blue, and EIGHT LARGE AND ESPECIALLY HANDSOME ILLUMINATED INITIALS in various colors (the main part of the largest measuring 64 x 50 mm.), six of these featuring burnished gold, all of them with extensive trailing floral or vine decoration into the margin (the opening initial with curling vines and flowers and gold bezants reaching into all four). Front pastedown (below the papal bull) with the bookplate of Jean Furstenberg (see below). BMC II, 452 (not in Goff). Spine somewhat flaked, faint dampstain at top of (later) front free endpaper, one two-inch marginal tear very neatly repaired (a small portion of the fore edge of another leaf very neatly repaired with old paper where a pigskin tab has been torn off), just a hint of soiling and thumbing here and there, other trivial imperfections internally, but AN ESPECIALLY FINE COPY, the binding with virtually all of its very considerable original appeal intact, and the beautifully decorated text extremely well preserved within particularly broad margins. This is a copy of the Psalms with obvious sources of pleasure resident in its memorable illumination, distinguished provenance, and impressive 15th century binding--including even the recycled papal document used as part of its inner construction. Featuring various colors and fanciful marginal extenders, the capitals here are richly painted, dramatized by the application of glittering gold, and allowed to extravagate comfortably within wide margins. The binding is of such an animated design and is so well preserved, with all its hardware intact, that we can forgive its being a remboîtage, something suggested by the slightly unnatural swell of the spine and the more than usually ample size of the square (that portion of the boards that extends beyond the book block at the top, bottom, and fore edges). We suggest Bamberg as the origin of the binding because two of its stamps appear to be exact matches for ones Schunke attributes to Bamberg binderies (the phoenix stamp is #82 on p. 4 and the rosette #265 on p. 260). Although the large initial letter is cropped, the papal bull is a visually very pleasing addition to the volume. In the document, a canonry in the collegiate church of St. John, close by the cathedral of Regensburg, is conferred on Johann Pomez. The addressees of the bull--the bishop of Regensburg, the abbot of Prüfening, and the dean of the Alte Kapelle--are mandated by the pope to insure that Pomez receive the various perquisites of his canonry, in particular a prebend and associated benefice to provide revenues for his office. The presence of the papal bull as part of the structure of an early book is appropriate since Nicholas V (Tommaso Parentucelli, pope from 1447-55) is described in the "Oxford Dictionary of Popes" as "a compulsive bibliophile his whole life," someone who "spent vast sums on collecting manuscripts and having them copied," and "the real founder of the Vatican library." Spending his entire career in Nuremberg, our printer, Friedrich Creussner, appears to have issued books from 1472-99, but was most active between 1477-79. According to the BMC, the printing date here is established from a copy that was owned by the Dominican monastery of the Holy Cross in Regensburg, with manuscript notes indicating ownership in 1484. Creussner's large liturgical typeface is similar to Gutenberg's, though with more flourished capitals; those capitals, however, do not appear in this text since every single sentence begins with a carefully painted initial. Our previous modern owner, Jean (sometimes Hans) Furstenburg (1890-1982) put together one of the finest collections of 18th century French books ever assembled, and his library contained a discriminating selection of bindings from other periods. In 1974 the Furstenberg collection was sold en bloc to Dr. Otto Schäfer, whose marvelous library had already become distinguished for its collection of fine and historic bindings.
      [Bookseller: Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Mediev]
Last Found On: 2016-05-23           Check availability:      Biblio    

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