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Early Printing & Manuscripts / 15th Century

The "Doctrinale" with authoritative commentary by Johannes Synthen,
one of two known copies

ALEXANDER DE VILLA DEI and Johannes SYNTHEN. [Doctrinale part 1, with the commentary by Johannes Synthen]: Glosa super prima parte doctrinalis Alexandri. Per Joannem Synthen Daventriae extremo labore collecta.
Deventer, Jacobus de Breda, [between 5 April and 21 May 1490]. 4to. With only 2 initials executed: first chapter: a red R with red pen work and a red V at the beginning of Chapter 5 (damaged). Lacking 4 leaves. Binding lost except front cover: a vellum leaf from an early 15th-century rhetorical manuscript, rubricated in red. Full description
€ 6,500
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Letters from Hormuz Island, the East Indies and Japan

[BERSE, Gaspar, Francis XAVIER et al.]. Epistolae Indicae et Iapanicae de multarum gentium ad Christi fidem, per Societatem Iesu conversione. Item de Tartarorum potentia, moribus, & totius penè Asiae religione. Tertia editio cum indice castigatior & auctior.
Including: Epistolae Iapanicae, de multorum in variis insulis gentilium ad Christi sidem conversione.
Leuven, Rutger Velpius, 1570. 2 parts in 1 volume. 8vo. Each part with woodcut publisher's device on last blank. Contemporary limp sheepskin parchment. Full description
€ 19,500
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12 leaves from an incunable with an autograph letter by William Blades

[INCUNABLE - GERMANY]. [12 leaves from: Statuta synodalia herbipolensia].
[Würzburg, Georg Reyser, ca. 1486]. Folio. Printed in red and black in rotunda type (32 lines; printed area: 18 x 12 cm; type: 112a). With illustrations cut from 19th- or 20th-century reproductions of early woodcuts (ca. 21 x 14 cm) pasted on the front (Annunciation) and back pastedown (Christophorus, with the year "cccc xx tercio").. Later bound in two leaves from a 13th-century vellum theological manuscript, rubricated and decorated with alternating red and blue initials with penwork. Full description
€ 3,500
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Gheraert Leeu's first illustrated book: no copy in the Netherlands, in the tradition of Arabian Nights.

[INCUNABLE - GOUDA]. Historia septem sapientiu[m] Rom[a]e.
[Gouda, Gheraert Leeu, before 3 June 1480]. 4to (20.5 x 14 cm). With 4 full-page woodcuts plus 14 repeats.  The first initial is supplied in manuscript, in a rich ornamental uncial style in red and blue with brown penwork. All other initials are supplied by hand in simple red uncials. The text is rubricated throughout. Most of the plates are lightly highlighted in yellow and red, by a contemporary hand. Contemporary limp sheepskin parchment without a spine, so that the sewing is completely visible. Kept in a modern brown half morocco clamshell box. Full description
€ 250,000
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Illustrated first edition of the Dutch translation of "Der goldene Thron", intended for women & men

OTTO VAN PASSAU. Boeck des gulden throene of der xxiiij ouden. 
Utrecht, "tC", (30 March) 1480. Folio. With 24 illustrations in text (ca. 9 x 6.2 cm), printed from 1 complete woodcut (plus 4 repeats) and 15 components assembled in different combinations, all rubricated and with architectural frames. Each of the 24 chapters begins with a large manuscript initial, 11 with two or more colours and others with interior white decoration. A smaller initial with penwork opens the book's first page and there are numerous further 1-line and 2-line initials. Woodcut printer's device at the end. Contemporary (Utrecht?) blind-tooled calf over wooden boards, each board in a panel design; rebacked. Full description
€ 185,000
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A subtle mixture of Christian and Pagan wisdom

OTTO VON PASSAU. Boec des gulden throe[n]s of der xxiiij. ouden en[de] hoemen elke[n] vinden mach en[de] va[n] hoerre leringhen die si leren om te comen totten ewighen leven.
(colophon: Haarlem, [Jacob Bellaert], 25 October 1484). Folio (29 x 21.5 cm). With large woodcut printer's device (142 x 82 mm) on verso of last leaf (with the arms of the city of Haarlem above an eagle holding a larger blank shield, here filled in by a contemporary owner); 4 woodcut illustrations and 20 repeats, representing the 24 elders, each showing one of the male elders, standing, teaching a female novice kneeling before him. Further with spaces left for initials, all filled in with uncials by hand, about 25 with penwork decoration in 1 or 2 additional colours: 1 blue 6-line initial with decorations in red and violate extending far into the margin, about 24 red 3 to 9-line (mostly 7-line) initials with lavendar penwork (1 with 2 green dots), some extending into the margin, and more than 70 2-line red initials without penwork decoration; a few spaces left for ¶-marks, also filled in in red; capitals rubricated throughout. Set entirely in Baellart's textura (99 or 100 mm/20 lines or about 14.5 point). Lacking leaf 137 (the second to last text leaf) and the final blank. Modern sheepskin. Full description
€ 75,000
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1484 edition of a great Roman satirist, with the extensive commentaries by Bartolomeo Fonzio

PERSIUS FLACCUS. Satirarum opus [= Satyrae/Saturae].
(Colophon: Venice, Dionysius de Bertochus & Pelegrinus de Paschalibus Bononienses, 10 September 1484). Small folio (29.5 x 21 cm). With the verse text surrounded on three sides by Fonzio's prose commentary, Bertochus and Pelegrinus's woodcut device next to the colophon on the last printed page, with spaces left for manuscript initials without guide letters (not filled in). Set in 2 sizes of Venetian-style roman type (110 and 83 mm/20 lines) with an occasional Greek letter. 19th-century(?) sheepskin parchment. Full description
€ 14,500
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The "Mirror of human life", printed at Rome in 1473, with contemporary marginal manuscript notes
Set in one of the first roman printing types ever produced

SÁNCHEZ DE ARÉVALO, Rodrigo (Rodericus SANCIUS or ZAMORENSIS). Speculum vit[a]e human[a]e.
Rome, Joannes Philippus de Lignamine, 31 July 1473. Small folio (26.5 x 20 cm). With spaces left for 2 large (6-line) and about 80 small (3-line) initials. Text block 19.5 x 11.5 mm with 31 lines per page. Set in a single roman type throughout (Lignamine 125R). Limp sheepskin parchment (ca. 1740/50). Full description
€ 22,500
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First edition of a famous collection of nearly 200 sermons: the earliest dated book printed in Zwolle
and a rare early experiment labelling double-page openings
this copy in an unrecorded variant

[SERVASANCTUS DE FAENZA and others] (spuriously attributed to Saint BONAVENTURA). [Sermones de tempore et de sanctis].
(Colophon: Zwolle, [Johannes de Vollenhoe], 1479). Small (Chancery) folio (27.5 x 20.5 cm). With one 5-line and hundreds of 2- and 3-line spaces left for initials, filled in with manuscript "Lombardic" capitals in red; manuscript paragraph marks in red; and capitals rubricated throughout. Set entirely in a single textura gothic type (103 mm/20 lines) in 2 columns of 39 lines to the page. Early 18th-century tanned sheepskin. Full description
€ 35,000
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10 books found