MEDER, Johannes (d. 1518). Quadragesimale de filio prodigo. Basel: Michael Furter, 1497.
Median 8o (154 x 106 mm). Collation: a-z8 A-E8; F8 (a1r title, a1v laudatory verses by Sebastian Brant on the sermons, a2r author's preface dated 1494, a4v woodcut, a5r text, E8r explicit, printer's device, E8v blank; F1r table, F8v-F9 blank). 232 leaves. 34 lines and headline, scripture in one column, table and sermons in double column. Type: 1:83G (scripture), 3a:180G (title), 4:64G (sermons), 5:93G (headlines). 18 woodcuts printed from 16 blocks, woodcut device (Weil 45). 4- and 3-line initial spaces, some with printed guide-letters. Initials alternately red and blue, paragraph marks in red. Impression of bearer type (large sorts) on E7. (First leaf worn at hinge and nearly detached, minor worming in first 100 and last 25 leaves, a few sheets discolored.)
Binding: contemporary blind-stamped calf over wooden boards, sides tooled with intersecting fillets, central panel filled with curved leafy stems forming a saltire pattern, the interstices filled with plant tools, the tools not in Kyriss or Schwenke-Sammlung; contemporary paper title label on upper cover, plain spine, two chased brass fore-edge catchplates (lacking clasps), formerly chained, nails subsisting at top of lower cover, yellow edges, pastedowns from two 14th-century liturgical manuscripts on vellum: hymns, probably from a breviary, at front, a breviary at back (some worming to spine, tear to top of upper hinge), many deckle edges preserved.
Provenance: L. H. P. Klotz: sale, Christie's London, 2 November 1994, lot 108 (to Quaritch, cat. 1223 no. 91).
Second edition, reprinting Furter's 1495 edition, and using the same woodcuts, except for that on f6b (=g6b), which is a reverse copy. Meder, a Franciscan who resided at Basel from 1495 to 1502, was a friend of Sebastian Brant, who provided a prefatory poem for this collection of Lenten sermons. Meder was closely involved in the printing of the work, and is known to have requested that Furter provide the text with illustrations. Each sermon opens with a dialogue between an angel and the prodigal son; 49 of the 50 sermons conclude with a parable or allegory that Meder explicates in Christian terms. The woodcuts have been attributed by F. Winkler to the Master of Haintz-Narr, Dürer's main collaborator in the illustration of Brant's Narrenschiff (Basel: Bergmann de Olpe, 1494, GW 5041 and later editions; cf. F. Winkler, Dürer und die Illustrationen zum Narrenschiff, Berlin 1951, p. 92).
A FRESH COPY. HC 13629; BMC III, 785 (IA.37800); BSB-Ink. M-301; CIBN M-265; Muther 470; Schreiber 4605; Goff M-422.