JACOBUS DE VORAGINE (ca. 1229-1298). Sermones de tempore. [Strassburg: C. W., not after 1473].
Chancery 2o (266 x 214 mm). Collation: [1-1510 16-178 18-2710 28-2912 30-3210 33-348] (1/1r text, 34/8 blank). 335 leaves (of 336, final blank removed). Quires 18-29: 36-35 lines to a page, types measure 105mm.; the remainder 34 lines, type 110G. One 5-line and numerous 3-line initial spaces. Lombard initials, some flourished, and capital strokes in red, a few initial spaces with manuscript guide letters. Manuscript chapter headings in red, foliation, running titles and marginal alphabetical and numerical indexing and subject headings in brown ink. Foliated 13-348: according to a 20th-century note on front flyleaf, a 12-leaf manuscript calendar was removed from the volume (before its ownership by Paul Schmidt). (Occasional light dampstaining, couple of short marginal tears.) 16th-century limp vellum with small fore-edge flaps, manuscript title on spine, vellum manuscript quire liners (pair of fore-edge ties renewed). Provenance: A few marginal comments, numerous corrections and underlinings, all apparently by the rubricator, inserted leaf of notes on a different work, perhaps in the same hand (bound in between quires 2 and 3, blank leaf between 7/2.9 and 7/3.8); Steingaden, Bavaria, Premonstratensians (purchase inscription dated 1649); stencilled or stamped initials SC on cover and first page; Paul Schmidt (1834-1907), Strassburger incunable collector (bookplate, sale Paris, Drouot, 11 April 1910, lot 66).
FIRST EDITION of the cycle of sermons for the ecclesiastical year by the Dominican priest and archbishop of Genoa whose Legenda aurea was the most popular collection of saints' lives of the later Middle Ages. Most later editions include the Sermones de sanctis et Quadragesimales (sermons for saints' feast days and Lenten sermons).
The printer C.W., civis Argentinensis (the names Clas Wencker and Conrad Wolfach were suggested with little evidence by Voullième) signed only one book, Petrus Berchorius, Bibliae moralizatus, 7 Sept.-7. Oct. 1474 (Goff B-337). The remaining 18 editions now attributed to his press, mainly works of Latin theology, and including two single-leaf advertisements, can be dated to 1471-1474 on the basis of purchase or rubrication inscriptions, making the shop the third at Strassburg, following Mentelin and Eggestein. The Uppsala copies of the present edition bear rubrication and purchase dates of 1473. An early, large state of the shop's sole typeface was used for the four earliest editions; its close resemblance to Koberger's type 1:115 caused them to be erroneously assigned to Koberger by Proctor, Hain and BMC. This misattribution, dating from the 18th century, was corrected by Paul Needham ("Four Strasburg incunables incorrectly assigned to Anton Koberger of Nuremberg", British Library Journal, 6, 1980, pp. 130-143), on grounds of paper stock and type. Needham showed that Koberger's similar type had in fact been copied from C.W., and that the varying type heights observed in the later editions of the press (from 1473-74) are due to different castings of a single type, used concurrently to speed up composition and permit the use of more than one press. In the present edition, quires 18-29 (Sermons 79-138) were set as a separate textual unit in a smaller casting of the type, evidently denoting concurrent composition.
RARE. C 6530; BMC III 860 (IB. 971, undescribed); BSB-Ink I-109; CIBN J-127; Goff J-182.