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Gutenberg's Other Great Innovation - The Hibbert-Botfield copy of the Catholicon

BALBUS, Johannes (O.P., d.1298)
Catholicon.

Mainz: [Peter Schoeffer, ca. [1469], 1460

$600,000.00

Theo Gerardy in Gutenberg Jahrbuch articles of 1971, 1973 and 1980 showed that the Galliziani and Tower/Crown paper stocks in the Catholicon did not exist in 1460 and therefore suggested a date in the late 1460s for the edition as a whole. This dating of all three issues to c. 1469 was later taken up by Lotte Hellinga, who added numerous details and arguments to support it in a wide-ranging investigation of typographical evidence in the Catholicon and textual evidence in the 4° Aquinas (see Gutenberg Jahrbuch1989, 1990, 1991, Bulletin du Bibliophile 1991, The Book Collector 1992, Archiv für Geschichte des Buchwesens 1993).

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HC *2254; GW 3182(3); BMC I, 39 (IC. 303); Goff B-20; CIBN B-13 (II); De Ricci, Mayence 90.71 (one of two "exemplaires disparus"). BMC assigns letters to the collation: a-f10, g4, h-t10, v4+1, A-S10, T4. On the Polling provenance, see Richard van Dülmen, “Aufklärung und Reform in Bayern, I. Das Tagebuch des Pollinger Prälaten Franz Töpsl (1744–1752) und seine Korrespondenz mit Gerhoh Steigenberger (1763–1768),” in Zeitschrift für Bayerische Landesgeschichte(ZBLG, 1969) 32 (1969), p. 733, letter of 7 January 1766 to Steigenberger [attached]; and Aretin, Neunter Brief, in Beyträge zur Geschichte und Literatur, vorzüglich aus den Schätzen der Königl. Hof- und Centralbibliothek zu München. I (Munich: Lindauer, 1803), 89

A Fine, Large 13th c. "Proto" Paris Bible

BIBLE MANUSCRIPT, with prologues and the Interpretations of Hebrew Names
Decorated manuscript on vellum, in Latin

France (Paris?), early 13th century

$175,000.00

Contents: The books of the Bible and prologues are very close to the standard Paris sequence (f.1), omitting Psalms, and with a capitula list for Genesis; the Interpretations of Hebrew Names in the version from Aaz to Zuzim (f.167), alphabetised to the first two letters; preceded by added notes on the four types of biblical exposition (historical, tropological, anagogical, typological) and the seven rules of theology (f.

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Printed by Oxford's Second Printer

INCUNABULA. ENGLAND. Lathbury [Lathbery], John (d.1362)
Liber moralium super threnis Ieremiae

[Oxford: Theodoric Rood], 31 July 1482

$165,000.00

Chancery folio: 29 x 20.7 cm. 290 lvs. unnumbered (of 292, lacking 2 of the 3 blanks). Signatures: a-z⁸ A-I⁸ kk⁸ L-M⁸ N-O⁶ . Lacks blanks a1 and L8. Blank O6 present.

Books printed by Rood are extremely rare. The printer is represented in North America by 10 complete volumes, comprising 3 copies of this title (Folger, Morgan, Brown) [a 4thcopy, at Yale Center for British Art, lacks two text leaves], 1 copy (Morgan) of RichardusRolle de Hampole's "Explanationes in Job" (ISTC ir00305000), and 6 copies (Harvard, Princeton, Morgan, Newberry, UC Law, Yale) of Lyndewode's "Constitutiones provinciales ecclesiae Anglicanae" (ISTC il00413000.

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ISTC il00075000; HC (+Add) 9928; GW M17160; BMC XI 236; Bod-inc L-043; Goff L-75; not in BSB. For the Yale copy, see Grolier Club. Fifty-five books printed before 1525 (1968), 38; Madan, F. Early Oxford Press, pages 2-3, 255-256; Madan, F. Oxford books, 9, (10)

An Extraordinary Copy in a Contemporary English Binding, with Contemporary English Provenance

More, Sir Thomas (1478-1535); Erasmus, Desiderius (1466?-1536)
De optimo reip. statu deque nova insula Utopia [with:] Epigrammata… Thomae Mori [with:] Epigrammata Des. Erasmi Roterodami

