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Item Description: 1460. The Summa grammaticalis quae vocatur Catholicon, or Catholicon (from the Greek universal), is a 13th-century Latin dictionary which found wide use throughout Christendom. Some of the entries contain encyclopaedic information, and a Latin grammar is also included. The work was created by John Balbi of Genoa, a Dominican. who finished it on March 7, 1286. The work served in the late Middle Ages to interpret the Bible "correctly". The educated citizen could gather from it the substantial knowledge of his time. From 1286 to the late 15th century it was available mainly in manuscripts held by monastic libraries. The Catholicon was one of the first books to be printed, using the new printing technology of Johannes Gutenberg in 1460. Three issues can be distinguished in spite of identical typesetting: a) printed on vellum or Bull's Head paper; b) on Galliziani paper; c) on Tower & Crown paper. This has given rise to the theory that issue a) was printed in 1460, issue b) in 1469 and issue c) about 1472; Paul Needham argued convincingly that some copies of the Catholicon were printed on Bullís Head paper in 1460 with solid two-line slugs of cast type, and that these slugs were used again to print more copies on the later paper stocks c. 1469 and 1472-74. We believe this to be 1469. This leaf most likely does not come from the "Catholicon" incunabula that was broken and sold together with an essay by Margaret Bingham. Bookseller Inventory # 000007

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Item Description: Gutenberg, 1469. The Summa grammaticalis quae vocatur Catholicon, or Catholicon (from the Greek universal), is a 13th-century Latin dictionary which found wide use throughout Christendom. Some of the entries contain encyclopaedic information, and a Latin grammar is also included. The work was created by John Balbi of Genoa, a Dominican. who finished it on March 7, 1286. The work served in the late Middle Ages to interpret the Bible "correctly". The educated citizen could gather from it the substantial knowledge of his time. From 1286 to the late 15th century it was available mainly in manuscripts held by monastic libraries. The Catholicon was one of the first books to be printed, using the new printing technology of Johannes Gutenberg in 1460. Three issues can be distinguished in spite of identical typesetting: a) printed on vellum or Bull's Head paper; b) on Galliziani paper; c) on Tower & Crown paper. This has given rise to the theory that issue a) was printed in 1460, issue b) in 1469 and issue c) about 1472; Paul Needham argued convincingly that some copies of the Catholicon were printed on Bullís Head paper in 1460 with solid two-line slugs of cast type, and that these slugs were used again to print more copies on the later paper stocks c. 1469 and 1472-74. We believe this to be 1469. This leaf most likely does not come from the "Catholicon" incunabula that was broken and sold together with an essay by Margaret Bingham. Bookseller Inventory # 000061

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CATHOLICON] An Original Leaf From the Catholicon: Balbus Johannes

Balbus Johannes

Published by Mainz [Johann Gutenberg] 1460 [second impression, Peter Schoeffer?, c. 1468-69] (1468)

Used Hardcover First Edition

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From: Buddenbrooks, Inc. ABAA (Newburyport, MA, U.S.A.)

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Item Description: Mainz [Johann Gutenberg] 1460 [second impression, Peter Schoeffer?, c. 1468-69], 1468. A single leaf of the Mainz CATHOLICON, first edition, second impression. Double column, 66 lines. Type: 82G cast on two-line slugs. Rubricated in red with lombard initials (26 on recto and 26 on verso) and paragraph marks (5 on recto and 8 on verso). Royal folio (14 7/16 x 11 1/4 inches), printed on Galliziani paper with the characteristic shadows at wire-line intervals of ca. 5mm and with water-mark present. Now presented unattached, between a cream beveled mounting, older mounting also included and all within a handsome portfolio of tan buckram with paper label on the upper board. Single leaf. A very handsome piece with just a bit of browning along the binding edge, slight tear at bottom margin expertly repaired, no text effected, slight discolouring from old mounting tape at two very small points of the upper edge. A HANDSOME ORIGINAL LEAF from the most substantive of three books printed by Gutenberg from two-line castings rather than moveable types. Three chronologically distinct printings of the CATHOLICON have been identified on the basis of their paper stocks. This leaf containing the dictionary entries from "Cedula" to "Cenomia" from the first edition, second impression. As early as 1905 Gottfred Zedler recognized that the Catholicon edition dated Mainz 1460 exists in three impressions printed from a single setting of type but associated with three presses (with different pinhole patterns) and printed on three distinct paper stock. In 1982 Paul Needham presented evidence that the three issues were printed at different times, according to the datable use of their paper stocks: copies on Bull's Head paper (with which are classed the vellum copies) in 1460, copies on Galliziani paper ca. 1469, and copies on Crown and Tower papers ca. 1472. Moreover, Needham argued that the three impressions were produced, not from standing type, but from two-line 'slugs' cast from the type and capable of being reassembled for subsequent impressions. According to this theory, the first impression of the Catholicon was produced by Gutenberg himself in 1460, the 'slugs' then passed into the possession of Konrad Humery with Gutenberg's other typographic material after the latter's death in 1468 and were re-used by Humery probably with the help of Peter Schoeffer, ca. 1469. In this view, which has aroused prolonged controversy among incunabulists, the 1460 Catholicon represents not only Gutenberg's last production but also final achievement, the invention of an early form of stereotyping."[Christie's Nakles Collection of Incunabula, 2000 lot #2] This leaf likely from those acquired by E. Byrne Hackett and broken up by him for the Brick Row Book Shop in 1936. The older matting board included with it has an old but undated typed note on a card with Brick Row printed letterhead. Balbus's CATHOLICON, the standard Latin dictionary of the later Middle Ages, went through at least fifteen editions before the end of the fifteenth century. The leaf offered here represents ONE OF THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE OBTAINABLE PIECES OF PRINTING, and its association with Johann Gutenberg provides an intimate connection with the beginning of printing from moveable type, perhaps the single most important event of the millenium (so far). Bookseller Inventory # 27248

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Gutenberg and the Catholicon of 1460. A: Stillwell, Margaret Bingham

Stillwell, Margaret Bingham

Published by Brick Row Book Shop, NY (1936)

Used Hardcover

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Item Description: Brick Row Book Shop, NY, 1936. Folio. (6), 28pp. Library Edition. Contains an original leaf from the Catholicon of 1460, whose production, as Stillwell argues in the essay within, should be credited to Johannes Gutenberg (some have argued that the second printing was achieved by Peter Schoeffer in 1469, after Gutenberg's death). Stillwell's work is divided into four parts and includes a registry of extant copies of the Catholicon of 1460. The single folio leaf measures 14 3/8 by 11 3/16 inches (365 x 284mm) and is printed on both sides with 66 lines in double columns, with red one-line rubricated initial capitals. The leaf is laid into a recessed panel in the inner rear cover, framed and held in place with silver clasps. The provenance of this copy, from which the leaves come, includes: ".the possession of Sir Hans Sloane prior to 1753 when it was acquired by Trustees of the newly founded British Museum.It next appeared in the library of Henry W. Poor at whose sale in November 1908 it was bought by Alvin W. Krech, the distinguised banker and bibliophile, the kind co-operation of whose family makes this re-publication possible." Bound in full crimson buckram by Krumin of Boston, and stamped in blind and gilt on both covers. The leaf shows a few small marginal chips, else fine. Housed in a maroon wrapper and the original slipcase, both of which show some edgewear. (BCC #6; Chalmers 70). Bookseller Inventory # 27414

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