LEONARDUS DE UTINO (ca. 1400-1470). Quadragesimale: Sertum fidei. [Delft: Jacob Jacobszoon van der Meer, between 26 September 1480 and 14 February 1483].
Chancery 2o (263 x 195 mm). Collation: A6 (table of contents); a-t8 v6 x8 (a1r text, t6r table of dominical sermons, x8r explicit, x8v blank). 166 leaves (of 172, without quire A). 38 lines. Double column. Type: Haebler 1*:104G*B (Hellinga type 2B). One 6-line, a few 4-line and numerous 3-line spaces for initials. Six-line initial in blue with reserved decoration and red penwork infill and extensions, other initials, paragraph marks, capital strokes and underlinings in red. Contemporary manuscript table of contents and foliation. (Lacking the table of contents, very minor worming to last few leaves, minor marginal tears to last 3 leaves, slight soiling to g7v-g8r.) 19th-century quarter calf and marbled paper boards, green morocco lettering-pieces on spine, edges speckled red.
Provenance: manuscript table of contents on front flyleaf in a neat contemporary hand.
VERY RARE EDITION FROM THE FIRST PRESS AT DELFT. The second of two 15th-century editions of one of several published collections of Leonardo's sermons for Lent, this edition follows the Deventer edition of Richard Pafraet, printed ca. 1479-80. BMC disputes the attribution to Leonardus de Utino, considering that the appearance of his name in a list of famous preachers (a4v) contradicts his authorship. The date of the edition is deduced from the state of van der Meer's second type 104, in which the complete set of new capitals is used: this state was first used for a book completed on 26 September 1480 (Goff P-44), and was superseded by a third state including new matrices for some sorts, first used in van der Meer's 14 February 1483 edition of Cessolis (Cf. W. and L. Hellinga, The Fifteenth-century Printing Types of the Low Countries I, p. 35).
In partnership with Mauricius Yemantszoon, Jacob Jacobszoon van der Meer set up the first press at Delft in 1476 or 1477, printing there the first Dutch Bible and seven other small mostly vernacular religious texts during the next two years. Yemantszoon retired from the partnership and van der Meer continued printing until 1487, concentrating, like most of the early Dutch printers, on small tracts, mainly of devotional texts, and producing over 60 editions, largely unsigned. Management of this single Delft printing shop passed into the hands of Christian Snellaert, and then to Hendrik Eckert, who finally moved the press to Antwerp in 1500.
The signing of this copy differs from that recorded by Polain, describing the Brussels copy, in which the last two quires are signed x and y, here signed v and x.
Only four other copies are recorded, NONE IN AMERICA. Campbell-Kronenberg (I) 1698a; HPT II, 503; IDL 2911; Polain(B) 2743; Goff L-141a (recording only a copy later sold by William H. Schab to the Royal Library at the Hague).