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    An Excellent Incunable Gesta Romanorum - an Early Printed Collection of Stories which Take Place in Ancient Rome

    [Gesta Romanorum]. Gesta Romanorum cum applicationibus moralisatis ac mysticis. [Augsburg: Anton Sorg, n.d., ca. 1487.] Chancery Folio. Approximately 10.25 x 7.25 inches. a-c4, d-e6, j-g6, h-i6, k-l8, m-o6. Complete. 98 leaves; 186 pages. Gothic type fifty or fifty-one lines per page, initials supplied in red throughout. Modern blind-tooled calf over original wood boards (some worming in boards), has decorated brass furniture but lacks clasp. A few marginal wormholes (a few letters touched) and minor dampstains in upper margin at end. Early index in manuscript on front paste-down, contemporary religious note at bottom of b8v, old owner's inscription on recto of last leaf "Bartholomaeus Weldpach..." dated 1528. Provenance: from the collection of Bjarne Saxhof (1953-2003), Civil Engineer, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby. Saxhof assembled a fine collection of printed books and manuscripts, including some important private press books. Overall, a very good copy.
    The Gesta is "...a medieval collection of illustrative tales and anecdotes for the use of preachers. Its name indicates what is supposed to be its unifying element: accounts of happenings in ancient Rome. Each story has a title suggesting a virtue or vice and an appendix pointing to a moral. The first collection, in Latin, was probably the work of an English Franciscan about 1330. Continuously expanded, it exerted a strong influence upon later writers such as Chaucer and Gower and enjoyed a considerable vogue well into the sixteenth century... Some stories, e.g. Atalanta's Race, derive from Greek myth; others, e.g. Androcles and the Lion, from late classical times. Several come from Alexandrian romance, Appolonius of Tyre, being a notable example. Jewish and Indian lore, Christian writers like Geoffrey of Monmouth and local legends also provided a rich quarry." (Cassell's Encyclopedia of World Literature).
    Anton Sorg (ca. 1430-1493) was among the earliest of the Augsburg printers. He produced some 180 works between 1475 and 1493. He was a painter, mapmaker, paper-mill owner, translator, and printer. He was trained by Gunther Zainer on the premises of the Abbey of Saints Ulric and Afra.
    Hain/Copinger 7739. GW 10895. Goff G290. Ce3 G290. CIH 1427. IBE 2659. IGI 4271. Deckert 326. G√ľnther 135b. ISTC ig00290000. BSB G208. IBP 2399. BL. IB 6077. IGI 4271. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit HA.com/6117 for an extended description of this lot.


    More Information:

    Gesta Romanorum. Gesta Romanorum cum applicationibus moralisatis ac mysticis. [Augsburg:] [Anton Sorg,] [c1487.] Chancery Folio. 265 x 185 mm. a-c4,d-e6,j-g6,h-i6,k-l8,m-o6. Complete. 98 ff = 186pp. Modern blind-tooled calf over original wood boards (some worming in boards), has decorated brass furniture but lacks clasp. A few marginal wormholes (a few letters touched) and minor dampstains in upper margin at end. Early index in manuscript on front paste-down, contemp. religious note at bottom of b8v, old owner's inscription on recto of last leaf "Bartholomaeus Weldpach..." dated 1528. Provenance: from the collection of Bjarne Saxhof (1953-2003), Civil Engineer, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby. Saxhof assembled a fine collection of printed books and manuscripts, including some important private press books. Gothic type 50/51 lines per page, Initials supplied in red throughout.

    The Gesta is "...a medieval collection of illustrative tales and anecdotes for the use of preachers. Its name indicates what is supposed to be its unifying element: accounts of happenings in ancient Rome. Each story has a title suggesting a virtue or vice and an appendix pointing to a moral. The first collection, in Latin, was probably the work of an English Franciscan about 1330. Continuously expanded, it exerted a strong influence upon later writers such as Chaucer and Gower and enjoyed a considerable vogue well into the 16th century...Some stories, e.g. Atalanta's Race, derive from Greek myth; others, e.g. Androcles and the Lion, from late classical times. Several come from Alexandrian romance, Appolonius of Tyre being a notable example. Jewish and Indian lore, Christian writers like Geoffrey of Monmouth and local legends also provided a rich quarry." [Cassell's Ency. of World Lit.]

    Anton Sorg (c. 1430-1493) was among the earliest of the Augsburg printers. He produced some 180 works between 1475 and 1493. He was a painter, mapmaker, paper-mill owner, translator, and printer. He was trained by Gunther Zainer on the premises of the Abbey of Saints Ulric & Afra.

    Hain/Copinger 7739. GW 10895. Goff G290. Ce3 G290. CIH 1427. IBE 2659. IGI 4271. Deckert 326. Gunther 135b. ISTC ig00290000. BSB G208. IBP 2399. BL. IB 6077. IGI 4271.



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    Auction Dates
    April, 2015
    8th-9th Wednesday-Thursday
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