ALLIACO, Petrus de (1350-1420). Imago mundi. -Epilogus mappae mundi. -De legibus et sectis contra superstitiosos astronomos. -Exhortatio super kalendarii correctione. -De vero cycle lunari. -Compendium cosmographiae. -Vigintiloquium de concordia astronomicae veritatis cum theologia. -Concordia astronomicae veritatis cum narratione historica. -Elucidarium astronomicae concordiae cum theologica et historica veritate. -Apologetica defensio astronomicae veritatis. -Altera apogoletica defensio astronomicae veritatis. -De concordia discordantium astronomorum. - Johannes GERSON (1363-1429). Trilogium astrologiae theologisatae. -Contra superstitiosam dierum observantiam. -Contra superstitionem sculpturae leonis. -De observatione dierum quantum ad opera. [Louvain: Johannes de Westfalia, ca. 1480; not after 1483].
Chancery 2o (285 x 205 mm). Collation: s6; a-k8 l4; aa-ii8 kk10 (r blank, v introduction to diagrams, r diagrams to Imago mundi, blank; a1r blank, a1v note on author, table of contents for volume, a2r chapter list for Imago mundi, a3r tables of latitudes, elevations, and length of the day, a4r Imago mundi; aa1r De concordia astronomice veritatis cum theologia, kk9v-10 blank). 172 leaves. Types: 1B:89G (text), 2:118G (headings), 5:79G (captions). Six-, four- and two-line initial spaces, a few with printed guide-letters. 8 large woodcut diagrams, including a MAPPA MUNDI, 8 smaller woodcut diagrams in text. Unrubricated, except bb6v-dd3r. Signatures to quires a-d printed vertically in the outer margin. The book also quired in manuscript and with contemporary manuscript foliation. Blind bearer type visible at foot of k2v, l4v, bb4v, kk9r. An additional blank 8-leaf quire bound at beginning, and one at the end (final blank quire lacking 7 and 8). (Front endleaves and added first quire partially detached from sewing, intermittent faint dampstain to upper and lower blank margins, occasional minor smudges, l2-3 cropped short at fore-edge touching marginalia.)
Binding: contemporary English blind-tooled calf over oaken boards, by the Rood and Hunt binder, Oxford: the covers divided by widely spaced double fillets into a broad outer frame stamped with a double-eagle, a rosette and small circles, a narrow inner frame filled with repeats of a twining floral tool, the central rectangular panel with rows of double-eagles, monsters, and three different pairs of birds; evidence of two clasps catching on lower cover; a number of deckle edges preserved, vellum endleaves (rebacked); modern drop-back cloth box.
Provenance: extensive contemporary marginalia in English hands, underlining in text, title lettered on fore-edge -- John Hyndmer?: early inscription on flyleaf -- Sir Thomas Tempest, Bart.: signature, r -- Joseph W. Weld: shelfmarks; sale, Christie's London, 24 July 1970, lot 3 -- [Martin Breslauer 1971] -- Otto Schäfer: bookplate, no. 892; sale, Sotheby's New York, 1 November 1995, lot 172 (to Quaritch).
FIRST EDITION and the only incunable edition. This edition of the scientific works of Pierre d'Ailly was one of the first scientific books printed in the Low Countries and contains the only map printed in the Low Countries during the 15th century. In the treatise Imago mundi, which was completed in 1410, D'Ailly made use of the Geography of Ptolemy, then newly translated into Latin. D'Ailly's opinion that the world was round and his calculation of distances helped convince Columbus that he could reach Asia by sailing westward. Columbus' own copy of this edition, with his annotations, survives in the Biblioteca Colombina in Seville. Other tractates in the volume, by D'Ailly and his pupil Jean Gerson, deal with calendrical questions and argue against astrological superstitions.
The map in this edition is a zonal map, which depicts the world as a hemisphere divided into climatic zones with the inhabited parts in the northern half. In this example, the relative position of the different countries and other features is indicated only typographically, by the positions of the words naming them. This was one of the first maps to place north at the top.
This copy of D'Ailly's work gives evidence of the close relationship between the Louvain printer Johannes de Westphalia and the English book trade. A fragment of a book inventory dated 1483, which survives as binding waste in a Bodleian Library incunable, lists more than 100 volumes which the Oxford bookseller Thomas Hunt had received from Johannes de Westphalia and a book importer named Peter Actors. Included were two copies of Petrus de ayliaco de ymagine mundi, which were to be sold for 4 shillings each. The present copy was likely one of these, as it was bound by the so-called Rood and Hunt binder, who worked for Hunt and his partner Theodoric Rood, and copied tools from contemporary Netherlandish bindings.
HC 836*=837; BMC IX, 146 (IB. 49230); BSB-Ink. P-321; CIBN A-250; Polain 134; Schäfer/von Arnim 268 Goff A-477.
[Includes, as sewing guards in three quires, vellum strips from:]
SIXTUS IV (Francesco della Rovere, 1414-1484, Pope from 1471). [Indulgence to benefit the Knights of Rhodes (John Kendale, Commissary; single issue)]. [Westminster: William Caxton, 1480].
20 lines? Type 4:100B. Woodcut initial F.
This indulgence in favor of the Knights of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem was granted by Pope Sixtus IV to enable the Knights to raise money for the defense of Rhodes against the Turks. During the year when the indulgence was valid, from Palm Sunday, 26 March 1480, to Easter, 22 April 1481, there were several campaigns to sell it in England. On three or four occasions, the commissioner John Kendale, a high-ranking English Hospitaller, ordered stocks of blank indulgence forms from the printers William Caxton and Johannes Lettou. In principle, each printing included both singular forms of the text, addressed to individuals, and plural forms, which could be used for couples or families. Examples of six printings of the indulgence survive, most as binder's waste. The present fragments must have come into being when an Oxford indulgence seller discarded his remaining forms or sold them to the Rood and Hunt bindery after the indulgence had expired.
STC, Addenda III, 279; Paul Needham, The Printer and the Pardoner, Washington 1986, Cx42, cf. pp. 32 seqq., 81; Schäfer/von Arnim 200a.