GERSON, Johannes (1363-1429). Collectorium super Magnificat. [Strassburg: Printer of the 1472 Aquinas 'Summa'], 1473.
Chancery 2o (297 x 208 mm). Collation: [1-910 1012 11-1510 16-178 182] prologue, text, part I, part II, 17/7r colophon, 17/7v-8 blank,rubrics table, 18/2v register). 170 leaves, final quire of rubrics and register bound at front. 38 lines. Type: 1:96G.r, line 38 reads "ope", as BL IB.8911a. 1-, 3-, and 6-line initial spaces. Typographical musical notation without staves on 1/4r. Rubricated at the Eichstätt Dominican convent: major initials in red with brown penwork decoration, other initials, headings, paragraph marks, and capital strokes in red. Two sets of early manuscript quiring visible in lower margin. (Quire 18 rehinged, numerous hinges discreetly reinforced, minor repairs to final blank leaf.) Modern pigskin over pasteboard.
Provenance: Eichstätt, Dominican convent: contemporary inscription at end in same hand as rubrication (Iste liber est conventus eystetensis ordinis fratrum predicatorum) -- Munich, Royal Library: stamp erased from first and final leaves -- Sotheby's London, 10 May 1985, lot 433 (to Lathrop Harper).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST DATED BOOK CONTAINING PRINTED MUSICAL NOTES. They are five notes without a staff, printed in descending order probably from inked type furniture such as quads; the letter f printed to the left serves as a clef. Gerson, theologian, poet and mystic, wrote a number of works on music, primarily with a philosophical or mystical bent. In the Collectorium he assigns moral significance to the notes sol, fa, mi, re and ut, and to the five vowels A, E, I, O and U.
This edition has traditionally been assigned to the Esslingen press of Conrad Fyner, following Proctor and BMC; however, Scholderer has shown that its type is not identical with Fyner's and has relocated it, together with 5 other works, to an anonymous press at Strassburg closely associated with Heinrich Eggestein (cf. Fifty Essays, pp. 224-28).
H 7717*; BMC II, 512 (IB. 8911-8911a); GW 10765; Goff G-199.