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Early Printing & Manuscripts / Religion & Devotion

Dutch-language lives of the Apostles, first published during religious turmoil:
most complete copy known of last edition, with 2 leaves in an early manuscript copy

ABDIAS, the first bishop of Babylon [misatribution]. Den striit ende dat leven vanden vromen campioenen (naervolghers vanden alder vroomste[n] capiteyn onsen Heere Jesus Christus gebenedijt) der glorieuser mannen die twaelf apostelen.
Antwerp, Hendrik Wouters (colophon: printed by Matthias van Roye for Hendrik Wouters, 5 March 1574). 8vo. With the title in a border built up from arabesque typographic ornaments and woodcut publisher's device on the otherwise blank final leaf. Set in textura gothic type, with incidental roman and extensive italic. With the bifolium K4.5 replaced by a very precise near contemporary (ca. 1600?) manuscript copy. Contemporary limp vellum with a wrap-around flap on the back cover. Full description
€ 3,850
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Announcing peace between the Catholics and protestants of Antwerp

[ANTWERP]. De religions-vrede: gheaccordeert ende gepubliceert binnen Antwerpen den XIIen Junii, MDLXXIX.
With: (2) Religions-vrede, ou accord de religion, consenti et publié en Anvers le XIIme de Juin MDLXXIX.
Antwerp, Christoffel Plantin, 1579. 2 works in 1 volume. 8vo. With a different woodcut coat of arms of Antwerp on each title-page. 17th-century half parchment, recased with new endpapers in the 19th-century. Full description
€ 1,500
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First 4to edition of 70 engraved biblical scenes with explanatory poems by Arias Montanus,
from the library of Robert de Ligne (1564-1614)

ARIAS MONTANO (MONTANUS), Benito (Benedictus). Humanae salutis monumenta.
Antwerp, Christoffel Plantin, “1571” [= 1582/83]. 4to (22 x 14.5 cm). With an engraved, illustrated title-page bearing the initials of the engraver Pieter Huys and the date 1571, an unsigned circular portrait of Jesus in profile and 70 full-page engravings (16.5 x 11.5 cm) by several artists. 17th-century gold-tooled black goatskin, the front board with a centrepiece comprising coat-of-arms (with a name below it) in an oval (the arms and name mutilated, but probably Robert de Ligne or an heir), gilt edges, later endpapers. Full description
€ 19,500
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Unidentified humanist's selections from St Augustine
to defend the Catholic faith against reformers and heretics

AUGUSTINE, Saint. Collectanea, ex universo opere librorum D. Aurelii Augustini passim decerpta, semitam quanda[m] media[m] Christianis, nu[n]c misere dissentie[n]bus[!] mon[s]trantia, qua unanimiter ad ecclesiam Christi redeant.
Deventer, Albert Paffraet, 1529. 8vo (16.5 x 10.5 cm). With the title in letterpress in a woodcut border and one woodcut initial. With a contemporary manuscript index (31 1/2 pp.) and contemporary manuscript notes (1 1/2 pp.) giving quotations from Saint Augustine on 16 leaves bound at the front. Contemporary blind-tooled brown calf over wooden boards (the back board replaced with paperboard), with a brass catch-plate in the middle of the fore-edge (clasp and anchor plate lacking and binding repaired). Full description
€ 12,500
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Two rare editions of sermons, printed and published at Cologne ca. 1502 and in 1505

AUGUSTINUS DE LEONISSA. Sermones pulcherrimi sup[er] d[omi]nica[m] or[ati]o[n]em Pater noster & angelicam salutat[i]o[n]em Ave Maria. Unicuiq[ue] ad populu[m] vole[n]ti declamat[i]o[n]es facere acco[m]modati. editi p[er] venera[n]du[m] patre[m] Augustinu[m] de Leonissa ...
(Colophon: Cologne, heirs of Heinrich Quentel, 1505). With 3 decorated woodcut initials, many 3-line and 2 larger Lombardic initials. With the first decorated initial hand coloured, and rubricated throughout.
With: (2) BONAVENTURA, Saint (pseudo). Sermo[n]es Quattuor novissimorum perutiles et n[e]cc[ess]arii. unu[m]que[m]que in devot[i]o[n]is ardorem dei quam timore[m] i[n]ducentes. a Beato Bonaventura editi.
(Colophon : Cologne), [Cornelis de Zierikzee, ca. 1502]. With a small woodcut of Christ at the Last Judgement on the title-page framed by 4 decorative woodcut strip borders, a full-page woodcut of King David meeting Christ at the Last Judgement (repeated at the end), a few 3-line Lombardic initials and spaces left for a few larger manuscript initials (not filled in). 2 works in 1 volume. Small 8vo (14.5 x 10.5 cm). Modern blind-tooled brown goatskin morocco. Full description
€ 4,850
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­­­The first history of Christianity in England
in contemporary blind-tooled calf with a roll showing Reformation portraits

BEDA VENERABILIS (The Venerable BEDE). Ecclesiasticae historiae gentis Anglorum libri quinque diligenti studio à mendis, quibus hactenus scatebant, vindicati.
Including: BEDA VENERABILIS. Epitome sive breviarium totius praecedentis historiae Anglorum ...
Antwerp, Joannes de Grave (Gravius), 1550. Folio. With De Grave's woodcut armorial device on title-page (repeated on the otherwise blank final leaf) and 30 woodcut decorated initials. Contemporary blind-tooled calf, each board with a double border made from a roll with 4 heads in profile, not labelled but showing Martin Luther, Philipp Melanchthon, Desiderius Erasmus and apparently the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V rather than the more common Jan Hus, each in an oval wreath and separated by foliage (bilaterally symmetrical both vertically and horizontally). With a ca. 1680 endleaf and early 19th-century spine labels and marbled paste-downs. Full description
€ 4,000
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First edition of 2 letters from a Jesuit missionary, giving many Europeans their first account of India

BERSE (BELGA, BARZEE, BARTZ.), Gaspar. Epistolae Indicae in quibus luculenta extat descriptio rerum nuper in India Orientali praeclarè gestarum à theologis societatis Jesu: …
(Colophon: Dillingen, Sebald Mayer, 1563). Small 8vo (15.5 x 10.5 cm). With 2 woodcut decorated initials (and 1 repeat) showing scenes with people, including a martyr being thrown into a well. Contemporary limp vellum (given a reddish-brown surface stain), leather thong ties. Full description
€ 9,500
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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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