This Blog is inspired by the two book shows I did last month, these three books seemed to excite many university librarians and their students. One of the books, The Quintilian , prompted Sidney Berger to say: ” I could teach this book for two semesters and still have more to discover! “ After he left my booth I ordered His new edition of THE DICTIONARY OF THE BOOK, which was at my home before I was.

The books which I have selected as objects of this blood all exhibit multiple qualities which expose production methods often hidden, or not obviously exposed, as well as evidence of usage practices often over looked by catalogues and once avoided by collectors and curators alike. Following after the physical and bibliographic descriptions of each book I will have a short paragraph on the specific artifactual concept in this specific copy of this book which I find particularly interesting.

#1) Heavily annotated copy of a 1497 Juvenal by a German (Rhenish scholar ca. 1512)

670J.  JUVENAL. (Decimus Junius Juvenalis) with the commentary of Domitius Calderinus, Georgius Valla and Antonius Mancinellus.

IVVENALIS Anton.Manci. Domici(us) Geor. Val. Argumenta Satyrarum Iuuenalis per Antonium Mancinellum. Príma docet Satyræ caufas: formaq libelli:Qui fimulant curios fatyra patuere Secunda.Ex Vrb: umbrítíí digreffum Tertia narrat.Quarta quidem crifpinu odit:caluuq neroné:Ganeo quæ tolerat parafitus Quinta notauit,Sexta hæc infidas mulieres pandit abundeSeptíma demonftrat Romam nil ferre poctísNobilis Octaua propria uirtute uocatur.Turpia qui tollerant Nona carpuntur auariCura hominum Decima rerüq; libido notáturArguit Vndecima uates conuiuia lauta Biffena arguitur fatyra captator auarus.Tertia poft decimam folatur damna dolentesIn decima quarta dant parua exempla parétes;Numina diuerfa ægypti penultima monstrat Vitíma militiæ fœlicis præmia narrat.

[Colophon:] Nurnberge impressum est hoc Iuuenalis opus cum tribus commentis per Antonium Koberger, MCCCXCVII die vero vi Dece[m]bris. Price $31,000

Folio 30½ x 21½ cm. Signatures : A8 a–z8&6. This copy is bound in its original * blind stamped half pigskin over wooden boards, lacking clasps. 

This copy has been densely annotated by a German humanists circa 1511. This is an important edition with three commentaries from the end of the 15th century by great figures of Italian humanism and following the Venetian edition of Tacuio, 1494/1495-[ISTC ; ij00663000.] Mancinelli; Domizio Calderini and finally, the one by Giorgio Valla, which has a philological importance: reproducing the ancient scholia from a now lost manuscript.

Provenance: 1.German reader, early 1510s. 2. 17th century owner (note on title page with reference to the in-12 Juvenal-Perseus published in Amsterdam with Farnabius’ notes in 1631). 3. Marquis Giuseppe Terzi of Bergamo (1790-1819). It does not appear in the catalogs of the sales held in Paris between March 11 and 23, 1861. 4. Transfer stamp ” Vend. ex bibl. acad. Rhen.” (“Sold by the Prussian Academy Library,” former library of the University of Bonn, the stamp “Bibliotheca Accademiae Borussicae Rhenanae”, was apparently used in the period 1818-1828. 5. Joseph Nève, lawyer and bibliophile from Brussels (1857-1940) 6). The book is later in the collection of Jean-Baptiste Colbert de Beaulieu (1905-1995) (ex-libris). 7). It is then in the collection of Jean Stefgen, Joinvillele Pont (1927-2017, bookplate). 

A copy profusely annotated (up to satire 6) by a German reader in the first decade of the sixteenth century, as indicated by the diacritical sign above the u’s, its spelling Yason (for Jason), apoptegmata (without ‘h’). This incunabulum is bound in an interesting first binding, Rhenish, half pigskin stamped and bound over wooden boards.

