Cologne: Ulrich Zel (Zell), .
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Fine. Item #003085
Half-sheet 4to (201 x 140 mm). 30 unfoliated leaves including final blank. 27 lines, no printed signatures, 4 pinholes. Collation: [1-38 46] text, 4.5v explicit, 4.6 blank. Type 1B: 96G (leaded to 104). Two 4-line initial spaces, the first with purple and red pen-flourishing infilled with green. Two-line incipit opening text, initials, capital strokes, and underlining in red. Two pinholes visible at foot of each leaf (occasionally also present at head but mostly cut off). Bull's head with curved muzzle and cross watermark (WILC 60229) visible on several leaves, contemporary rubricated foliation (medieval numerals "118-147") at upper margin. 20th-century binding (dated '33), with embossed texture, new endpapers, earlier red-sprinkled edges. Text clean and bright with very light soiling or spotting in a few places. Provenances: Monasticon Fratrum Vitae Communis, Königstein im Taunus*; Georges Petit. An outstanding copy, internally in near-pristine condition with wide margins and strong impression on heavy paper. ----
EDITIO PRINCEPS OF JOHN CHRYSOSTOM'S SERMONS IN ITS ENTIRETY, closely following Zel's 1466 edition of the first part only. This tract is from the first Cologne press, established by Ulrich Zel (or Zell) in around 1464, when he matriculated from the University of Cologne, and which lasted until the end of the fifteenth century. Zel had worked in Mainz with Fust and Schoeffer and maintained his connections with them from Cologne. He produced mostly small texts for use by students, including numerous works by Cicero, St Augustine, Jean Gerson and John Chrysostom in his early years, as well as some classical and humanist texts. Most of Ulrich Zel’s early editions are in quarto format and nearly all undated. They were part of an 'evidently well-defined publishing programme, aimed at sales to a primarily pastoral and monastic market, the center of gravity of the texts being some thirty treatises of Jean Gerson. In these early years, Zel possessed only a modest printing equipment, yet no other printing shop in the period of the later 1460s and very early 1470s had so prolific and closely focused a programme' (Needham, p. 11). Needham lists this work as number 7 out of Zel's press. He dates it to 1467, in agreement with Jenkinson's findings, that are based on used type (1B), number of lines per page (27), number of pinholes (4), paper stock (BHX-F) and watermarking (see Needham, p. 44). Allan Stevenson dates the paper stock of Durch origin to 1466-67 (see Watermarks in Incunabula printed in the Low Countries (WILC), WM I 60229/60230, The Koninklijke Bibliotheek in Den Haag). Needham designates the paper stock as BHX-F, which is marked with a Bull's Heads with eyes and nostrils, bearing a St Andrews cross on single-wire surmount (Needham, p.27). This work is rare. ISTC lists 26 locations, with 3 in the US (La Casa del Libro, Library of Congress, and Huntington Library). We can trace 4 copies that have sold at auction in the past 50+ years (Sothebys 1967, lot 56, $616; Christies 1981, lot 45, $6,500; Christies 2001, $28,200; Sothebys 2003, $16,800).
John Chrysostom (c. 349-407) was Archbishop of Constantinople and an important Early Church Father. He is best known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. He was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church, exceeded only by Augustine of Hippo in the quantity of his surviving writings.
*Our copy has been part of a Sammelband of early Zell prints that was broken-up in the first half of the 20th century. The first tract of this former Sammelband is Chrysostom's De reparatione lapsi, [1467-72], now in Bridwell Library of Southern Methodist University, Dallas. Fortunately, the table of content of the Sammelband is preserved in that tract, listing our copy no 3 with folios 118-147. From this content list, we also know the original provenance of the Sammelband being the Monasticon Fratrum Vitae Communis at Koenigstein im Taunus. "Founded in 1466, this community of devout laypersons was affiliated with the 'Brethren of the Common Life,' whose precepts for simple Christian devotion are best known from the Imitatio Christi of Thomas à Kempis." (see https://www.smu.edu/Bridwell/SpecialCollectionsandArchives/Exhibitions/InventionDiscovery/Librarians/Sammelband).
References: ISTC ij00298000; Goff J-298; Hain 5031*; Polain 2266; Proctor 809; Voulliéme 649; CIBN J-192; BSB-Ink I-358; Stillwell 139b; F. Jenkinson, Ulrich Zell's early quartos, The Library, 4th ser., 7 (1926-7), p.46-66; S. Corsten, Ulrich Zells früheste Produktion, Gutenberg-Jahrbuch, 2007, p.68-76; P. Needham, Ulrich Zel's early quartos revisited, Trans. Cambridge Bibl. Soc., 2012, vol. 15, no. 1, p.44.
Price: 28,000 € * convert currency
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