Basel: Johann Froben, March 1518

$135,000.00

Quarto: 22 x 15.5 cm. Three parts in one volume: 355 (i.e. 359), [1] p. Collation: I. a-s4, t-u6. II. x-z4, A-I4, K6. III. L-T4, V6

"Utopia" was first published at Louvain in 1516, overseen by Pieter Gillies, its dedicatee; it was reprinted at Paris in 1517. Erasmus was then responsible for arranging publication of two editions in 1518 (March and December) by 'his' printer at Basel, Johann Froben, for which More revised his text. More's epigrams, published here for the first time, include the stinging verses on his fellow humanist, Germanius de Brie, which, after bitter exchanges between the two men, More would excise from the next edition printed in 1520.

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Adams M-1756; Fairfax Murray German 304 (4th edition); Gibson More 3; Hollstein XIV, p.20; PMM 47 (1516 edition).

Otto Schäfer's Copy –An Exceptional Set in Contemporary Green Calf –Illustrated with 75 Fine Woodcuts

BIBLE. OLD TESTAMENT IN GERMAN. Luther, Martin (1483-1546), translator
Das Alte Testament Deutsch nach urspringlicher Hebreischer warheit. Mit schöner der schwersten [W]örter ausslegung.

Strasbourg: Johann Knobloch, [?January] 1524, July 1524, March 1525

$85,000.00

Folio: Three volumes bound as one. 30.5 x 20.8 cm. Vol. I: [6], CLI, [1] lvs. Vol. II: [1], CXC, [1] lvs., Vol. III: LXXXVII lvs. Collation: Vol. I: i-vi, A-Z6, Aa6, Bb8 (Bb8 blank and present.) Vol. II: A-Z6, Aa-Ii6 (Ii6 blank and present). Vol III: A-C6, D4, E-P6

A fine set of an early printing of Luther's German Old Testament, profusely illustrated. The first volume of the Old Testament, including the Pentateuch, was first published at Wittenberg by Melchior Lotter, the Younger, for Lucas Cranach and Christian Döring,in mid-1523.

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An Exceptional, Illustrated Luther New Testament - Otto Schäfer's Copy

BIBLE. NEW TESTAMENT IN GERMAN. Luther, Martin (1483-1546), translator
Das neuw Testament recht grüntlich teutscht [BOUND WITH] Concordantz des Newen Testaments zu teütsch. Aller Evangelischer Sprüch usszugk nach ordnung des Abc.

Strasbourg: J. Knobloch, 1524 and J. Schott, 1524

$85,000.00

Folio. Two volumes bound as one: 29.5 x 20.5 cm. I. [24], CXCVI lvs. Collation: a4, b-c6, d-e4, A-Z6, Aa-Ii6, Kk4. II. [107] lvs. A-E6, F4, G-R6, S8 (S8 is blank and present.)

Although Martin Luther was not the first to translate the Bible into German, he was the first to translate the text from the original biblical languages. First printed at Wittenberg in September 1522 by Melchior Lotter, the Younger, for Luther's publishers Lucas Cranach and Christian Döring.

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I: Benzing 1524.29 or .30; VD16 B 4345 of 4346; USTC 627803. II: VD16 S 3995 - USTC 624332.

“Perhaps the First to Use a Keplerian Telescope for Regular Planetary Observation” (King)

Fontana, Francesco (1602-1656)
Novae Coelestium Terrestriumq[ue] Rerum Observationes, et fortasse hactenus non vulgatae à Francisco Fontana, specillis a se inventis, et ad summam perfectionem perductis editae.

Naples: Apud Gaffarum, Mense Februarii, 1646

$85,000.00

A truly remarkable work, the  “Observationes” has been called the first true lunar atlas (preceding that of Hevelius by one year.) Moreover, the work includes the first illustrations of the planet Mars made from telescopic observation (in 1636 and 1638). The first chapter includes a very early history of the telescope. Fontana claims to have invented both the “Keplerian” telescope (composed of two convex lenses) in 1608, and the compound microscope (consisting of two converging lenses, one functioning as objective, the other as eyepiece) in 1618; while his claims to have invented these instruments have been proven untrue, Fontana did in fact construct and use both of these instruments and with them he observed Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon; as well as fleas, flies, ants, bees and human hairs.

