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NICOLAUS DE GRETZ (fl. 1421-39, rector of Vienna University 1437). Tractatus de duodecim partibus fidei. [Austria, probably Vienna], written by Petrus Bawtz of Olmütz, Moravia, 17th February 1440. -- [SAME? Sermones dominicales et hebdomadales  super epistolas et evangelia. Austria, mid-15th century].
NICOLAUS DE GRETZ (fl. 1421-39, rector of Vienna University 1437). Tractatus de duodecim partibus fidei. [Austria, probably Vienna], written by Petrus Bawtz of Olmütz, Moravia, 17th February 1440. -- [SAME? Sermones dominicales et hebdomadales super epistolas et evangelia. Austria, mid-15th century].

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NICOLAUS DE GRETZ (fl. 1421-39, rector of Vienna University 1437). Tractatus de duodecim partibus fidei. [Austria, probably Vienna], written by Petrus Bawtz of Olmütz, Moravia, 17th February 1440. -- [SAME? Sermones dominicales et hebdomadales super epistolas et evangelia. Austria, mid-15th century].

Chancery 4o (203 x 145 mm), 2 codices bound in one volume, the first with catchwords at the end of each quire, the second with catchword at the end of the first quire and signatures at the end of subsequent quires (secundum sexternum, etc). LATIN MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER. Collation: 1-812 (Tractatus, incipit: Dilectissimi quicumque homo habens usum rationis vult venire in regnum celeste, 8/12v scribe's colophon); 21-2812 9-2612 (Sermones, incipit: Hora est iam nos de sompno surgere Rom. xiii Beatus Gregorius dicit quod civi libet solempnitati quam colimus debemus bonis operibus conformari, 26/11-12 blank, 26/12 used as pastedown). Bawtz's bookhand in the first work is a gothic cursive, a similar script by a different hand in the second work. Large initials in blue with elaborate penwork decoration in red (first work), smaller initials in red (second work), rubricated throughout with headings, paragraph marks, capital strokes and underlinings. (A few wormholes and small marginal repair to first leaf, catchwords and signatures cropped, red stains on several pages in the second work.)

CHAINED AUSTRIAN BINDING: late-15th-century blind-stamped calf over oak boards, intersecting triple fillets forming rectangular border compartments containing a fleur-de-lis in an oval and another floral tool (neither reproduced in Kyriss or Schwenke-Sammlung), the field diapered and containing foliate ornament in relief from the impressions of Kopfstempel, iron chain attached to the top of the back cover, consisting of a staple, eleven hourglass links and a ring, (rebacked and corners replaced at an early date, inner hinges strengthened, clasps and bosses gone, a hole through the upper back cover indicating that the binding had been chained once before).

Provenance: Vienna, Piarists (early inscription) -- Johann Ernst de Jamagne, Protonotary Apostolic in Waidhoven an der Thaya (engraved armorial bookplate) -- Parke-Bernet Galleries 15th December 1953, lot 106 (bought through Offenbacher).

Gretz's treatise appears to be unpublished and the sermons, which only cover the first half of the liturgical year, may be unrecorded. The two works probably existed together when they were rebound and chained a half century later, almost certainly in Vienna. It was no doubt the Piarist Fathers who acquired, restored and rechained the binding after they founded a Viennese school and library in the 17th century. Intact codices from medieval chained libraries are EXTREMELY RARE at auction.

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