[WOLFRAM VON ESCHENBACH, attributed to - ALBRECHT (fl. c.1270)]. Jüngerer Titurel. [Strassburg: Johann Mentelin], 1477.
Chancery 2° (290 x 213mm). Collation: [1-1410 1510+1) 16-2910 308 3110] (1/1 text, 31/7v date "MCCCCLXXVII", 31/8r table of chapter headings, 31/9-10 blank). 309 leaves. 40 lines, double column. Type: 7:107G. 3- to 5-line initial spaces with guide-letter; other spaces (for illustration). (Some light browning and spotting, one or two small wormholes at beginning and end.) Contemporary binding of half-calf over unbevelled wooden boards, leather headbands, covered probably in the early 16th century with vellum leaves from a Missal for Augsburg use (Basel: Jacobus Wolff von Pfortzheim, 20 January 1510), retaining 15th-century endpapers marked with a Paschal Lamb (chainlines 37mm) similar to Piccard XV, 3, 1653 (Vienna 1483) and 1646 (Ellwangen 1495); modern tan linen box. Provenance: Hans Trünckl, 1474 (ownership inscriptions on 4/1 and 17/2) -- 18th-century German shelfmark -- [Landau (sale Sotheby's, 12 July 1948, lot 127, £190 to Robinson)].
FIRST EDITION OF THE MOST AMBITIOUS OF ALL ARTHURIAN ROMANCES. Der Jüngerer Titurel is a retelling of the Parzifal story, a tale of courtly love - that of the knight Schionatulander for Sigune. It tells the story of the Holy Grail (a chalice from the Last Supper) in strophic verse, and describes chivalric festivities, travels in the middle east, etc. Its description of the Grail Temple is considered the most important architectural description of the German middle ages, and it influenced the design of the chapel at Karlstein and the Wenceslaus chapel in St. Vitus's cathedral at Prague. Until the modern era Der Jüngerer Titurel was considered the work of Wolfram von Eschenbach, whose fame was widespread already by the middle of the 13th century. It continues the story of Wolfram's Parzifal and incorporates his own Titurel fragments. The author, who reveals himself as "Albrecht" toward the end of the work, acknowledges his debt to Wolfram and develops further the master's Titurel strophe. Presumably owing to its length, the strophes are set not in verse lines but in paragraphs with the line endings punctuated. It is sometimes bound with Parzifal, printed by Mentelin also in 1477; a contemporary inscription at the end of the present volume states that Parzifal follows on. Curiously, a contemporary reader/owner Hans Trünckl has twice written his name and the date "1474", even though the edition appears to be dated in print 1477. HC *6683; BMC I, 59 (IB. 558); CIBN W-38; BSB-Ink A-224; Goff W-70.