17 April 2000
AUGUSTINUS, Aurelius (354-430). De consensu evangelistarum. Lauingen: [Eponymous press], 12 April 1473.
Chancery 2o (259 x 192 mm). Collation: [1-1010 118] (1/1 blank, 1/2r text, 11/7v colophon, 11/8 blank). 108 leaves. 37 lines. Type: 1:96R, woodcut outline capitals. Two six-line initial spaces. Rubricated with large red Lombard initials and red capital strokes; a few marginal drolleries by the rubricator; printed outline capitals filled with red. Traces of contemporary manuscript quiring in lower right corners on first rectos. One line of blind bearer type visible at foot of 11/7. (Occasional very light foxing, 1/1.10 and 11/1.8 reinforced at inner margin.) 16th-century blind-tooled German pigskin over wooden boards (rebacked); vellum sewing guards around first and last quires cut from a manuscript in large Gothic textura script; two clasps.
Provenance: title lettered on fore-edge -- Eric Sexton: bookplates; sale, Christie's New York, 8 April 1981, lot 79.
FIRST EDITION, THE ONLY BOOK KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN PRINTED AT LAUINGEN. The press at this small town on the Danube in Swabia was probably associated with the convent of Augustinian Hermits there. One other book, Augustine's De anima et spiritu, dated 9 November 1472 but without a place of printing, is considered to represent an earlier state of this type and is attributed to the same press.
A CRISP COPY WITH SHARP TYPE IMPRESSIONS. HC 1981*; BMC II, 545 (IB. 9502); BSB-Ink. A-866; CIBN A-696; GW 2897; Pr 2599; Goff A-1257.
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