DURANDUS, Guillelmus (1237-96, O.P., Bishop of Mende). Rationale divinorum officiorum. Mainz: Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer, 6th October 1459.
Royal 2° (390 x 270mm). PRINTED ON VELLUM IN THREE COLOURS (text in black, initials in red and blue). Collation: [1-310 48 5-610 76(5+1) 82]: books I-IV, 1r prologue incipit (contractions resolved) Quecumque in ecclesiasticis officiis, 1v book I incipit Prius est ut de ecclesia, 7/5+1r incipit conserventur, pro eis qui sunt in purgatorio, 8/2v blank; [98 106]: bk V, 9/1r incipit Legitur in exo. xxv. c. in fine. dominus dixisse; [11-1510 168]: bk VI, 11/1r incipit In proxime precedenti parte de divinis officiis, 16/8v blank; [1710 1810(9+1)]: bks VII-VIII, 17/1r incipit Postquam de divinis officiis in genere, 18/9+1r incipit in omni mense cuis lunnacio est, 18/10r colophon Presens racionalis divinorum codex officiorum venustate capitalium decoratus, rubricationibusque distinctus. Artificiosa adinventione imprimendi ac caracterizandi: absque calami exaratione sic effigiatus. Et ad eusebiam dei industrie est consummatus Per Johannem fust civem Maguntinum. Et petrum Gernszheym, Clericum diocesis eiusdem. Anno domini Millesimo quadringentesimo quinquagesimonono. Sexto die Octobris, 18/10v blank. 160 leaves. Gothic types 3:91 (text), 5:118 (colophon). Double column, 63 lines, 8 pinholes to the sheet (some visible).
RUBRICATION: eight two-colour decorative book initials (4 red with blue surround, 4 blue with red surround, ranging from 7 to 22 lines, see below; marginal initial I omitted from bk II); most book and chapter headings printed in red, some in manuscript, a few omitted; numerous 3-line chapter lombards (others in manuscript, some 45 initials omitted); occasional paragraph-marks printed in red, many omitted or in manuscript, no capital-strokes. (Long crease in fo.1 flattened, soiling to the same leaf, light stains to 8 pages including final leaf, very minor repair to margin of 10 leaves.) Gold-tooled crushed red morocco oven thick pasteboard, multiple fillets around the sides, circular floral tool in the corners, spine decorated and lettered in compartments, multiple fillets and another flower tool on wide turn-ins, vellum endleaves and flyleaves, gilt edges [1830s binding, by Charles Lewis].
Provenance: early underlining in brown ink on final 37 pages of part I -- Richard Mostyn, Esq. (2 autograph letters signed by W. Foulkes, dated 13 March 1720 from "Beachwood", Herts, and 7 May 1720 from Cursitor's Alley, London, respectively). Foulkes first writes to Mostyn "at the Bath Somersetshire," apparently in reply to an inquiry; he quotes a short account of the book by Sir Thomas [Saunders] Sebright, M.P. for Hertfordshire, whose own copy of the Mainz Durandus is listed by De Ricci among the "Exemplaires disparus" (DeR 65.52). He discusses the value, past and present, of Durandus, mentioning the two "editions" of the book and asking after the condition of Mostyn's copy. He would consult Sir Thomas "here" [at Beechwood], who is tied down to business at the House of Commons. When he corresponds again two months later, "the conversation runs so entirely upon South Sea, that matters of Learning are quite out of the Question." He estimates the current value of Durandus between £30 and £40 "if a fair copy," which is lower than it used to be, but expresses his willingness to make further inquiries about selling the book if Mostyn will tell him the price he wants to realise. -- Philip Hurd (1832 sale, £58-16-0 to) -- Payne & Foss, sold for £70 to Beriah Botfield (P. & F. Acquisitions, p.30).
FIRST EDITION of dozens in the 15th century (GW 9101-44). The author was one of the principal canonists of his day, but this compendium on the mystical origins and meaning of the liturgies is his most influential work. His arrangement of pontifical ceremonies forms the direct ancestor of the Clementine Pontificale Romanum. In the Mainz canon of prototypography it is preceded by the Sibyllenbuch, various Donatuses, Indulgences, Calendars, Almanacs and Bulls, the Vulgate and two Psalters, but stands out as the first substantial writing by a known and named author to be published. Its production was started before Fust and Schoeffer finished their Bursfeld Psalter of 29 August 1459. They and the Liturgical Psalter of 14 August 1457 are the only signed and precisely dated editions in the first decade of printing. The small text type in Rationale represents the first use of this fount, which later reoccurs in various states (and leaded in the 1465-66 Mainz Ciceros); the colophon type is the first manifestation of the so-called 1462 Bible fount.
The two-part book initials first appeared in both Psalters, colour-printed at a single pull with the text. In the Durandus the printed rubrication (large red-and-blue initials and the smaller red lombards, headings and paragraph-marks) required an extra pull and therefore careful register with the black printing of the text; thus, some vellum sheets of the Durandus went through the press at no less than eight separate passes as the edition was printed page-by-page. Many pages were run off in a variety of states: with or without two-colour printed initials, with or without red-printed headings, chapter lombards and/or paragraph-marks. The beginnings of bks III (2/10r), IV (3/7v), VII (17/1r) and VIII (18/5v) were partly reset to accommodate larger spaces for illuminated initials (in many cases executed by the so-called Fust Master; see Eberhard König, "Für Johannes Fust," in Ars Impressoria. Eine internationale Festgabe für Severin Corsten pp 285-313). The present copy shows these pages in their FIRST STATE, with printed initials and the earlier settings of the text. Copies are recorded containing various combinations of printed and manuscript initials (or blank initial spaces); their occurrences are inconsistent enough to preclude a neat division of the edition into an earlier and a later issue. The Mostyn-Botfield copy is one of the few to have almost the full complement of two-colour printed initials:
1/1r Prologue: 13-line Q in red with blue decorative surround
1/1v Book I: 7-line P in blue with red surround
2/4v Book II: marginal I omitted
2/10r Book III: 7-line I in red with blue surround
3/7v Book IV: 7-line I in blue with red surround
9/1r Book V: 7-line L in blue with red surround
11/1r Book VI: 22-line marginal I in red with blue surround
17/1r Book VII: 7-line P in blue with red surround
18/5v Book VIII: 7-line Q in red with blue surround
All copies of the edition were printed on vellum, although the copy formerly in Mainz Cathedral Library (BSB D-324) was mostly gathered from paper proofing sheets; see Lotte Hellinga, "Proof-reading in 1459," in: Ars Impressoria pp 183-202. The edition sold well and copies were no longer available ten years later when Peter Schoeffer issued his advertisement, which did for instance list the 1462 Bible and the 1466 Cicero as being still in print. This is one of the last copies in private ownership (the imperfect Doheny copy is now in the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, Amsterdam, and the fine Chatsworth-Schoyen copy at Osaka Aoyama Junior College, Mino, Japan), and is IN VERY FINE, COMPLETE CONDITION. Not in Seymour de Ricci's census, Catalogue raisonné des premières impressions de Mayence (Gutenberg-Gesellschaft 1911). HR 6471; GW 9101; BMC I, 20 (IC.78); Goff D-403; Pellechet 4491.