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    The Most Famous Work from "One of the Most Important Medieval Liturgical Writers."

    Guillelmus Duranti. Rationale divinorum officiorum. [Paris: Ulrich [Gering], Martin [Crantz], and Michael [Friburger], 13 April 1475].

    Large folio (12.5 x 8.875 inches; 318 x 226 mm.). [318] leaves. Gothic type. Double columns, forty-six lines. Six-line opening initial supplied in red, initials supplied in red or red and yellow, paragraph marks, line fillers, and underlining in red, capitals stroked yellow. Headlines supplied in black ink. Ink foliation in the upper right corner beginning with leaf a2 as "1".

    Bound in eighteenth-century mottled calf over thick boards (worn). Covers with decorative gilt border, spine decoratively panelled in gilt with five raised bands and red morocco label decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt, board edges ruled in gilt, turn-ins decoratively tooled in gilt, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Green ribbon marker. Joints rubbed, front joint starting to split. From the library of Maurice Burrus, with his bookplate, engraved by Stern and dated 1937. Early ink inscription erased from the head of the first leaf, faint early ink annotation at the head of the first leaf. Occasional early ink marginalia. Overall, a very good, crisp copy. Housed in a quarter light brown calf over linen boards clamshell case, the spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt with five raised bands.

    Guillelmus Duranti, or William Durandus (ca. 1237-1296), "canonist and one of the most important medieval liturgical writers," studied law at Bologna under Bernard of Parma and then taught it at Modena. He spent most of his life in the service of the Pope. The most famous of his works is the Rationale divinorum officiorum (first published by Fust and Schoeffer at Mainz, 1459, it was reprinted at least forty times before 1500). "It was written in 1286. Its eight books contain a detailed account of the laws, ceremonies, customs, and mystical interpretation of the Roman Rite. Book I treats of the church, altar, pictures, bells, churchyard, etc.; II of the ministers; III of vestments; IV of the Mass; V of the canonical hours; VI of the Proprium Temporis; VII of the Proprium Sanctorum; and VIII of the astronomical calendar, manner of finding Easter, Epacts, etc. Durandus's "Rationale" is the most complete medieval treatise of its kind; it is still the standard authority for the ritual of the thirteenth century and for the symbolism of rites and vestments" (Catholic Encyclopedia).

    According to the British Library's ISTC, there are only nine complete copies of this title in the world, with only two of them present in the United States (Bryn Mawr and Yale).

    BMC VIII page 8. Goff D-409. GW 9108. ISTC id00409000. Hain-Copinger 6476. Oates 2869. Pellechet 4496. Proctor 7840.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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