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Circa 1506 Basel Latin Rare Gospels & Lessons & 1561 French Bible
Item #P1506
Item # FR1561

Item #P1506
One of the Great 15th-Century Sermon Books
Illustrated with Extraordinary Woodcuts

Fifty three woodcuts of scenes from the life of Christ. This book represents the science of printing at its zenith.

[Guillermus Parisiensis.] [Medieval Theology.] [Postilla Super Epistolas et Evangelia][printed title:] Postilla Guillermi sup Epistolas et evangelia… [Basel: Michael Furter, n.d., c. 1497 - 1506]

Octavo. 7 ¾”.

A8-L8, M4 (Folio XCII, explicit of lessons on the Gospels, [M.iiii.recto]; Aa8-Gg8; [Hh5](Folio LXI verso explicit of lessons on the Epistles)(Hh.ii. mis-signed Hh.iii., folio LVIII); with: [Bernhardus (Claraevallensis)] Passio domini nostri Jesu christi [includes:] Tractatus beati Bernhardi de planctu gloriosissime Marie virginis [Basel: Furter, c. 1501]. A8-B8 (A.ii. is mis-signed Aa.ii)The Postilla lacks blank Hh6, textually complete.

Woodcut on title-page of Baby Jesus and the attributes of the Four Evangelists with full-page crucifixion on verso (repeated as title illustration to second part, the lessons on the Epistles and third part, the Passion).

Fifty three woodcuts of scenes from the life of Christ.With Three Full Page woodcuts of the crucifixion.

A very early printing of a hugely popular set of lessons on the Gospels and the Epistles, composed in the early 13th Century, and compiled in this anthology format in manuscript in the early 15th Century and first printed in the late 15th and early 16th Centuries in many editions.

Contemporary German blindtooled pigskin over wooden boards, worn, wormed, and with some repair. Remains of clasp. Pastedowns from a German incunable with woodcuts. Hinges reinforced. No free endpapers. An exactly appropriate binding for this book: just the way one would want it. Very clean internally and well-margined. Minor inoffensive worming. Some early manuscript notes, especially to blank verso of final leaf and pastedowns.

The integration of the main text and surrounding commentary, and text and images, is exceptionally well executed: an elegantly designed book.

“This compilation of the Postilla was written down in 1437 expressly for members of the clergy and for those desirous of understanding the excerpts from the Epsitles and the Evangelists, more commonly called lessons, which are read at appropriate services throughout the church year. It obviously filled a most pressing need” Goff, The Postilla of Guillermus Parisiensis, Gutenberg Jahrbuch, 1959.

This edition has long been thought to be an incunabular printing of the text (c. 1497 per Goff), but has been recently assigned to 1506 by ISTC (Incunabula Short Title Catalogue)

Copinger 2857; Goff, Third Census, G-664; ISTC ig00664000; Schramm XXII p.45 (no.73); Goff (P)30; GW X col. 504 (citations provided by researchers at SMU [Daniel Slive and Eric White]). Apparently a reprint of GW 12015, ISTC ig00663500 as collation of the Guillermus Parisiensis texts is identical and new edition adds the Pseudo-Bernardus Claravallensis.

1506 Basel Latin Gospels & Lessons Rare

1506 Basel Latin Gospels & Lessons Rare

1506 Basel Latin Gospels & Lessons Rare

Item # FR1561
1561 French Bible

A very rare French Edition of the Scriptures. Not listed in Darlow and Moule. Standing 15” tall and 11” wide and bound in contemporary calf. Collates complete with the book of Revelation provided in expert facsimile. More on that later. Few Bibles in the 16th century adopted the “A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words” with such passion as this rare French edition did. Maximum effort was provided to give detail imagery with as many as 7 pictures on a page to explain to the reader the contents therein. Literacy in any country in Europe was low. What better way to explain God’s Word than with images?

The Scripture was protestant as it follows the famed Olivetan translation of 1535. This edition lacks the Geneva notes that were hostile to both Church of Rome and the Crowns of Europe.

This edition was highly sought by church officials who wished to burn or otherwise destroy it. To combat that – the publishers included a preface by Jerome and the entirety of the Apocrypha which followed the collation of the Vulgate. In short, this Bible follows the organization of books which differs greatly from that of the English Geneva, Bishops and the King James some 50 years later.

The French were passionate about the most up to date translations. In many cases a newer edition meant a more accurate translation of God’s Word. It can be argued that the newest translation didn’t change the temperature of hell one degree to the left or the right from its predecessors but the French still wanted precision in all aspects of their Scripture.

This edition was printed in the city of Lyon which was compassionate to reformers championed by John Calvin. A protestant Bible printed in Geneva was much more hostile towards the Church of Rome than editions printed in Lyon.

Dr. Craig H. Lampe, the world’s leading authority on the transmission and unique issues of the Bible believes this Bible was bound without the book of Revelation intentionally.

“It’s clear this Bible was intended to navigate into the hands of French protestant reformers where Roman authority was still powerful” says Dr. Lampe. “If you were caught with a complete edition of this Bible by a Roman Clergy official you were most likely facing persecution that no one would want to endure. This Bible lacking the Revelation but includes Jerome’s preface in the front, an order of books identical to the Vulgate and lacking the images portraying the Church of Rome in less than flattering circumstances in Revelation can’t be overlooked” continues Dr. Lampe. “John Calvin was an extraordinary mind. He was also very conscious of where to pick his fights and also where to protect his fellow reformers and this Bible present in its original parts with all of those qualities in mind was intended to evade church officials and protect followers of Christ” concluded Dr. Lampe.

A very rare edition protected by an elegant clam shell case.



Just The Facts
1506 Latin

Item # P1506
ISTC: 1506
Size: 8 x 6x 2
Font: Black Letter

Additional Features:
End Papers: Cotton

Incredible Woodcuts

Just The Facts
1561 French Bible

Item #FR1561
OT Title Page: 1561 FAC
NT Title Page: Present - No Date
Size: 15 x 10.5 x 2.5
Font: Roman

Additional Features:
Full Calf
End Papers: Cotton
Filled with woodcuts

1506 Sermon Book & 1561 Bible

Appraisal Value: $50,000

Sale Price: $19,500

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