BERTHOLDUS, O.P. (fl. 1350). Horologium devotionis. [Cologne: Ulrich Zel, ca. 1488].
Median 16o (111 x 82 mm). Collation: [a]8 b-o8 p10 (a1r title with Nativity metalcut, a1v blank, a2r text, p5v blank, p10r explicit, p10v blank). 122 leaves. 22 lines. Types: 2:115G (title and headings); 4:67G (text). 24 full-page woodcuts printed from 19 blocks and 13 metalcuts with foliate borders printed from 12 plates (woodcuts e8v=g7v, i4v=i5v, k8v=l5r, m2v=m5v, metalcut a1r=b3v); the metalcut on a5v partially colored in green. One 5-line and numerous 2- and 3-line initial spaces. Flourished Lombard initials, paragraph marks and capital strokes in red, opening initial with siena penwork decoration including flowering plant in lower border. (Marginal repair to second leaf, small repaired wormholes in lower blank corners of first two leaves, neatly repaired tear to n5.)
HC 2995(I)=H 8931(I); BMC I, 199 (IA. 3081); BSB-Ink. B-395; GW 4172; Muther 119; Schreiber 3444; Schramm VIII, pp. 4, 17; Goff B-503.
Meditationes de vita et beneficiis Jesu Christi, sive gratiarum actiones. [Cologne: Ulrich Zel, ca. 1488].
Median 16o. Collation: A-Q8 (A1r title, A1v blank, A2r text, Q6v end of text, Q7-8 blank). 128 leaves. 22 lines. Types: 2:115G (title and headings); 4:67G (text). Two 4-line and numerous 3-line initial spaces. Opening initial on A2r in brown, initial on A2v in brown outline with penwork, the remaining rubrication uniform with preceding work. (Repaired tear to title-leaf not affecting text.)
C 2995(II)=H 10993=HC 10995; BMC I, 200 (IA. 3082 + 3084); CIBN M-271; Goff M-431.
Manuscript prayers to Mary, Jesus, St. Benedict and St. Jerome, in Latin (the introductory paragraph an indulgence in [Low?] German), a single quire of 8 leaves (1r, 3v, 6v, 7 and 8 blank) in a South German cursive bookhand, written by Frater Jacobus de Aula (see provenance below), apparently unfinished, all pages of the quire frame-ruled in lead. Headings and prayer to the Virgin on 4r in red ink, the remainder in brown ink; large initial on 2r in green and sepia ink and yellow wash with floral decoration, Maiblumen initial in sepia on 5r, small initial incorporating a human face on 6r, the initials in outline and apparently unfinished; remaining rubrication uniform with the rest of the volume.
Two printed works and a manuscript in one volume. Binding: contemporary Cologne binding of blind-tooled calf over pasteboard, sides panelled with triple and double fillets, central compartment with intersecting double fillets forming a saltire design, the interstices tooled with rhomboid fleurs-de-lys, tiny rosettes stamped in the surrounding border, the tools apparently not in Kyriss or Schwenke-Sammlung, plain spine, pair of chased brass fore-edge clasps fastening to catchplates on upper cover (boards quite rubbed, the tools almost indistinguishable, minor worming near clasps, hinges split); pastedowns and quire liners cut from a 14th-century antiphonal on vellum with German neumes on 4-line staves with red, yellow and black clef lines; three flyleaves at back, none at front; morocco two-part pull-off case.
Provenance: Jacobus de Aula: inscription on flyleaf at end (Orate pro frater Jacobo de Aula); the manuscript prayers written in the same hand and the rubrication of the volume apparently also supplied by him.
An attractive pocket-sized Sammelband assembled for his private devotional use by a monk presumably of Cologne. Bound first is one of the earliest editions (the first or second) of Bertholdus' own Latin translation of his Zeitglöcklein des Lebens und Leiden Christi nach den 24 Stunden nachgeteilt, a popular devotional work in which the prayers are divided into 24 parts, each corresponding to an hour of the day, and each concerned with an event in the life of Christ, commencing with the Annunciation and concluding with the Day of Judgement. A Paris edition has been recently assigned to the printer Jean Du Pré and tentatively dated ca. 1484 (cf. ISTC). Of the 31 illustrations of scenes from the life of Christ the woodcuts are apparently unique to this edition; most of the metalcuts, based on the popular and often copied cycle of the Life of Christ by the Master of the Berlin Passion, were later acquired by the Cologne printer Johann Landen and reused in his edition of ca. 1498 (Goff B-507). They are among a handful of metalcut or "dotted print" illustrations in printed books of the fifteenth century (cf. Hind, History of Woodcut I, p. 194). This copy has the variant setting of the innermost sheet of quire p, without the metalcut of the Last Judgement on p5v, as described in GW Anm.
The Bertholdus is bound with the probable first edition of the Meditationes vitae Christi, often ascribed to Thomas à Kempis. Zel apparently issued the two works together, along with Gerardus Zutphaniensis, De spiritualibus ascensionibus, similarly dated (Goff G-175): the three editions have complementary quire signatures and are often found bound together.