In a Blue-Dyed Gothic Binding from Lambach


4 p.l., CXII leaves (the first a blank) [lacking at end, as is often the case, eight leaves which is a separate work]. Gothic type, 34 lines, rubricated in red throughout with chapter initials, capitals, paragraph-marks, & initial strokes. Small 4to (216 x 155 mm.), cont. blue-dyed goat- or sheep-skin over wooden boards (some rubbing & fading), sides ruled with intersecting blind fillets forming lozenges, later clasp & catch. Nuremberg: C. Zeninger, 13 June 1482.

A lovely and large copy from the Benedictine monastery at Lambach in Upper Austria, with their ownership inscription on the lower paste-down endpaper. Blue-dyed bindings of this period are extremely uncommon; woad was the chief source of blue dyes in the 15th-century and its manufacture was complex and expensive.

Bartholomaeus de Chaimis was a Papal legate under Sixtus IV and a Franciscan monk at the convent of S. Maria de Angelis near Milan. This, a work on Christian ethics, is his only book. It was hugely popular and reprinted eleven times in the incunable period, predominantly in Germany. It consists of a treatise on confession and describes various professions and their associated sins including lawyers, doctors, shoemakers, goldsmiths (mentioning alchemical gold and silver), tailors (low cut dresses were not allowed), merchants, priests, actors and musicians, students, craftsmen, farmers, butchers, and tavern keepers. There is an early description of gambling: card and dice games were forbidden to priests but chess was allowed as it is not a game of chance.

As is often the case (see ISTC), this copy does not have the eight-leaf Speculum sacerdotum by Hermannus de Schildiz bound-in at the end.

There is some worming throughout touching the text and the binding is a little worn but this is a most remarkable binding because its rare color. This is a large and crisp copy with many lower edges partially untrimmed.

❧ Goff B-160. ISTC ib00160000.

Price: $15,000.00

Item ID: 6354