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Carli and Favaro 211; Houzeau and Lancaster II, 1328; Riccardi I/1 467 (‘raro ed apprezzato’); Literature: King, The History of the Telescope p. 46; Clay, The History of the Microscope p. 9; Ashworth, The Face of the Moon: Galileo to Apollo, p. 4)

European Astronomy in 17th c. China. With the Engraving of The Astronomical Observatory in Beijing

Verbiest, Ferdinand, S.J. (1623-1688)
Astronomia Europaea sub Imperatore Tartaro Sinico Cam Hy appellato ex umbra in lucem revocata

Dillingen: Typis & sumptibus Joannis Caspari Bencard, 1687

$84,000.00

Quarto: 19 x 16 cm. (8), 126, (2) p. Collation: )(4, A-Q4

Verbiest and the New Chinese Astronomical Observatory:

In 1669 the Belgian Jesuit Ferdinand Verbiest, with the blessing of the K’ang Hsi Emperor, embarked upon a project to build a new Imperial astronomical observatory of Beijing (Peking). The construction of the new observatory, the replacement of the outdated and far less accurate Chinese instruments, and the introduction of European instruments that used the Western sexagesimal system of 360 degrees (rather than the Chinese system), marked, in a concrete way, the full adoption of European science by the Chinese, a process that had been underway since the beginning of the 17th century, and which had been fraught with set-backs, controversy, and violent opposition.

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De Backer-Sommervogel, VIII, 580, 24; Streit, Bibliotheca Missionum, V, 2267, III, 14; Cordier, Sinica 1451; Walravens, China illustrata 198; Löwendahl, China illustrate Nova, I, 185; Golvers, ed. The Astronomia Europaea of Ferdinand Verbiest, S.J.; Golvers, Ferdinand Verbiest, S.J. (1623-1688) and the Chinese Heaven

With 23 Woodcuts of the Canterbury Pilgrims

Chaucer, Geoffrey (d. 1400)
The Workes of Geffrey Chaucer, newlie printed, with divers addicions, whiche were never in print before: With the siege and destruccion of the worthy Citee of Thebes, compiled by Jhon Lidgate, Monke of Berie. As in the table more plainly doeth appere.

London: John Kyngston for John Wight, 1561

$68,000.00

Folio: 33 x 22 cm. [14], ccclxxviij leaves. Collation: [fleuron]⁴ [Maltese cross]⁶ A⁴, B-V⁶, 2A-2P⁶, ²Q-T⁶, ²V-X⁸, ²Y-Z⁶, 3A-3T⁶, 3V⁸. Leaves 03/4 reversed. Complete.

There were two series of woodcut illustrations used in 15thand 16thc. editions of the "Canterbury Tales": one by William Caxton, used in his 1483 edition, in 1498 by Wynkyn de Worde, and the 1532 and 1542 editions of the "Works". The second set, modeled on Caxton's, was made for Richard Pynson's 1492 edition of the "Tales". For the second Pynson edition (1526), some of the original 1492 blocks were used while others were re-cut on new blocks.

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Pforzheimer 176; ESTC S107206 (STC 5075); Langland to Wither, 42; Literature: E.P. Hammond, Chaucer, p. 119-122; David Carlson, "Woodcut Illustrations of the Canterbury Tales, 1483-1602", The Library, Vol. s6-19, Issue 1 (1 March, 1997), pages 25-67; David Carlson, "Woodcut Illustrations in Early Printed Editions of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales", in Chaucer Illustrated: Five Hundred Years of The Canterbury Tales in Pictures; Joe Dane, "Press-Variants in John Stow's Chaucer (1561) and the Text of Adam Scriveyn" (with Seth Lerer). Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society 11 (1999): 468-79.

Two of the most important literary works of the English Renaissance, Together with Ascham’s Essay on Historiography - With Manuscript waste from a 15th c. Breviary with several lines in Middle English

Ascham, Roger (1514/15-1568)
The Scholemaster or plaine and perfite way of teaching children, to vnderstand, write, and speake, the Latin tong, but specially purposed for the priuate bringing vp of youth in Ientlemen and Noble mens houses b/w Toxophilus, the schole, or partitions of shooting b/w A Report and Discourse written by Roger Ascham of the affaires and state of Germany and the Emperour Charles his court, duryng certaine yeares while the said Roger was there.

