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Rationale divinorum officiorum.
Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer, Mainz, 6 October 1459. 1459 Folio (41 x 29.6 cm). 156 leaves (of 160, without 1, 14 (2/4), 20 (2/10), 27 (3/7) ), 63 lines, double column, gothic type, 3-line Lombard chapter initials printed in red, rubric headings and occasional paragraph-marks printed in red, rubricated and illuminated; four 8-line initials (68r, 82r, 140r, 154v) illuminated in colours and liquid gold with elaborate floral and vegetal borders by the "Fust Master" of Mainz, chapter initials heightened with purple penwork, unprinted chapter initials supplied by the rubricator mostly in blue, paragraph-marks (when not printed) are rubricated in alternating red and blue; lacking leaves all supplied in facsimile on vellum with appropriate illumination which is flaking on leaf 1, the colophon on leaf 160 heavily deleted with photofacsimile mounted below, first illuminated initial with some flaking, border of initial on leaf 154v partially smudged with brown ink, marginal stains on leaf 2, top edge a bit short just shaving the tops of the illuminated initials. Twentieth-century full russet crushed morocco blindstamped in antique style, by Riviere & Son, edges plain; a bit rubbed. FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST SUBSTANTIAL WRITING BY A KNOWN AND NAMED AUTHOR TO BE PUBLISHED -- THE FOURTH PRINTED BOOK OF SIGNIFICANCE, THE THIRD WITH A FULL DATE. ONE OF ONLY THREE COPIES KNOWN IN PRIVATE HANDS AND ONE OF TEN ONLY ILLUMINATED BY THE FUST MASTER. PRINTED ON VELLUM. Printed by Peter Schoeffer (ca. 1425-1503), Gutenberg's most talented collaborator. 'Johannes Fust was the financial backer of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of printing. He gained possession of the printing equipment in a lawsuit [...] in which Schoeffer is named as a witness on Fust's side. While there is no book known naming Gutenberg before or after the break, Fust and Schoeffer continued in partnership until Fust's death in 1466 when Schoeffer, having married Fust's daughter, took over the printing shop alone' (M. Ford, BPH catalogue). Only two other precisely dated books, containing Psalters and also published by Fust and Schoeffer, precede Durandus' work which is the first substantial writing by a known and named author to be published. However, its production was started before the press finished their Bursfeld Psalter of 29 August 1459. Together with the Liturgical Psalter of 14 August 1457 they are the only signed and dated editions in the first decade of printing. The small text type in 'Rationale' represents the first use of this fount, which later reoccurs in various states (and leaded in the 1465-66 Mainz Ciceros); the colophon type is the first manifestation of the so-called 1462 Bible fount. The 'Rationale' was printed almost exclusively on vellum (only one paper copy appears to exist at Munich) and copies were sold in two distinct forms: some with printed initials in red or blue, belonging to the stock of the Psalters; or, as in this copy, with blank spaces for illuminated initials. At four of these places (including the preserved 140r and 154v of this copy), lines of type were reset to create a larger initial-space. No two copies are therefore alike depending on the presence or absence of printed chapter initials, paragraph marks and rubricated elements. Most surviving copies intended for illumination are by the Fust Master, who probably worked at the Fust and Schoeffer printing shop. He was also responsible for illuminating some of the late copies of the 42-line Gutenberg Bible, as well as other works such as Pope Boniface's 1465 'Liber sextus' also included in the present catalogue. Guillaume Durand was one of the most important medieval liturgical writers and one of the principal canonists of his day. Born about 1237, in the Diocese of Béziers, Provence; he died at Rome in 1296. This compendium on the mystical origins and meaning of the liturgies is his most influential work. Written in 1286 its eight books contain a detailed account of the laws ceremonies, customs, and mystical interpretation of the Roman Rite. Of great rarity: only two other copies in private hands are known, one of which is not illuminated. Not in H.P.Kraus' catalogue 'The Cradle of Printing' part I and II. HR 6471; GW 9101; BMC I, 20; Goff D-403; ISTC id00403000; on the illuminator see E. König, "Für Johannes Fust," Festgabe Corsten, pp. 285-313.
      [Bookseller: Antiquarian Bookshop Shapero Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-03-10           Check availability:      maremagnum.com    

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