16 June 2015
FRANCIS of Assisi, Saint – La vie sainct francoys. Paris: Simon Vostre, n.d. [but c.1510].
4º (237 x 167mm). 70 leaves; E8r blank. Gothic type, in double columns. 2- to 5-line woodcut initials, and some 2- and 3-line initial spaces with guide letters. Publisher’s engraved title device, two woodcut illustrations: on leaves a2 and a6. (Some neatly repaired tears, a small repaired hole in b3 affecting a few letters, lower corner of h1 repaired.) Full leather to style by Devauchelle. Provenance: Couvent des Minimes de Beauvais (inscriptions in various early hands on title and first leaf).
VERY RARE GOTHIC EDITION OF THE LIFE OF ST FRANCIS, PRINTED BY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PRINT SHOPS IN PARIS OF THE TIME.
This edition was already rare when Brunet was writing (indeed, he describes it as very rare). Due to an error of imposition, leaves e8v and f1r contain the same text, while e8r remains blank. In many copies leaf f1 has therefore been removed to correct this mistake. The present copy, however, is a rare example complete with the original 70 leaves. The two large woodcuts appear on leaves a2 and a6.
RARE: RBH and ABPC record no copy at auction, while Bechtel records just two copies on the market: one sold at auction in 1937 (Fière, sale II, lot 160), the other offered in a bookseller’s catalogue in 1990. WorldCat lists only three copies in public institutions worldwide: at the BnF, Sorbonne and Cambridge. Adams F-909; Brunet V, 1191; Bechtel V, 169; unrecorded by Moreau, Inventaire chronologique des editions parisiennes du XVIe siècle.
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