London: Printed by Iohn Daye, dwelling ouer Aldersgate, [1571], London: In Fletestreate neare to Saint Dunstones Churche by Thomas Marshe, 1571, London, Printed by Iohn Daye, dwelling ouer Aldersgate, ca. 1570

$45,000.00

Quarto: Three volumes bound as one: 19.5 x 14.2 cm. I. [manicule]2, B-T4. II. *4, A-H8, III. A-I4

I. “The Schoolmaster”:

“The indispensable link between the earlier Tudor writers and the great Elizabethan and Jacobean writers of English prose”(Ryan, 292)

The Cambridge-educated Ascham, one of the best known of the English humanists, produced two works that had a great influence on the use of English as a literary language as well as on the education of children and the conduct of English gentlemen.

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ISTC S100261, S100277, S100282; STC 834, 838, 830

One of the Most Sought-after Illustrated Books of English Poetry

Heywood, John (1497?-1580?)
The Spider and the Flie. A parable of the Spider and the Flie, made by John Heywood

London: in Flete Streete By Thomas Povvell, 1556

$42,000.00

Quarto: 19 x 14.5 cm. A-C4, A-Z4, Aa16, Bb6, Cc8, Dd12, Ee16, Ff14, Gg8, Hh-Ss4.

“‘The Spider and the Flie’ is an allegorical mock-heroic bestiary in rhyme royal by John Heywood. It was printed in 1556 but, according to Heywood’s epilogue, was begun nineteen years earlier. The time span between composition and publication may account in part for the generally acknowledged obscurities and inconsistencies of Heywood’s political and religious allegory.

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STC 13308; Grolier, Langland to Wither, 137. Pforzheimer 469; McKerrow & Ferguson 50

"One of the first truly scientific books published in England"

MAGNETISM. NAVIGATION. Norman, Robert (1536-1599); Borough, William (bap. 1536-1598)
The New Attractive. Containing a short discourse of the Magnes or Loadstone… Hereunto are annexed Certaine Necessary Rules for the Arte of Navigation… Newly Corrected and Amended by M.W. B. [With, as issued:] A discourse of the variation of the compasse, or magneticall needle... and is to be annexed to the New attractive. London: E. Allde for Heugh Astley, 1562 [1592]

London: E. Allde for Hew Astley, 1592

$40,000.00

Quarto: 9.2 x 13.7 cm. Two parts in one volume. [96], [60] pp. Collation: A-M4, A-G4, H2

"This book has been called one of the first truly scientific books published in England. It is the first English work devoted to the use of the compass, and it contains Norman's proposal for a magnetic field of force acting independently of matter - one of the most important concepts in the history of science.

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Tomash & Williams N44 (and B210); Adams & Waters 2703; ESTC S94496; STC 18649; Royal Institution of Naval Architects, Catalogue of the Scott Collection, compiled by Betty Cooper (London, 1954), nos. 36-37; Luborsky and Ingram, English Illustrated books, 18649

Renaissance Science and its Medieval Antecedents

Sacrobosco, Johannes de (ca. 1195 – ca. 1256 A.D.); Regiomontanus, Johannes (1436-1476); Peurbach, Georg von (1423-1461)
Sphaera mundi [with] Johannes Regiomontanus: Disputationes contra Cremonensia deliramenta [and] Georg von Peurbach: Theoricae novae planetarum.

Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 6 July 1482

$38,000.00

Quarto: 19.5 x 14.3 cm. 60 lvs. Collation: a-g8, h4. 30-31 lines, Gothic type

A fine copy of Erhard Ratdolt’s beautiful printing of Sacrobosco’s “Sphere”, the core astronomical textbook from the Middle Ages to the early 16th century. This edition is the first to include key texts by two of the most influential 15th c. astronomers: Johannes Regiomontanus and Georg Peurbach.

Working in the vein of the Renaissance humanists, Peurbach and his student Regiomontanus sought out the extant scientific writings of antiquity, the classical foundations of medieval European and Arabic science.

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ISTC ij00405000; BMC V 286; Goff J405; Hain-Copinger 14110

The First Edition of Spenser’s Complaints. The Sole 16th Century Edition

Spenser, Edmund (ca.1552-1599)
Complaints. Containing sundrie small poemes of the worlds vanitie. VVhereof the next page maketh mention. By Ed. Sp.

