London, South Kensington
25 November 2014
THOMAS A KEMPIS (1380-1471). Imitatio Christi. – Johannes GERSON. De meditatione cordis. [Ulm: Johann Zainer,] 1487.
Chancery 8° (138 x 79mm). With blank 1/8, without final 2 blanks. Gothic types, 22 lines and headline, initial spaces occasionally filled by a 17/18th-century hand. (Fo. p6-7 shaved at fore-edge, occasional light staining.) [Bound with:] 8 leaves of notes and commentary on sermons for various feast days written in a contemporary German hand on paper in brown ink. Near contemporary gilt-stamped calf over wooden boards, sides tooled with a baptism of Christ panel (not in Einbanddatenbank) on front and interlace ornament on back, leaf tool [similar to but not identical with a stamp from Ulm ‘Viereck’ bindery] in corners and spine compartments, edges gilt and gauffered, two fore-edge catches without clasps (gilt worn away, a little rubbed with small loss, light wear at spine ends). Provenance: brother Domenico de St ... – Adam Burkh... (contemporary inscriptions on title).
The Imitatio Christi was the most influential devotional work of the later Middle Ages. A cornerstone of the devotio moderna, a lay movement advocating the pursuit of a religious life in imitation of Christ through meditation and instruction, it circulated widely in manuscript and in print. It was often attributed in print to Jean Gerson, chancellor of the university of Paris and advocate of the movement, author of the second work which frequently accompanied it. Thomas's autograph manuscript survives at the Bibliothèque Royale at Brussels. The present edition is the second of two identical editions printed by Zainer that year; unusually, the quire signatures are printed in the headline. HC(+Add) 9091; BMC II, 530; CIBN T-234; BSB-Ink T-172; Bod-inc. T-101; Ford, BPH 186; Goff I-13.
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