HRABANUS MAGNENTIUS (784-856). De laudibus Sancte Crucis, edited by J. Wimpheling, Pforzheim: Thomas Anshelm, March 1503. 2° (284 x 197mm.). Printed in red and black, Roman type, woodcut of two monks kneeling before the Pope, woodcut of the author presenting his book to Pope Gregory IV, 30 full-page xylographic and typograhic figurative verses, the figures representing Emperor Louis I, Christ, cherubs, crosses, symbols of the Evangelists, etc., woodcut lombard or Maiblumen initials in red. (Without final blank leaf C4, title soiled and with short repaired tears, light dampstaining to several leaves in the middle, occasional light spotting, small wormhole in last 5 leaves). 20th-century tan calf panelled in blind, red edges.
FIRST EDITION. The remarkable woodcuts are among the earliest examples of figurative verse. They are produced by a combination of xylography and typography. The more complicated of the images are entirely xlography, while others have the figure (and letters within or adjacent to it) cut into wood with the remaining letters set in type; the most simple ones are purely typographic. The verse is printed in conventional format on the page opposite for easier reading, and the second part of the work explains each figure. Preliminary verses and addresses are by Jacob Wimpheling, Sebastian Brant, Reuchlin, Georg Simler, and others. Adams R3; Brunet IV, 1035: "Edition remarquable à cause4 de la singulière disposition typographie d'une partie du texte."