The sources used by the annotator display a strong knowledge in Rhenish humanism, around 1511. This reader was obviously educated in a circle close to the young Beatus Rhenanus and most likely Jakob Wimpfeling at the crossroads of classical and Christian culture. His reading is indeed a mixture of Italian philological and historical commentaries and works of northern humanism (Reisch, Erasmus). Several notes reveal the use of a series of editions published in Strasbourg in 1511: the Hymni heroici tres of Jean-François Pico de la Mirandole with the annotation of Beatus Rhenanus, the collection of ps. Bérose published by Grüninger (with a text of pseudo Xénophon). Our anonymous reader reads ErasmusAdages in an edition by Schürer (c. 1511) and the Praise of Folly, the first editions of which also date from 1511 (Paris, Gilles de Gourmont and then M. Schürer). XXI v. 

The annotator also has recourse to contemporary Italian encyclopedias (Enneades by Sabellico, Commentarii by Volaterranus) to which he adds the reading of Reisch’s Margarita philosophica, the jewel of northern humanism (the editio princeps dates from 1504). The annotator refers to a passage of this work (Book VII, chapter VII) where Atlas is presented as the inventor of astronomy (note on f. CXIIIr: “Atlantem caeliferum fuisse negat Lucrecius. Lege, invenies in Margarita ex Plinio, li 7 ca 2” etc). These readings and references to the editions of 1511 make us think that the annotator plausibly followed a university course held in Strasbourg around 1511, always in the close circles frequented by Beatus Rhenanus

The humanist commentary here focuses on word radicals, lexicon,and context (the annotator mobilizes printed commentaries), with little interest in figures. He shows a predilection for natural history (Pliny and Solinus very much in demand) and Roman history in general (the annotator resorts as well to Suetonius as well as his  commentaries such as Philippe Béroaldus and Sabellico,  whose Enneads he quotes several times, f. XXIV v for example).

This erudite reader sometimes commits approximations in his references: he confuses for example a title of the pseudo-Xenophon with a collection of the pseudo-Beroses. A long quotation of a passage that he attributes to Philip Béroaldus (the Elder) on f. XXVIIr comes in fact from the Annotationes centum and not from his commentary on Suetonius (see Anthony Grafton, “On the Scholarship of Politian”, Journal of the Warburg, 1977, p. 166). He recopies from memory (incorrectly) on f. VI a licentious epigram by Martial (book VI, 67) & notes in the margin, still on this verse but this time about eunuchs: “Martialis / Cur tantium eunuchos uxor tua Caelia quaeris / Pannice vult futui (Caelia) non parere.” The annotator also has recourse to the vast Latin poetic heritage: Ovid and Seneca on f. II (Vide Ovidium Transformationum… Vide Senecam in Agammemnone); Horace, Satire VI, I (on f. XVr). Also to some poets of late Latinity like Sidoine Apollinaire through an incunabula edition (1498) with commentary. He also gives some suggestions for corrections to the text: f. LIX r to the lemma “caldum”, he refers to the Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius: “emendatius caldus haud (…) quam calidum apud Gellium caldam saepeponitur li 19 ca 4″.

¶¶Some further notes are:

•A reference to the practice of hunts (venationes) in the circus under Domitian, with an anecdote of a certain Maevia descended the pointrine naked in the arena (f. V r). It reproduces the words of an ancient scholiast of Juvenal: ” Alia indignatio in mulierum impudentiam quae temporibus Domitiani descendebant (?) in venationes et pugnas theatrales ” (words of the scholiast of Juvenal).on the title page, two references to Italian miscellanea from the end of the 15th century.

•On the title page, two references to Italian miscellanea of the end of the 15th century: one to the freedom of poets to slander, which refers to Pietro Crinito’s De honestis disciplinis (lib. 20 ca. IX), and the other to a complicated passage of Juvenal explained in chapter 33 of the Miscellanea of Angelo Poliziano (Expositio hujus carminis Juvenalis scilicet occidit miseros Crambe repetita magistros in Miscellaneis ca. 33) This chapter of the Miscellanea explains the very graphic proverb Occidit miseros Crambe repetita magistros which appears in Juvenal’s Satire VII (v. 154), which can be translated literally by “It is from this cabbage unceasingly re-served that unhappy masters die” to denounce the repetition to which masters are forced.

