BIBLE, Latin. With the Glossa ordinaria attributed to Walafrid Strabo and others, and the interlinear gloss of Anselm of Laon. [Strassburg: Adolph Rusch for Anton Koberger, not after 1480].
Imperial 2o (436 x 305 mm). Collation: [vol. I] 110 2-158 166 1710 (Genesis-Leviticus, 17/10 blank); 18-308 31-326 (Numbers-Ruth); [vol. II] 33-358 (I Kings); 36-478 4810 (II Kings-II Chronicles); 49-518 52-536 548 55-566 (Esdras-Esther); 57-588 59-606 618 626 (Job); 63-728 7310 748 (Psalms, without 74/8, the last leaf of Psalms); [vol. III] 75-798 806 81-828 8310 (Proverbs-Ecclesiasticus); 84-948 95-966 9710 (Isaiah-Baruch, 97/10v blank); 98-1018 102-1046 (Ezechiel); 105-1068 (Daniel); 107-1118 112-1136 (Hosea-Malachi); 114-1188 (I-II Maccabees, 118/8v blank); [vol. IV] 119-1308 1316 1328(1+1) (Matthew-Luke); 1338 1346 13510 (John); 136-1438 144-1456 1468 1476 (Romans-Hebrews, 147/6v blank); 148-1548 15510 (Acts-Apocalypse, without 155/9-10 both blank). 1208 leaves (of 1211). 45 lines of text without interlinear commentary, 73 lines of commentary, and headline, double column. Types: 1:180G (headlines, text incipits), 2:106G (text, commentary incipits), 3:92G (commentary), 4:68G (interlinear commentary). Initial spaces. Eight large illuminated initials (2 opening initials at beginning of each volume) in color modelled in white or yellow on burnished gold grounds with incised floral patterns and borders, some set within segmented borders in red, green and grey and with tendril extensions in gold and colors, by a contemporary German artist; each book introduced by a divided Lombard initial in red and blue with green and brown pen-flourishing, chapters introduced by large Lombards alternately in red and blue, red capital strokes, alternating red and blue paragraph signs. (Faint dampstains to some blank margins, small losses to blank upper corners of first ca. 10 leaves in vol. II, some soiling to first and last leaves of each volume, a few small wormholes to last ca. 50 leaves of vol. II and vol. IV.) 16th-century blind-tooled half pigskin over pasteboard, covered with leaves from a large-format 15th-century manuscript gradual with German neumes, with remains of six large illuminated initials (soiled and rubbed, with some loss of leather); cloth slipcases.
Provenance: a few contemporary annotations -- A. von Hanseleder, Corbach: 19th-century paper labels on spines.
FIRST EDITION of the Latin Bible with the Glossa ordinaria, the standard Bible commentary of the later eleventh and early twelfth century, composed by Anselm of Laon, Ralph of Laon and Gilbert of Auxerre. The layout preserves the traditional manuscript format, distinguishing the Biblical text from the Glossa ordinaria surrounding it, and from the interlinear gloss, which usually consists of definitions or paraphrases of specific words. Glossed manuscript Bibles of the twelfth century were usually divided into multiple volumes, a fact that may be reflected in the many compositional units of the present edition. This feature also permitted considerable variation in the binding of copies of the printed edition. In addition to copies bound in four volumes, others are found in five volumes or in three, and the order in which the sections of text are bound also varies from copy to copy.
The unusual method of quire signing found in this edition, in which the signatures consist of the first seven letters of the alphabet repeated non-sequentially, does not indicate the order of the quires. Rather, these letters appear to be a form of press figure, each letter referring to one of the seven presses used to print the work. Three of the four type fonts used in the edition were also used by Johann Amerbach of Basel, from whom Rusch is known to have borrowed types and with whom he corresponded regularly. Albert Hartmann, editor of Amerbach's correspondence, attributed the edition to him, an opinion reflected for a time in the literature of incunable studies. The letters, however, make reference to the loan of types and speak of the Bible in terms which imply that it was Rusch's. They also indicate that Rusch was under contract to Anton Koberger of Nuremberg for the marketing of the edition, but that he kept about one hundred copies at Strassburg to sell on his own account. The edition is dated from inscriptions in the Cambridge University Library and Sion College copies which imply that those copies were purchased in 1480. Rubrication inscriptions in Munich and Budapest copies are dated 1481.
A CRISP, WIDE-MARGINED COPY. HC 3173*; BMC I, 92 (IC. 813-814); BSB-Ink. B-442; CIBN B-427; K. Froehlich and M.T. Gibson, Biblia latina cum glossa ordinaria: Facsimile reprint of the editio princeps (Turnhout 1992), preface; F. Geldner, "Amerbach-Studien," in Archiv fr Geschichte des Buchwesens, vol. 23, 1982, col. 661-692; GW 4282; Harvard/Walsh 139-141; Pr 299; Goff B-607. (4)