A Formerly Chained Binding, With Medieval Manuscript Waste

Henricus de Herpf (c.1410-1477)

Speculum aureum decem praeceptorum Dei.

Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 12 March 1481


Median folio: 31.5 x 21.5 cm. 325 of 326 lvs. (lacks 1st blank leaf). Collation (supplied by BMC): *10, a-z8, A-P8, Q-R6.

SECOND EDITION (1st ed. 1474).

Bound in contemporary blindstamped leather, dyed red, over wooden boards, from an unidentified workshop [EBDB w003054], chain staple hole on lower board with hasp fragment, defects and small losses to spine. Early vellum spine label. With later metal bosses. One of two original straps and both catchplates. A crisp, fine copy internally. Rubricated, some deckled edges preserved, a few vellum quire guards from an unidentified early manuscript, small hole in final few leaves.

A book previously held in a chained library, in an unusual, red-dyed binding.

213 sermons on the Ten Commandments by the Dutch mystic Hendrik Herp, whose writings had a profound impact on later mystical writers, including Francisco de Osuna, who in turn influenced St. Teresa of Jesus.

From 1445, Herpf was a rector of the Brothers of the Common Life in Delft and, later, in Gouda, where he encouraged book production in particular. In 1450, on a pilgrimage to Rome, he joined the Franciscan Observance (the Capuchin reform) at the Convent of Ara Coeli. Upon his return to northern Europe, he served in several posts for the Franciscan Observants of the Cologne Province, including as provincial of the Province of Cologne (1470–73), then as guardian of the convent of Mechlin in present-day Belgium, where he died in 1477.

ISTC ih00040000; H *8524; GW 12227; BMC II 419; Bod-inc H-020; BSB-Ink H-219; Goff H-40