ROLEWINCK, Werner (1425-1502). Fasciculus temporum. [Lyon: Mathias Huss, not before 1495].
Median 4o (247 x 165 mm). Collation: a6 (a1r title, a1v blank, a2r alphabetical subject index); A-K8 L-M6 (A1r text, L6v-M6 blank). 98 leaves, A1-M5 foliated (with errors). Table in 3 columns. 48 lines and headline. Types: 10:140G (title, headlines, first lines of text and prologue), 11:76G (text). Chronological diagrams with woodcut roundels throughout, 17 woodcut illustrations (including 5 repeats) of Biblical scenes, town-views, monsters, etc., the large cut of Christ with symbols of the Evangelists colored. 2-, 3-, and 4-line spaces for initials. Initials, paragraph marks, and capital strokes in red. (Occasional minor marginal dampstaining, corners of first few leaves a bit thumbed, upper portion of final blank leaf torn away, a very few minor marginal tears.)
Binding: contemporary pink-stained alum-tawed goatskin wrapper, reused from an earlier binding, a metal ring attached to the central support on back cover, fragments of paper manuscript liner still adhered to inside of wrapper; the front endleaf a bifolium from a small [probably octavo] 15th-century theological manuscript with commentary, second paper endleaf consisting of a full chancery folio sheet, its conjugate forming a blank leaf following first quire (tear to lower wrapper, a few old repairs); modern cloth folding case.
Provenance: frater Nicolaus Henricus Cruciferus Huensius (1603 inscription on title, motto sine cura nihil).
Rare edition of Rolewinck's popular world history. The edition is dated from an addendum on the last page, mentioning the return of Charles VIII from Italy in late 1495. A native of Bottwar in Wurtemberg, Mathias Huss studied at Basel and may have been apprenticed to a Basel printer before taking over the press of his kinsman Martinus Huss in 1482. Working alone or with partners (successively Petrus Ungaris and Johannes Schabeler), Huss remained active until the end of the century, specializing largely in the production of vernacular texts, which he illustrated lavishly, usually with borrowed blocks, accumulating over the years a larger stock of typographic material than any other Lyonese printer. The woodcuts used here were printed from blocks previously used for Louis Cruse's 1495 Geneva edition of Pierre Farget's French translation (Goff Suppl. R-278A).
FINE COPY IN ORIGINAL CONDITION, preserved in its first temporary wrapper. The completely unrestored wrapper was previously used, probably over laminated paper boards, on another book. The indentations of the earlier book's sewing structure are still visible, as are fragments of the unusual full-length paper lining. The metal ring on the back would have been used to catch a fore-edge flap, extending from front to back. The wrapper is attached to the text block in the most rudimentary fashion, the three untrimmed single sewing supports of alum-tawed skin being simply laced through slits on the covers (two of the ends on the front since torn away). Contrasting with the cheap material of the cover is the sewing structure itself, possibly executed in Germany, which is permanent and of good quality. The book may have been sold in this temporary wrapper, or its first owner may have applied it as a temporary protective cover and for some reason never replaced it.
C 2437; BMC VIII, 265 (IB. 41729); CIBN R-181; Pr 8570; Schreiber 5120a; Walsh 3766-67; Goff R-277.