JOHANNES DE FRANKFORDIA (ca. 1380-1440). Sermones dominicales. Ulm: [Conrad Dinckmut, ca. 1478].
Chancery 2o (273 x 203 mm). Collation: [110 2-98 106; 11-188] Pars hiemalis; Pars aestivalis; 18/8r colophon, 18/8v blank). 144 leaves. 31 lines (1/5v-1/6r: 21 lines). Type: 1:118G. 3-line woodcut Lombard initial on. 2- and 3-line initial spaces, most with printed guide-letters. Rubricated from 6/7v-7/6v and-8/3r. (Small marginal tears to 2/3, 11/2 and 14/7, small hole in 5/6 affecting two letters, minor wormholes in gutter margins from quire 12 to the end, small wormhole through text block in last dozen leaves.)
Binding: contemporary Austrian or South-German blue-stained blind-tooled doeskin over wooden boards, sides panelled with intersecting broad and narrow fillets, the compartments tooled with a large and small rosette and repeated impressions of a Kopfstempel tool forming a foliate pattern, pair of chased brass fore-edge clasps and catchplates, no pastedowns or endleaves, quire liners from a 13th-century manuscript on vellum (discreetly rebacked in brown reversed leather, quite worn with some small losses to leather, color irregularly faded); DECKLE EDGES PRESERVED THROUGHOUT; folding cloth case.
Provenance: contemporary manuscript contents list inside front board, numerous marginal study notes in the same hand and at least two other early hands, in brown and red ink -- Gordon S. Allen: sale, Christie's London, 9 December 1981, lot 57 -- [Lathrop Harper, cat. 239 no. 15]
ONLY EDITION of a full-year cycle of Sunday sermons by Johannes Laegeler (or Lagenator), known as Johannes de Frankfordia, who taught theology at Heidelberg and served as court preacher to Elector Ludwig III of the Palatinate. Of the many speeches, sermons, reports and tractates left by Lagenator, who represented the University of Heidelberg at the Council of Constance and served the Inquisition, the majority were never disseminated in print.
This is one of the first books printed at the second Ulm press. The predominant paper stock used in this edition (horn-and-antler watermark, type of Piccard Horn VIII 451-68) is from a Urach mill and is found in other Ulm and Tübingen editions printed from 1477 to 1481 (part 2 also includes some unmarked sheets). Peter Amelung found the watermarks to be in an early state; hence the book's accepted dating to ca. 1478 (Goff and ISTC date to ca. 1482 based, apparently, on A. W. Pollard's 1912 assertion that Dinckmut's activity commenced in this year [BMC II, p. 532]). Dinckmut, who also worked as a bookbinder, may have printed two broadside almanacs before this edition (GW Einblatt 156 and 1403). In spite of continuous financial difficulties, he remained active until 1496 and produced nearly 70 editions, mainly popular vernacular devotional texts, chronicles, compendia of wisdom, and health manuals.
Pages 1/5v-6r have 10 fewer lines than the rest, presumably to compensate for an error in casting off the printer's copy for this quire, and incidentally demonstrating that the edition was set by forms rather than page-by-page.
A FRESH AND VIRTUALLY UNTRIMMED COPY of a rare edition. This is the only copy to have appeared at auction in the past 35 years. HC 7352*; Amelung I, 91; BMC II 533 (I. 9325); BSB-Ink I-393; CIBN J-211; Harvard/Walsh 915; Goff J-315.