CYPRIANUS, Thascius Caecilius (Saint, Bishop of Carthage from ca. 248, d. 258). Opera. Edited by Joannes Andreae de Buxiis (1417-1475), bishop of Aleria. [Venice:] Vindelinus de Spira, [after July] 1471.
Median 2o (338 x 230 mm). Collation: [1-1210 1312 14-1710 1812] (1/1r blank, 1/1v table, 1/3r text, 18/10v colophon, 18/11-12 blank). 182 leaves (of 184, without the first and last blanks). 37-38 lines. Type: 1:110R2 (text), 110Gk (fol. 17/8v, chapter numbers in book II of Ad Quirinum). 2-, 6- , 8- and 9-line initial spaces. Opening 8-line initial in blue with red penwork infill and marginal extensions; Lombard initials in red or blue (one in brown), a few with marginal flourishes; a few red scroll borders supplied to printed headings, paragraph marks in red (alternating blue and red in table), capital strokes in red. Original manuscript quiring preserved. Two pinholes visible at outer corners of most leaves. (First leaf soiled, some marginal dampstaining, most noticeable in quire 6.)
Binding: contemporary Austrian blind-tooled goatskin over wooden boards, covers with border of plaited ropework tools enclosing intersecting bands of same forming a lattice design, the compartments decorated with Kopfstempel tools and small rosettes, pair of brass fore-edge catches on upper cover stamped with letters "ONO", mounts on lower cover stamped with floral design, vellum sewing guards from a 15th-century manuscript, manuscript title on upper edges (the clasps renewed, rebacked, covers severely rubbed effacing much of tooling, board edges restored, endpapers renewed), several deckle edges preserved.
Provenance: Neumarkt, Bavaria, Capuchins (effaced ownership inscription on first text leaf, Loci Capucinorum Neofori).
Second edition, a word-for-word reprint of Sweynheym and Pannartz's edition, printed in Rome earlier the same year, but omitting Bussi's dedication letter to Pope Paul II, who died on 26 July 1471. Bussi's edition comprises the Epistolae, Libelli and Testimonia, including De habitu virginum, De ecclesiae unitate, De lapsis, Ad Quirinum adversus Iudeos and other works, as well as three spurious texts, De singularitate clericorum, De montibus Sina et Sion, and De revelatione capitis beati Johannis Baptistae, a fantastical tale of the transfer to Angers, at King Pepin's behest, of the head of St. John the Baptist. The works of Cyprian, a pagan rhetorician converted to Christianity whose writings display his sober judgement and skills as an administrator and pastoral leader, remained popular throughout the Middle Ages and well into the Renaissance; eight 15th-century editions of his works are recorded.
In 1470, at the death of his brother Johann, Wendelin von Speier was forced to take over this first Venetian press. During the next three years he printed books at a terrific rate, totalling over 60 editions, each of which may have been printed in as many as 400 copies.
A FRESH, CRISP COPY. H 5897*; BMC V 159 (IB. 19531); BSB-Ink. C-725; GW 7884; IGI 3295; Pr 4032; Goff C-1011.