• Valuable Printed Books and Man auction at Christies

    Sale 5334

    Valuable Printed Books and Manuscripts

    13 June 2012, London, King Street

  • Lot 76

    REGIOMONTANUS (Johannes MÜLLER, 1436-1476). Calendarium, in German: Kalender. Augsburg: Erhard Ratdolt, 1489.

    Price Realised  


    REGIOMONTANUS (Johannes MÜLLER, 1436-1476). Calendarium, in German: Kalender. Augsburg: Erhard Ratdolt, 1489.

    Chancery 4° (210 x 138mm). Collation: a10 b8 c10 d4(2+1) (a1r title, a1v verse address to the reader, a2r tables, calendar, b4v tables of lunar and solar phases, b8r text and tables on the golden number, moveable feasts, instructions for constructing a sundial, etc., d1r illustrations of scientific instruments). 33 leaves. Printed in red and black. Type: 9:130 (title), 7:92G (verses), 4:76G (text). 5 (including one repeat, see below) full-page woodcuts illustrating instruments, one with two volvelles and string pointer (metal pointer missing from final woodcut), 12 woodcuts of the zodiac, woodcut white-on-black initials. Red capital strokes. (Slight worming, slight loss in title made good in pen-and-ink, outer bifolium of first and final quire strengthened at hinge, calendar table on a6 just shaved.) Modern binding re-using fragments of an 11th-century Vulgate Bible MS on vellum, front cover with parts of Job (slightly soiled) Provenance: inscription in red deleted from title, contemporary annotations, one dated 1492.

    FOURTH GERMAN EDITION of Regiomontanus's calendar. The scientist had published the first edition himself at the press he established at Nuremberg to disseminate scientific literature. The last quire contains 4 woodcuts illustrating Regiomontanus's astronomical instruments. They are printed on one side only of two half-sheets which were usually glued together back-to-back to strengthen the pages in order to support the metal pointer on the final illustration. These leaves in the present copy were not glued together, but rather attached at the hinge by a vellum MS fragment which has left its trace; however, the pointer (now missing) was indeed fixed through the final two leaves as shown by the resultant holes. The inserted leaf in that quire corrects one of the woodcuts which had the letters spelling LUNE at the four corners printed upside-down. HC *13787; BSB-Ink. R-80; Klebs 837.4; Schreiber 4371; Walsh 626; Goff R-101.

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    Pre-Lot Text