Description

    An Extremely Rare Edition Printed at the Second Press at Vienne

    Guillermus (or Guillelmus) Parisiensis. Postilla super epistolas et evangelia. [Vienne: Eberhard Frommolt, not before 1480].

    Folio (12.125 x 8.25 inches; 308 x 210 mm.). [179] (of 180) leaves. Lacking the initial blank. Pencil foliation in arabic numerals at the lower right corner of the first leaf of each gathering, except the first gathering. Some leaves in the sixth and seventh gatherings are misbound. Forty lines. Three- to six-line capital spaces, with guide letters. Six-line opening text initial supplied in red, capital strokes in yellow, contemporary manuscript catchwords.

    Recent antique-style dark brown calf, retaining the original front pastedown and free endpaper. Front cover elaborately panelled in blind within an inner gilt and outer blind single-rule border, back cover decoratively bordered in blind. Spine ruled in blind and decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt with five raised bands, marbled endpapers, top edge stained black. Minimal rubbing to corners and spine extremities. A few small wormholes, some mostly marginal dampstaining throughout, heavier in a few places. Nineteenth-century ink inscription on the front fly-leaf: "Binsted Goble- / Trinity Lodge / Fareham / Hants." Housed in a matching quarter dark brown leather over linen board clamshell case, the spine decoratively tooled and lettered in gilt with five raised bands.

    "More than one hundred editions of the Postilla super epistolas et evangelia by Guillermus Parisiensis were printed during the fifteenth century. Surely this esteemed compilation must be regarded as one of the earliest 'best sellers', for how else can one explain why the text was not only frequently reprinted but was reissued time and time again by the same printer...Only a few facts seem to be known about Frater Guillermus. The introduction to the Postilla, his only published work, tells us that he was a Dominican and a professor of sacred theology at Paris. This compilation of the Postilla was written down in 1437 expressly for members of the clergy and for those desirous of understanding the excerpts from the Epistles and the Evangelists, more commonly called lessons, which are read at appropriate services throughout the church year. It obviously filled a most pressing need" (Goff, "The Postilla of Guillermus Parisiensis," Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 1959, p. 73).

    An extremely rare edition, printed at the second press at Vienne. Thirteen editions are given to Frommolt. Of the present edition, only four copies are known; no copy is in America and the present copy came from the Southwark Diocesan Archives, London.

    Copinger 2861. GW 11926. ISTC ig00654800. Pellechet 5641.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
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