Hain,; 9711; CIBN,; J-368; IGI,; 5601; IBP,; 3322; Kotvan,; 743; Arnoult,; 938a; Zehnacker,; 1378; Goff,; J664; ISTC (online),; ij00664000; GW,; M15734; BM 15th cent.,; II, 443 (IB 7538); Oates,; 1048; Polain (B),; 2402; Pell Ms,; 6928; Walsh,; 755; Proctor,; 2116

As I hope that I expressed here, this book provides the next student to study this volume with well marked trails through his intellectual forest 9context and more), furthermore the notes suggest something about the use of the text before it was bound.


#2) AN INCUNABULA PRINTED BY JOHANN ZAINER in Ulm with pastedowns of waste pages (printed on one side only) printed at Augsburg by Gunther Zainer.

564J. Albertus de Padua (1282-1328): and Pseudo-Nicolaus de Dinkelsbühl (1360-1433)

Expositio evangeliorum dominicalium et festivalium. Add: Nicolaus de Dinkelsbuel: Concordantia in passionem dominicam.

Ulm : Johann Zainer, ‘about’ 15 June 1480.  (with binding material from Günther Zainer, before 1478)

 (The colophon reads circa festum sancti Viti)    Price $21,000

Chancery folio: 31½ x 21 ½ cm. signatures: [a12 b–qr6+1 s–z8 A–T8 U10 X- Y8 Z10 aa10].   

This copy is bound in full contemporary calf over wooden boards with an arabesque or vine decoration, as commonly found on Zainer printed books. And a circular stamp of a stag or elk or deer.   One metal clasp of two remains and with the catches are stamped “AVE”  This book has a very early rebacking, and both the front and rear  paste downs are leaves from a German incunabule.  Probably bound at the workshop named Zu of  Ulm  Adler by Schwenke/Schunke feating the tool Blattwerk 511.  Binding EBDB s013420, Kyriss 080 (round stamp with Stag.) 

Certainly one of my favorite type faces!

 In terms of printing history, the work is remarkable for the clearly visible textile impressions on several sheets, which are a consequence of a printing method which makes use of moist textile sheets, a technical specialty which resulted in an improved printing quality, this method was predominantly used by Johann Zainer. This copy is a compendium of the traits and traces of printing production and process which are usefully explained in Claire Bolton’s The Fifteenth-Century Printing Practices of Johann Zainer, Ulm, 1473–1478. Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society.2016; these include hand and fingerprints, cloth impressions, the use of Bearer type and EMS, point holes, Press stone impressions, interesting inking and type imposition. 

 This copy has several  other interesting contemporary particularities: Ca. 4 sheets are a somewhat smaller size and paper quality,  perhaps making one imagine the emergency of running off of paper at the end of the night?  (cf. A. Schulte, Über das Feuchten des Papiers mit nassen Tüchern bei Joh. Zainer; in Gutenberg-Jb. 1941, pp. 19-22)


With the Provenance “pro Conventu fratrum Minoru(m) Franciscacanoru(m) Reformatoru(M) Bolzanesium” Franciscan convent Bolzano, Tyrol, Italy 

∞∞ The Paste Downs are leafs  2r & 11r each printed on one side only from the Spiegel des Sünders.

Paste Down are leafs  2r & 11r each printed on one side only from the Spiegel des Sünders.

Us location BPL only

Digital reproductions:  urn:nbn:de:bvb:12-bsb00032031-1  

is00675000.   Imprint [Augsburg : Günther Zainer, before 1478]

 Goff S675; H 14946*; Schr 5286; E. Freys, Makulatur aus der Presse Günther Zainers, in Gb Jb 1944/45, p. 96; Günt(L) 188; Ohly-Sack 2576; BSB-Ink S-519; GW M43109

Expositio evangeliorum dominicalium et festivalium.

Goff A340; Hain: H 574; & (Concordantia only H 11762); Zehnacker 99; Polain(B) 101; IGI 243; SI 65; IBP 175; IBE 215; CCIR A-34; Coll(S) 34; Coll(U) 55; Madsen 101; Šimáková-Vrchotka 48, 49, 50; Martín Abad A-61; Walsh 904, S-904; Bod-inc A-094; Sheppard 1819; Pr 2523; BMC II 526; BSB-Ink A-133; GW 785

This volume is a perfect companion to Claire Bolton’s The Fifteenth-Century Printing Practices of Johann Zainer, Ulm, 1473–1478. Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society.2016; these include hand and fingerprints, cloth impressions, the use of Bearer type and EMS, point holes, Press stone impressions, interesting inking and type imposition. 

