MISSAL, use of Chur. Augsburg: Erhard Ratdolt, 11 August 1497.
Median 2° (344 x 236mm). Collation: s10 2s8 a-l8 m6 n-r8 s10 t8 v-z8 8 A-I8 K6 (-2r blank, r full-page woodcut, r dedicatory letter to Henricus de Homwen, bishop of Chur, dated 7 April 1497, calendar, benedictions, a1r Divine Office, t1-8 Canon, v1 pars de sanctis, A1 Commune sanctorum, K1v colophon, K2r Cautele in officio misse observande, K3r corrections by Michael Lochmair, K5r printer's device, K5v-6 blank). 294 (of 296, without (blank?) and blank K6) leaves, the Canon (quire t) PRINTED ON VELLUM. Printed in red and black. 41 lines and headline, double column. Type: 9:130G, 13:112G, 224G (canon type, not in BMC). Two full-page woodcuts, one depicting patron saints of Chur with the Virgin and Child together with the Bishop's arms and the other depicting the Crucifixion, richly coloured by a contemporary hand in blue, yellow, purple, green, and red, large woodcut ornamental T opening the Canon also coloured, other woodcut ornamental initials printed in red and black, half-page woodcut diagram of the Litera dominicalis, small roundel of a pascal lamb printed in black and red with yellow and green colouring. (Occasional light dampstains, small holes in first leaf in woodcut, a few small wormholes affecting a few letters.) 16th-century calf, blindstamped with roll-tools, over wooden boards (worn), chased brass corner and central pieces (one corner piece missing), title stamped in blind on upper cover, without fore-edge clasps. Provenance: St. Galen(?), Franciscans; Melchior Hefeld(?), 16th-century; Stephen Lawley, of Penzance, notes to the bookseller C.J. Stewart dated 1871 laid in, in which he promises to send the book to Stewart for the prospective purchaser, Lord Bute; Cardiff Castle bookplate.
RARE, NO COPY IN AMERICA, and only 5 copies listed in Weale-Bohatta. This is the first printed Missal for the diocese of Chur, and represents the streamlining possible in Missal production by the end of the 15th century. Ratdolt specialised in liturgical printing, having the necessary large types, and could obviously follow the same lay-out for the different dioceses. He reused the woodcuts from edition to edition, although the large frontispiece in this edition differs considerably in style from those in other Ratdolt Missals. Standardisation of the text to ensure that the Mass was celebrated uniformly throughout the diocese was a major concern stimulating publication of this Missal, as it was for other Missals. According to the dedicatory letter, the three scholars responsible for correcting the text of this Chur Missal and preparing it for publication were Johann Wolffray, Henricus Gabertul, and Johann Fer. The initials C A T at the bottom of the frontispiece remain somewhat mysterious, although Alès suggested that they may stand for curia a te, and Schottenloher suggested they were part of an invocation to the Virgin Mary ("Mater Maria, clamamus ad Te, wir rufen zu Dir"). HR 11287; Boh(Parma) 70; Weale-Boh 349; IGI 6563; Alès Bib.Lit. 42; Graesse IV, 545; NOT IN THE BRITISH LIBRARY