pseudo-HIERONYMUS (Saint, c. 340-420). Vitae sanctorum patrum, sive Vitas patrum, in German: Leben der heiligen Altväter. [Strassburg?: Printer of the 'Antichristus', not after 1482?].
Chancery 2° (276 x 205mm). Collation: [1-38 46 5-108 116 12-138 146 15-298 306] (1/1 blank, 1/2 text, 30/6 blank]. 229 leaves (of 232, without first and final blank leaves, and 1/8 in facsimile). 34 lines. Type: 115G. 149 woodcuts, including repeats, woodcut decorated initials from several sets to quire 25, including "S" with flourish extending the page-width, therafter 3- to 4-line initial spaces, most with guide-letter, ALL WOODCUTS AND WOODCUT INITIALS COLOURED BY A CONTEMPORARY HAND in light green, brown, yellow, and red, a few initials in red. (Several leaves reinforced at hinge, a few minor marginal repairs.) Modern brown pigskin, modern brown cloth-backed folding box. Provenance: Princes of Liechtenstein (bookplate).
FIRST OR SECOND EDITION IN GERMAN OF THE VITAS PATRUM, the popular collection of lives of the Desert Fathers, ascribed in the Middle Ages to St. Jerome. Goff, Hain, Schreiber, Davies, and CIBN give precedence to the present edition over that published by Sorg at Augsburg on 25 September 1482. The two editions appear to be independent, yet Schreiber believed the cuts in the first part of Sorg's edition to be "without doubt" reduced copies of the present edition.
A RARE IMPRINT. Five books (3 editions of Antichristus in German and Low German, and German and Low German editions of the Vitas patrum) are assigned to this anonymous press, now considered to have been active at Strassburg, owing to the use of some of its woodblocks by other printers there; all are rare on the market. Schreiber and BMC call for 150 cuts, Davies for 147. HC 8603; Schreiber 4216; Davies, Murray German, 199; BMC I 168; BSB-Ink V-260; Goff H-216.