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#3. A school book, with counter factious imprint and numerous annotations was well as a humble yet informative binding.

723J Quintilian, Marcus Fabius 35-96ad

Marci Fabij Quintiliani Oratoriarum institutionum libri duodecim diligenter emendati. :  Index capitum totius operis ea serie qua explicabuntur.

[Lyons] : [.s.n.] Lyon. 1518 (19 November)  {It looks like Lyon: [Jaques Myt] for Barthèlemi Trot(h)} Price $4, 500

Octavo 17 x 10 cm. Signatures: &⁴, a-z⁸, A-Q⁸, R5.(R⁶ blank and lacking) This copy is bound in paste paper covered boards ,made up of both early printed waste leaves and re-purposed manuscript materials with many repairs and vellum spine. ( see images below). Housed in a clamshell box. Like many editions of Quintilian I have seen and had there are early manuscript marginal annotations, mostly to books one and two in Latin.

This edition, an Lyonese Aldine contrefaction, includes the dedicatory epistle by Aldus Manutius and which was edited by A. Navagreo and G.B. Ramusio. (1514). There is no printer or place of publication given. The lily on the title page evokes the Florentine press of the Giunti family. The colophon reads: Impressum anno domino. M.D. XViij.xic. mensis Nouembris die.  Printed in italic type. Some Greek characters are present.

Published around year 95 AD, In the first two books, Quintilian focuses on the early education of the would-be orator, including various subjects he should be skilled in, such as reading and composition. “He offers us indeed not so much a theory as a curriculum. For instance in ch. iv of Book I he discusses certain letters, the derivation of words, and parts of speech; in ch. v, the necessity of correctness in speaking and writing, choice of words, barbarisms, aspiration, accent, solecisms, figures of speech, foreign words, and compound words; in ch. vi, analogy, and in ch. viii, orthography” (Laing). Regarding the age at which the orator’s training should begin, Quintilian refers to the views of Hesiod and Eratosthenes, but accepts Chrysippus’ view that a child’s life should never be without education (Quintilian 1.1.15-19). In book III on Quintilian deals with rhetoric: invention, arrangement, style, memory, and delivery, subjects which might more advanced the the usual student reader, hungry to get on with reading more promising subjects.

In September, 1416, the Italian humanist and book-hunter Poggio Bracciolini visited a Benedictine monastery in St. Gall, Switzerland. There he found—not in a library but in a dungeon which he declared was not fit for a condemned man—the first complete copy of Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria (Orator’s Education, 95 CE) that any scholar had seen for nearly six centuries. Suddenly aware that it was a valuable book, the German monks refused to let Poggio take it away, so he was forced to sit down and copy it by hand over the next 54 days. The reaction to the discovery among humanists, especially in Italy, was swift and fervent. Leonardo Aretino wrote, “I entreat you, my dear Poggio, send me the manuscript as soon as possible, that I may see it before I die”

— James J. Murphy, “A Quintilian Anniversary and Its Meaning”, Advances in the History of Rhetoric Volume 19, 2016 – Issue 2: An Ancient Master Teacher Speaks to the Modern World: What Quintilian Can Tell Us About Modern Pedagogy (June 201

In the first part of the sixteenth century Forgeries of altus printings were not scarce. in fact they were common enough that altus published a complaint letter in 1503

Aldus complains that “it happens that in the city of Lyon our books appeared under my name, but full of errors … and deceived unwary buyers due to the similarity of typography and format (enchiridii forma) …. Furthermore, the paper is of poor quality and has a heavy odor, and the typography, if you examine it closely, exudes a sort of (as I would phrase it) ‘Frenchiness’.

This book, is an archaeology project waitron to happen. To begin from the outside, the bind is obviously utilitarian and quite used and amateurishly repaired. The notes are very dense and in some places quite small, hurried, and of a personal nature. In shore this is a working copy for a young (?) student. To investigate this book the modes of production and practices and uses of materials are unavoidable !

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