BOSCHMAN, Martinus. Paradisus precum...selectarum, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER. Pelplin, 1610.
125 x 80mm. 376 leaves including two final blanks, written in black ink in a small fine bookhand, rubrics in liquid gold and red, title within a penwork strapwork border, numerous small decorative initials in gold, red, black and blue, ornamental head- and tail-pieces throughout, 225 INSERTED CONTEMPORARY ENGRAVINGS (some light browning, occasional dampstains). Brown morocco tooled in gilt, gilt turn-ins, g.e. Cloth box. Provenance: ?Cistercian monastery Pelplin; ex libris of Baron James de Rothschild (no 25, Ms 76).
The manuscript was compiled and probably written by Brother Martin Boschman of Gdansk, Superior of the Cistercian monastery of Pelplin (or Peplin) in Pomerania. He claimed that this selection of prayers would bring days of delight to the devout soul.
The monastery of Pelplin was founded in the 1270s and for 500 years served as the commercial and cultural centre of Pomerania. Following the suppression of the monastery its church became the Cathedral of Chelmno diocese and survives as one of the finest and most richly furnished churches in Poland: the greatest treasure of the Diocesan Museum being the Pelplin copy of the Gutenberg Bible.
The majority of the engravings added to the manuscript -- more than 115 of them -- are the work of the Wierix brothers, who were active in Antwerp in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Of the others, Theodore Galle and Karel de Mallery were responsible for twelve each and others are the work of Adrian Collaert (three), Matthaeus Greuter, Thomas de Leu and Jean Messagier (two from each). Others included are examples of Peter Overradt, Raphael Sadeler, Pierre Firens. Further unsigned and unattributed prints are mostly examples of Flemish mannerism. The corpus represents a rich and varied cross-section of the small devotional images of the era.