TOSTADO, Alphonsus, de Madrigal (1400-1455). Floretum sancti Matthaei, I-II. Edited by Petrus Ximenez de Prexano assisted by Johannes de Arellano and Johannes de Revenga. Seville: Compañeros Alemanes (Paulus de Colonia, Johann Pegnitzer, Magnus Herbst and Thomas Glockner), [volume I:] 1491; [volume II:] 30 September 1491.
2 volumes, royal 2o (376 x 263 mm). Collation: (Vol. I:) a-n8 o12 p-z aa-kk8 (a1r title, a1v blank, a2r editor's preface, author's introduction, b3r Part I text, ii5r Part I colophon, ii5v table of contents, kk7v errata, kk8r quire register, kk8v blank). 268 leaves. (Vol. II:) A-Z AA-HH8 II10 (A1r title, A1v blank, A2r Part II text, II10r Part II colophon, II10v blank); KK14 (KK1r table of contents, KK14r quire register, KK14v blank). 272 leaves. 66 lines and headline, double column. Types: 1:165G (titles, headings, first words of chapters, etc.), 3:83G (text). Printed marginal section numbers, one or two neatly corrected in ink. Single woodcut white-on-black capital, in Part II table. 3- to 10-line initial spaces with printed guide letters. Opening headlines and headings of each part (a2r and A2r) printed in red. Blind impression of bearer type on ii5 (as in BMC copy). I:kk2.7 and kk3.6 missigned and bound in each other's place. (Part I title and first text leaf with hole affecting 7 words of text, a few minor marginal tears, last leaf in Part I with lower margin renewed, some marginal worming in Part I, single wormhole through first 2 quires and last 3 leaves of Part II, dampstaining to upper corners at beginning and end of both volumes, a few sheets slightly discolored.)
Binding: Contemporary quarter reversed calf over wooden boards (wormed), Volume II with a FINE SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY FORE-EDGE PAINTING OF BIBLICAL SCENES in black ink and wash, comprising eight scenes from the life of Samson, four within roundels with Latin captions, a fifth central roundel containing the lettering "Abulensis 2 T." [tome 2 of the Bishop of Avila]; author and title lettered on fore-edge of Volume I in large capitals in brown ink, spine liners from a 15th-century manuscript on vellum, each volume with 4 paper endleaves from a single 15th-century Spanish manuscript commentary on canon law.
Provenance: Calatayud (province of Zaragoza), convent of St. Mary of Jesus (17th and 18th-century inscriptions, pertinet ad Conventum Sanctae Mariae de Jesu Calatayronis).
FIRST EDITION. The Spanish theologian Alfonso de Madrigal, known as El Tostado, Bishop of Avila from 1449 and Chancellor of the Court of Castile, was the author of several theological works in Spanish and Latin, including a series of commentaries on the historical books of the Old Testament and on Matthew. This voluminous edition contains only about one fifth of his original text, abridged in order to fit into "two volumes of moderate size," as Prexano explains in his preface.
Although printing was introduced to Seville in 1472/73 by an association of three native Spaniards, Antonio Martínez, Alfonso del Puerto and Bartolomé Segura, it was dominated by Germans until the end of the century. The output of Martínez and his associates was small and production apparently came to a halt in 1487. After three years with no Sevilian press, four printers, Paul of Cologne, Johann Pegnitzer, from Nrnberg, and Magnus Herbst and Thomas Glockner, both from Vils, set up a press in 1490, apparently at the command of Queen Isabella. They produced eight works together from 1490 to 1492, of which this edition, the only Latin text, was the fifth. Although their previous history is undocumented, the compañeros' use of a Venetian-style type points to prior typographic experience in Italy. Paul of Cologne seems to have been the leader of the group, but when he departed in 1492 his associates continued on their own, producing 26 known editions through 1499, at which point Glockner in turn relinquished his share; by 1503 only Pegnitzer remained. 1491 was the press's banner year, during which the four partners produced five works (the largest being the present edition and a Spanish translation of Plutarch), of which the total combined forme-count exceeded the annual output of any other Spanish incunable press.
FINE COPY OF A RARE SPANISH INCUNABLE. Editions from this press appear very infrequently on the market. H 15581*; BMC X, 34 (IC. 52325); CIBN T-299; Haebler(BI) 388; Pr 9521; Goff T-407. (2)