CARACCIOLUS, Robertus (1425-1495). Sermones quadragsimales de poenitentia. Cologne: Ulrich Zel, 17 January 1473.
Chancery 2o (288 x 210 mm). Collation: [1-1010 118 12-2010 21-228 236 24-3710] (1/1 blank, 1/2r sermo i, 12/1r sermo xxiii, 24/1r sermo xlvii, 37/8v colophon, table, 37/10v blank). 359 leaves (of 360, without 37/10). 37 lines, double column. Type: 2:115G. Three- and four-line initial spaces, a few with printed guide letters. Rubricated with red Lombard initials, capital strokes, paragraph signs and underlines. Contemporary manuscript quiring in center of lower margins in the first half of each quire. Three pinholes visible on most leaves, two in upper margin, one in lower. (First page slightly darkened, a few smudges, one or two tiny wormholes to blank margins of first ca. 30 and last ca. 30 leaves.) Original bare wooden boards, later leather spine in the style of the 15th-century, sewing guards cut from a 14th-century manuscript (endleaves renewed); two brass clasps, pink leather index tabs.
Provenance: Geh. Justiz-Rath (...) Barnheim, of Insterburg, East Prussia: his signed annotations on front endleaves; sale, Stargardt (Berlin), 8 May 1873 -- George and David Wolfe Bruce, given by them in 1894 to -- The Grolier Club of New York: printed label; pencilled note "Sold by the Grolier Club 15 Nov. 1968 G. Austin Librarian" -- Walter Goldwater: bookplate; sale, Swann Galleries, 1 December 1983, lot 98.
An early edition of this series of Lenten sermons by one of the most celebrated preachers of the fifteenth century. Although Roberto da Lecce, as he was also known, lived and worked in Italy, his several collections of sermons were equally popular in northern Europe and were printed in many incunable editions. Two other dated editions of his Quadragesimale de poenitentia were published in 1473, one in Venice by Wendelin de Spira, known to be before August 1473, and a second in Cologne, by Johann Koelhoff, the Elder, dated simply 1473. An edition published in Strassburg by the printer of Henricus Animinensis is conventionally dated not after 1473.
A TALL, CRISP COPY. ISTC lists only three other copies in North America (Harvard College Library, Huntington Library, Library of Congress). HC 4429*; BMC I, 191 (IB. 2955); BSB-Ink. C-132; GW 6067; Harvard/Walsh 340; Pr 880; Voulliéme Köln 307; Goff C-171.