GAGUINUS, Robertus (1433?-1501). Compendium de origine et gestis Francorum. Edited by Jodocus Badius Ascensius (ca. 1461-1535). Paris: Thielman Kerver for Durand Gerlier and Jean Petit, 13 January 1500.
Chancery 2o (279 x 201 mm). Collation: Aa6; a-z A-F6 (Aa1 title, Aa1v author's verses addressed to the Virgin, Aa2r index, Aa5v list of kings, Aa6v preface by Benedictus Montenatus; a1r author's preface, a1v text, F2r verses by Publius Faustus Andrelinus, letter of Erasmus to the author, F3v letter of Cornelius Gerardus, F4r verse encomium by Cornelius Gerardus, F4v-F5r Josse Bade's verse encomium of the Gauls and epigrams, F5v title woodcut repeated, F6r verses by Josse Bade on his edition, printer's device, colophon, F6v blank). 180 leaves. 45 lines and headline, printed marginalia, table in three columns. Types: Wolf 18:190G=Haebler 17 (first and third lines on a1r); Wolf 11:92R=Haebler 10 (title, text); Wolf 16:79R=Haebler 15 (table, marginalia). Full-page woodcut of saints Denis and Rémy with coats-of-arms and inset typographic captions (a1r and F6v). Printer's metalcut device (Polain, Marques 111). 7- and 6-line spaces at book openings with printed guide-letters, woodcut 3-line Lombard initials elsewhere. Unrubricated. Blind bearer type in margin of last leaf. (Light stain to title, small marginal dampstain to c3-4 and F2-5, light foxing to a few sheets, tiny marginal holes in last leaf.)
Binding: contemporary ?Parisian russet-brown blind-stamped sheep over pasteboard, spine rebacked in early blind-stamped pigskin, sides panelled with quadruple and quintuple fillets, outer border of interlaced dotted circles, inner border of lattice work enclosing a repeated four-petalled flower tool, central panel with opposing repeated semi-circles flanked by panels of smaller facing half-circles, all with saw-tooth edges formed by repeated small triangle tools, evidence of four pairs of tawed leather ties (two at fore-edge), quire liners and binder's waste (visible through plain paper pastedowns) from a French vernacular manuscript on vellum; 17th or 18th-century manuscript paper title label on spine, later spine label with erased shelfmark (rubbed, some loss to leather at corners; hole to front free endleaf from deleted signature); a few deckle edges preserved.
Provenance: Eric Sexton (1902-1980): bookplate; sale, Christie's New York, 8 April 1981, lot 125 -- [Lathrop Harper, cat. 239].
Fourth, corrected and enlarged, edition, the first illustrated, of Gaguin's important chronicle of French history, first published by Pierre Le Dru in "1499" (i.e., 1495, Goff G-12). One of the leading exponents of the early humanist movement at Paris, Gaguin was a friend of Guillaume Fichet, whom he assisted in setting up the Sorbonne printing press. Josse Bade, who had been working as editor for Jean Trechsel in Lyon, came to Paris in 1499, partly at Gaguin's urging; in 1503 Bade set up his own press. Gaguin's friendship with Erasmus dated from the latter's arrival in Paris in 1495. Erasmus' commendatory letter is reprinted here from Le Dru's edition, where it marked his first appearance in print.
Gaguin, who had complained of the many printing errors in the first edition, remained involved with the production of the subsequent editions, for each of which he brought his chronicle up to date. In the present edition, the last to appear in his lifetime, Gaguin continued his history into the reign of Louis XII, concluding with Louis's settlement of a dispute between the Dukes of Juliers and Gelderland during his return from Italy in late 1499. This copy is one of a few to contain an additional paragraph of 9 lines at the end of the text recounting the punishment pronounced on 9 January -- four days before the date of the colophon -- against those held responsible for the collapse of Notre-Dame in October 1499 (cf. GW Anm. 1). The handsome woodcut, which shows saints Denis and Rémy flanked by the coats-of-arms of the 12 pairies, the chief French secular and ecclesiastical cities and provinces, was designed for this edition.
A native of Coblenz, Thielman Kerver was the last in a line of printers to take over the firm originally founded by Ulrich Gering in 1478. Appearing first as libraire in 1497, he set up his own press soon after in partnership with Georg Wolf, using material from Wolf's previous association with Johann Philippi. Diverse at the outset, Kerver's output came to focus by the end of the century on Books of Hours and other liturgical texts. Pellechet, Polain and IGI assign the printing of this edition to both associates.
A clean, fresh copy in a contemporary French booktrade binding. HC 7413*; BMC VIII, 217 (IB. 40988); BSB-Ink. G-8; GW 10454; Harvard/Walsh 3729; Pellechet 4972-4972a; Goff G-15.