AUGUSTINUS, Aurelius (354-430, Saint). De consensu evangelistarum. Lauingen: [Printer of Augustinus, 'De consensu evangelistarum'], 12 April 1473.
Chancery 2o (262 x 189 mm). Collation: [1-1010 118] blank, 1/2r text, 11/7v colophon, 11/8 blank). 108 leaves. 37 lines. Type: 1B:96. 6-line spaces for initials opening the second and fourth books, 3-line outline woodcut initials elsewhere. Large opening initial I in pen-and-ink and green wash with red highlighting; the 6-line initials supplied in red; the woodcut initials colored in yellow or green, a few colored red. Capital strokes in red. Traces of contemporary manuscript quiring in lower inner corners of first rectos. Variant settings: line 1, 6/4r, as British Library IB. 9502; line 1, 8/6r, in the corrected state, as IB. 9503. (Filled wormtracks in last two text leaves slightly affecting a dozen letters, two small marginal filled wormholes in first 2 leaves, occasional very minor narrow marginal dampstain in quires 3-7.)
Binding: contemporary South-German binding of pink-stained alum-tawed skin over bevelled wooden boards, sides blind-tooled with double fillets forming four rectangular compartments each in turn divided by two pairs of intersecting fillets into four triangles, small rosette tools marking the intersections, contemporary vellum manuscript title and shelfmark (h33) labels on upper cover, each cover with five brass bosses, single brass and leather fore-edge clasp, rebacked in calf in the eighteenth century, with leather gilt lettering-pieces, PASTEDOWNS OF PRINTER'S WASTE: A CANCELLED SHEET FROM THIS EDITION CONTAINING VARIANT SETTINGS OF THE TEXT, vellum quire liners from a German twelfth-century missal (some wear and fading at top of lower cover, a few small abrasions and scrapes); folding cloth case.
Provenance: Füssen (Bavaria), Benedictines of St. Mang: 1473 ownership inscription on first text leaf (Iste liber est monasterij S. magni in faucibus alpium 1473), inscription at end in same hand recording the purchase of the book at Lauingen in 1473 for 16 groschen (emptus pro xvi grossis anno domini 1473 in laugingen [sic] est impressus ut supra), manuscript title on verso of first blank leaf -- Princes von Oettingen-Wallerstein (who acquired most of the St. Mang library after the secularization of 1803) -- Albert Ehrman (1890-1969), Broxbourne Library: bookplate and markings, sale Sotheby's London, 15 November 1977, lot 220 (to Lathrop Harper).
FIRST EDITION. ONE OF TWO BOOKS PRINTED AT LAUINGEN IN THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY. A quarto edition of pseudo-Augustinian tracts (Goff A-1224), dated 9 November 1472 but without a stated place of printing, is ascribed to the same anonymous Lauingen press on the basis of the type. Although the type of the 1472 edition -- one of the earliest roman types used in Germany -- differs substantially from that used here, A. W. Pollard's attribution of the earlier edition to the same unknown Lauingen press has been generally accepted, along with his explanation for the typographical differences, i.e., that the type for this edition was recast on a smaller body and intermixed with several gothic sorts. Because both Lauingen editions are Augustinian, it has been suggested that they may have been printed by or with the financial support of the Augustinian Hermits there (cf. Geldner I:195 and Otto Bucher (Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens 8:1967, 1467 ff). No further printing from Lauingen is known until the 1550s.
The pastedowns of this volume consist of a single sheet from this edition containing an earlier, rejected setting of a portion of the text in quire 3. The back pastedown displays the text that appears in the definitive setting on fol. 3/5r, lines 1 through 33, and its conjugate at the front has the text from fol. 3/5v, line 30 through 3/6r, line 24 (incidentally, the page shows a faulty impression through movement of the paper in the press). The hidden page of the lower pastedown thus contains the text of the 33 lines between these two sections. While the proof state contains the same number of lines as the final version, far fewer abbreviations are used. Thus the text printed in 37 lines in this first setting was condensed to 32 or 33 lines in the second and definitive version. The front pastedown also contains two woodcut initials that do not appear in the final version, which may have had to be reset because of an error of casting off. Another copy of the first leaf only(?) of this cancelled bifolium is preserved in the binding on the Rush Hawkins copy at the Annmary Brown Memorial Library in Providence (cf. A. W. Pollard, Catalogue of books mostly from the presses of the first printers... collected by Rush C. Hawkins, 1910, p. 69, no. 132). In the Hawkins copy, the page here hidden is exposed; Pollard noted that it contains 3 woodcut capitals not used in the final state. Not only is the survival of fifteenth-century proof sheets of intrinsic interest, but the presence of printer's waste in the bindings of both copies (described as "of white leather stamped and ruled") indicates that they may have been bound at Lauingen. A monk from the Benedictine monastery of Füssen in upper Bavaria bought this copy in Lauingen itself (25 miles down the Danube from Ulm) very soon after publication, apparently ready-bound. In theory the book could have been transported unbound and wrapped in discarded sheets from the printer, which would then have been used by a binder in or near Füssen. However, while a few bindings have been attributed to the Benedictines at Füssen (Schwenke-Sammlung II:97), they bear no stylistic relation to the present very simply decorated binding. The small 9-petalled rosette tool does not permit easy identification of a workshop, and no monastic or other binderies at Lauingen appear to be recorded. Just as for the printing of this edition, one may conjecture a possible involvement of the Augustinian Hermits, but proof is lacking.
HC 1981*; BMC II, 545 (IB. 9502-9503); BSB-Ink A-866; CIBN A-696; GW 2897; Harvard/Walsh 878; Goff A-1257.