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QUADRAGESIMALE NOVUM DE FILIO PRODIGO by  JOHANNES MEDER - FIRST EDITION - 1495 - from Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts (SKU: ST12788)


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McMinnville, Oregon
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About This Item

Basel: Michael Furter, 1495. FIRST EDITION. 170 x 115 mm. (6 1/2 x 4 1/2"). 232 unnumbered leaves, including the terminal blank. Single and (mostly) double column, 28 and (mostly) 34 lines and headline, gothic type. VERY FINE BROWN JANSENIST CRUSHED MOROCCO BY ROBERT JOLY [FILS], raised bands, covers WITH GILT ROYAL ARMORIAL DEVICE OF ANDRÉ MASSENA, Duke of Rivoli and Prince of Essling, and spine compartments with his cipher, turn-ins with dense gilt decoration, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Attractively rubricated throughout, with two- and three-line initials alternately in red, woodcut printer's device on colophon, and 18 VERY APPEALING FULL-PAGE WOODCUT ILLUSTRATIONS BY THE "MASTER OF HEINTZ NARR" (including two repeated images). The woodcut on K4 with a small area neatly painted in red, no doubt by an early hand. Goff M-421; BMC III, 783. A handful of leaves closely shaved at upper margin (though most margins quite ample), an occasional insignificant spot in the text, but AN ESPECIALLY FINE COPY, very clean, bright, and fresh internally, and in a lustrous, unworn binding. In a binding characterized by understated elegance and in outstanding condition, this is a very desirable copy of the first appearance of an incunabular collection of Lenten sermons on the parable of the prodigal son, held up here as encouragement to Christians never to despair of self-improvement and God's forgiveness. Each sermon begins with a dialogue between an angel and the prodigal son, and all but one conclude with a parable or allegory that the author explains in Christian terms. Although he is a shadowy figure, we know that Meder, a Franciscan at Basel from 1495-1502, was intimately involved in the printing of this work and that he had his friend Sebastian Brant write a prefatory poem to the volume. He also asked Furter to provide illustrations, a request that was fulfilled by the inclusion of the quaint, angular woodcuts done in a vernacular style that are attributed by Friedrich Winkler to the Master of Heintz-Narr, Dürer's main collaborator in the illustration of Brant's famous "Das Narrenschiff." Michael Furter printed in Basel from the 1480s into the second decade of the 16th century, with many of his publications being undated. His typefaces are derivative, but he was important, as seen here, in terms of xylographic ornamentation and augmentation. Our aristocratic binding was done by one of the great bookbinding houses of France. After apprenticing in the provinces, Antoine Joly (1838-1917) moved to Paris, found employment with the celebrated Léon Gruel, later formed a partnership with Thibaron in 1874, succeeded him 11 years later, and, in 1892, turned the business over to his son Robert (1870?-1924). According to Duncan & DeBartha, "An excellent gilder like his father, Robert designed and produced a range of classical covers." Our original owner, André Prosper Massena, Prince d'Essling, stands out among even the greatest of bibliographers because of his "Études sur l'Art de la Gravure sur Bois à Venise." As stated in the Martino reprint, "this monumental work is the most exhaustive bibliographic study of illustrated books of any country or period ever published." It collates, meticulously describes, and illustrates more than 3,500 books. Surely, in keeping with the fashion of 19th century bibliophilic expectations, the text here has been pressed, but it seems not to have been washed, and, in any case, it is very clean and fresh, with leaves that have plenty of texture.


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Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts

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About the Seller

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2006
McMinnville, Oregon
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About Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books an Manuscripts was established in 1978 on a ping pong table in a basement in Kalamazoo, Michigan. From the beginning, its founder was willing to sell a range of material (both because this approach made the work more educational than otherwise and because it gave him a good excuse for not being an expert in any particular specialty). Over the years, the business has gravitated toward historical artifacts that are physically attractive in some way--illuminated material, fine bindings, books printed on vellum, fore-edge paintings, beautiful typography and paper, impressive illustration. Today, the company still sells a wide range of things, from (scruffy) ninth century leaves to biblical material from all periods to Wing and STC imprints to modern private press books to artists' bindings. While we are forgiving about condition when something is of considerable rarity, we always try to obtain the most attractive copies possible of whatever we offer for sale.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...[more]
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...[more]
Especially for older books, a printer's device refers to an identifying mark, also sometimes called a printer's mark, on the...[more]
Any printing of a book which follows the original edition. By definition, a reprint is not a first edition.
The colophon contains information about a book's publisher, the typesetting, printer, and possibly even includes a printer's...[more]
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...[more]
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also...[more]
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]
Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet...[more]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
raised band(s)
Raised bands refer to the ridges that protrude slightly from the spine on leather bound books.  The bands are created...[more]

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