London: Imprinted by Thomas Orwin for VVilliam Ponsonbie, dwelling in Paules Churchyard at the signe of the Bishops head, 1591

$35,000.00

Quarto: 18.5 x 14 cm. [184] p. Collation: A-Z4 (lacking final blank Z4)

The contents are as follows: 1. The Ruines of Time. 2. The Teares of the Muses. 3. Virgils Gnat. 4. Prosopopoia, or Mother Hubberds Tale. 5. The Ruines of Rome: by Bellay. 6. Muiopotmos, or The Tale of the Butterflie. 7. Visions of the Worlds vanitie. 8. Bellayes visions. 9. Petrarches visions.

“Of the nine poems in the volume, four are sonnet sequences while the others are in rhyme royal, ottava rima, sixaines, or couplets.

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Johnson, A Critical Bibliography of the Works of Edmund Spenser printed before 1700, No. 14; STC (2nd ed.), 23078; Pforzheimer, 968

Astronomy and Meteorology; Flora and Fauna: The Natural World in the Middle Ages. With 15th c. Provenance. Bound at the Monastery of St Zeno

Berenger of Landorra, Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela (circa 1262-1330), and Gregory of Vorau (ed. Matthias Farinator)
Lumen Animae. Incipit: Liber moralitatum elegantissimus magnarum reru[m] naturalium lumen anime dict[us]: cu[m] septe[m] apparitorib[us] necno[n] sanctoru[m] doctoru[m] orthodoxe fidei p[ro]fessorum Poetaru[m] etia[m] ac oratoru[m] auctoritatib[us] p[er] modum pharatre s[e]c[un]d[u]m ordine[m] alphabeti collectis feliciter incipit.

Strasbourg: Printer of the 1481 Legenda aurea, 22 March 1482

$35,000.00

Folio: 29.2 x 21.8 cm. 274 unsigned leaves. [A-C]8, [D]10; [a-m]8, [n]6,[o-z]8, [aa-ff]8, [gg]10. Complete with the initial and final blanks.

The arrival of printed books is so often regarded as one of the inaugural moments of the renaissance that it is sometimes forgotten that the first years of print also represented the last great flowering of the Middle Ages. The “Lumen Anime” (Light of the Soul), is testament to that. Formerly attributed to the Carmelite friar Mathias Farinator of Vienna (who compiled the index), the “Lumen Anime” is now known to be Berenger of Landorra, General of the Dominican order and archbishop of Campostella from 1317 to 1325.

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BMC I, 97; Hain-Copinger 10333*; Goff L-396; Proctor 413; Polain 1468; Wellcome I, 2175; Klebs 631.3; Thorndyke III, 546ff. Sources: Mary A. and Richard H. Rouse, ‘The Texts called Lumen Anime,’ Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum, 41 (Rome, 1971), 5-113; N.R. Ker, Records of All Soul’s College Library. 1437-1600 (Oxford, 1971), 27.

The Controversy over the use of Telescopic Sights. Hevelius observes the Skies with Edmond Halley Two Months Before his Observatory is Lost to Fire

ASTRONOMY. Hevelius, Johannes (1611-1687)
Johannis Hevelii Annus climactericus, sive Rerum uranicarum observationum annus quadragesimus nonus; exhibens diversas occultationes, tam planetarum, quàm fixarum post editam machinam coelestem; nec non plurimas altitudines meridianas solis, ac distantias planetarum, fixarumq́ue, eo anno, quousque divinaconcessit benignitas, impetratas: cum amicorum nonnullorum epistolis, ad rem istam spectantibus: & continuatione historiae novæ stellæ in collo Ceti, ut & annotationum rerum coelestium ...

Danzig: Sumptibus auctoris, typis D.F. Rhetii, 1685

$35,000.00

Folio: 34.8 x 22.5 cm. [6] lvs. 24, 196 pp. Collation: )( 6, )(4, )()(4, )()()(4, A-Z4, AA6. With engraved title page vignette and 7 (1 double-page) engraved plates.

“Annus Climactericus” was the last of Hevelius’ works published in the author’s lifetime. The book comprises observations of the planets, sun, moon, and fixed stars, many of which were made alongside the English astronomer Edmond Halley. The observations were made from 8 January until 25 September 1679, subsequent to the publication of the second volume of Hevelius’ “Machina Coelestis”, almost the entire press run of which was lost in the fire that destroyed Hevelius’ observatory on 26 September 1679.

