Speculum Historiale

VINCENT DE BEAUVAIS (c. 1190-1264?)

Published by The R-Printer (Adolf Rusch), Strassburg, 1473
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About the Book

Bibliographic Details


Title: Speculum Historiale

Publisher: The R-Printer (Adolf Rusch), Strassburg

Publication Date: 1473

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good+

Edition: First Edition.

Description:

[Strassburg: The R-Printer (Adolf Rusch), circa 1473 and not after 1476]. Two volumes in one (of part 4). This is the historical fourth portion of the twelfth-century Speculum Maius produced by Rusch in the third quarter of the fifteenth century. Folio (478 x 336mm). Pagination: [154] (of 156) + [176] leaves, non-numbered and unsigned except for some early manuscript attempts. Collation: [1(9 of 10, lacking initial blank), 2(10), 3(9, lacking (1) beginning of Epilogue), 4-14(10), 15(6), 16(8), 17-33 (in 16 gatherings of 10), 34-35(8). 67 lines, double column, Gothic type, rubricated throughout. Attractive opening nine-line foliate initial S of Secundum with red penwork infilling on introduction page and extra illustrated 12-line initial Q of Quoniam opening the Historiale and similar nine-line initial D in volume 2. Numerous penwork initials in first few quires enhanced with whimsical illustrations of grotesque faces and fantastic flowers and ornament, more consist of skillful decorative red penwork infilling on blue initials. These fifteen or so initial designs are unique artistic additions by a late medieval reader. Contemporary blind-tooled pigskin over wooden boards with brass catches; (lacking clasps, bosses, and lettering piece, small wormholes through covers and front and back of contents not severe, front leaf and cover detached but present; occasional stains, and faint smearing or bleeding through on some initials, first few gatherings in Volume 1 loose, clean tear across lower outer corner of [p]3 crudely repaired, clean tear in upper inner corner of [o]7 in Volume 2). Sixteenth-century Carmelite Library inscription from the monastic order at Heilbronn on upper margin on first leaf. Later inscription of German name "Horshmann" on first leaf as well. Stamp of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary Library (deaccessioned). First edition of the fourth part of Vincent de Beauvaisí major incunable work "Speculum Maius" comprising the most popular part, the "Historiale" enhanced with original illustrations in several of the hand-colored initials. Medieval French Dominican Vincent de Beauvais is best known for his most influential encyclopedic work, a "great mirror," called the "Speculum Maius." Written in four parts dealing with nature, the doctrine of science, morality, and history, the "Speculum Maius" was considered the most comprehensive work of collected knowledge made in the Middle Ages. The work took Vincent more than fifteen years to complete. In his lifetime, Vincent prepared five manuscript versions of the "Historiale." This section, a thirty-book work, covered human history from Creation up until the year 1244. In it, he incorporated work from classical authors, church fathers, popular legends, and lives of the Saints. The "Historiale" was the most popular fourth part of the "Speculum Maius" in the late medieval period. To its popularity testify the more than 250 manuscript volumes that are known today. This mammoth volume comprises the crowning history portion to the famed early printed encyclopedic series of Vincent de Beauvais; complete editions of the "Speculum Maius" comprise the largest incunable set ever produced. At least three editions of the Historiale preceded it or were being printed contemporaneously to it in the early 1470s; the earliest in Cologne (1472), another by Mentelin in Strassburg (1473), and Augsburg (c. 1474). This copy is extra enhanced for its original late medieval illustrations adorning the initials. ISTC iv00282000 (this copy misidentified in Goff as V283 and in ISTC as iv00283000). First edition of the fourth part of Vincent de Beauvaisí major incunable work "Speculum Maius" comprising the most popular part, the "Historiale" enhanced with original illustrations in several of the hand-colored initials. Medieval French Dominican Vincent de Beauvais is best known for his most influential encyclopedic work, a "great mirror," called the "Speculum Maius." Written in four parts dealing with nature. Bookseller Inventory # SAV138

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