NIDER, Johannes (ca. 1380-1438). Manuale confessorum. [Strassburg: C.W., not after 1471].
Chancery 2o (288 x 205 mm). Collation: [1-510 68] (1/1r text, 6/8v colophon). 58 leaves. 31 lines. Type 1:113G. Three- to six-line initial spaces. Rubricated with red Lombard initials and capital strokes, most spaces with manuscript guide letters. Two pinholes visible, one each in upper and lower margin. (Dampstain to upper corner of most leaves.) 18th-century polished calf (rebacked).
Provenance: Norman H. Strouse.
Second edition. Hain and Proctor attributed this edition to Nuremberg and considered it to be Anton Koberger's first book. However, in 1980 Paul Needham demonstrated, on the basis of the paper stocks and the type employed in the Nider and three closely related works, that they were the first productions of the printer C.W. in Strassburg. C.W., sometimes identified as Clas Wencker or Conrad Wolfach, signed only one book, a 1474 editon of Petrus Berchorius, Liber Bibliae moralizatus (Goff B-337). Most of the books printed in his type, a later state of the type employed in the present edition, are dated to 1473 and 1474 on the basis of printed dates or rubrication inscriptions.
At the same time as this edition of the Manuale confessorum, C.W. printed an edition in the same format of Nider's De morali lepra. These companion editions were marketed together and are frequently found bound together. Copies in Cambridge (Oates 977-978) and Munich (BSB-Ink. N-146 and N-155, copy 4) have rubrication dates of 1471.
Johannes Nider, educated principally in Vienna and active in Nuremberg, Basel and Vienna, supported the reform of the religious orders and, in particular, that of his own Dominican order. Many of his writings concerned general questions of pastoral care. The present manual for confessors survives in many manuscript copies and early printed editions.
A CRISP, TALL, WIDE-MARGINED COPY. H 11834*; BMC II, 411 (IB. 7103); BSB-Ink. N-155; CIBN N-107; Paul Needham, "Four Strasburg Incunables Incorrectly Assigned to Anton Koberger of Nuremberg," British Library Journal, 6, 1980, pp. 130-143; Pr 1960; Goff N-178.