TRITHEMIUS, Johannes (1462-1516). Liber de Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis. Ed. Johann Heynlin (previously editor of the first Parisian press). Basel: Johann Amerbach, 1494 (not before 28th August).
Chancery 2o (305 x 210 mm). Collation: A6 (1r title, 1v letter from Johannes [Heynlin] de Lapide to Amerbach, 2r author index); a-d8.6 e8 f-t8.6 u8 (a1r author's dedicatory letter to Johann von Dalberg, Bishop of Worms, a1v prologue, a2r text, incipit: Clemens sanctae Romanae ecclesiae quartus, u6v colophon, u7r author's letter to Albert Morderer, u7v verse by Sebastian Brant in praise of Tritheim's work, u8 blank). 148 leaves. Gothic title type 285, roman type 115 for headlines, roman text type 87, occasional Greek. Fine contemporary rubrication: initials alternately in red and blue, paragraph marks, capital strokes. (Some worming at beginning and end, marginal dampstaining.)
BINDING: contemporary German (Limburg) blind-stamped calf over wooden boards, intersecting blind fillets, outermost compartments containing the repetition of a diamond-shaped eagle tool, rosettes (including Schwenke-Schunke 255/157), inner border (Schwenke-Schunke Laubstab 159/44), Kopfstempel and a foliate tool (Schwenke-Schunke Blattwerk 59/564) in central compartment, the arms of the Bishop of Eichstätt added in top compartment of the front cover, two early paper labels on spine, original pastedowns and vellum manuscript spine-lining, (clasps missing, some worming and rubbing to covers, spine-ends defective, joints split), folding cloth box. Provenance: Eustachius Münch, the gift from a magistrate at Speyer (inscription dated 1495) -- Bishop of Eichstätt (armorial stamp added to binding), perhaps Wilhelm von Reichenau (d. 1496) -- HD (20th-century collector's stamp, not in Lugt).
FIRST EDITION OF THE FIRST PRINTED BIBLIOGRAPHY, the first modern bibliography compiled as a practical work of reference. The work continues to be somewhat useful even now, as it lists incipits for many small and obscure texts. Some thousand authors are included in chronological order (from Pope Clemens I and Seneca to Hartmann Schedel and Tritheim himself) and about 7,000 titles. Detailed entries are given for Dante, Petrarch, Brant and other Renaissance poets, including in some cases their non-ecclesiastical writings. Tritheim was successively abbot of the Benedictine monasteries of Sponheim and Würzburg ("Schottenkloster"), both of which had important libraries. IN UNRESTORED, MEDIEVAL CONDITION. HC *15613; BMC III, 755 (IB. 37368); Goff T-452; BSB T-459; Besterman, Beginnings pp. 6-10; Christel Steffen, "Untersuchungen zum Liber de scriptoribus ecclesiasticis des Johannes Trithemius," in: Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens X (1970), pp. 1247-1354; Breslauer & Folter 7.