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VD17 39:125045B; DSB 6, 363; Honeyman 1675. For a thorough discussion of the Hevelius-Hooke controversy, see Saridakis, “Converging Elements in the Development of Late Seventeenth-Century Disciplinary Astronomy: Instrumentation, Education, and the Hevelius-Hooke Controversy”, p. 129 ff.; For an assessment of the relative accuracy of Halley’s and Hevelius’ computations at Danzig, see Cook, “Edmond Halley: Charting the Heavens and the Seas”, p. 93 ff.; For Hevelius’ work on the binary star Mira Ceti, see Hatch, “Hevelius- History and Identity”, in “Change and Continuity in Early Modern Cosmology”, p 158 ff.; For D. Capellus’ contemporary account of the fire and a detailed inventory of Hevelius’ losses, see MacPike, “Hevelius, Flamsteed, Halley”, Appendix I. (London, 1937)

The First Printed Illustrations of the Constellations

Hyginus, Caius Julius (fl. 2nd century)
Poeticon astronomicon. Edited by Jacobus Sentinus and Johannes Lucilius Santritter.

Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 14 October, 1482

$35,000.00

Quarto: 19 x 14 cm. Collation: a-f8 g10 (a1 blank, a2r dedication to M. Fabius [Quintilianus?], a3r text, g9r commendatory poem by Jacobus Sentinus, g10r poem and verse colophon by Johannes Santritter, g10v blank). 58 leaves. 31 lines.

The “Poeticon Astronomicon” (more correctly, the “Astronomica”) is an ancient Roman work on the constellations chiefly based on the work of the Greek scientist Eratosthenes (3rdc. B.C.). The work was traditionally attributed to the first century writer C.

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BMC V, 286; BSB-Ink H-459; CIBN H-334; Essling 285; Goff H-560; HC 9062*; Hind II, p. 462; IGI 4959; Klebs 527.2; Pollard/Perrins 31; Redgrave 30; Sander 3472

The Society's First Crisis - The Second Edition of the Spiritual Exercises – Published in Ignatius' Lifetime

Ignatius, of Loyola, Saint (1491-1556)
Exercitia spiritvalia.

Coimbra: João de Barreira, 1553

$35,000.00

Sextodecimo: [1], 2-238, [1] pp. Collation: A-P8. With the woodcut Jesuit emblem on the title page.

A fine copy of the extremely rare second edition of the "Spiritual Exercises", printed at Coimbra for the use of the Jesuits of Portugal. This significant edition was printed at the time of the Society's first crisis, when six years of disturbances in the Order's Portuguese province resulted in the removal of Simâo Rodrigues as provincial, an examination of all Portuguese Jesuits by the Miguel de Torres (whom Ignatius had sent as visitor), the promulgation by Jerónimo Nadal of the newly composed Constitutions, and the publication of Ignatius' famous "Letter on Obedience.

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De Backer-Sommervogel, Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, Vol. V, col. 61; Simões 380; Cat. Res. Coimbra 1278; D. Manuel 78; Anselmo 123

The Souls in Purgatory Speak - The Bradley Martin Copy

More, Sir Thomas, Saint (1478-1535)
The Supplycacyon of soulys. Made by syr Thomas More knight councellour to our souerayn lorde the Kynge and chauncellour of hys Duchy of Lancaster. Agaynst the supplycacyon of beggars

London: printed by William Rastell, 1529

$35,000.00

Folio: 27 x 19 cm. xliiii leaves. Collation: A-L4

First edition of Thomas More's reply to Simon Finch's "Supplication for the Beggars." Fish represented the clergy as "thieves," responsible for the distress of the poor; he denies the existence of Purgatory and, appealing to Henry VIII in the voice of the English beggars, calls for the dissolution of the monasteries. More counters each of Fish's arguments, and using Fish's own literary device against him, has the very souls in Purgatory "supplicate" the living for the continuance of the prayers offered by the clergy for their release.

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ESTC S123347; STC (2nd ed.), 18093; Gibson More 70

Fine’s Astronomical & Mathematical Magnum Opus

Finé, Oronce (1494-1555)
Protomathesis opus uarium, ac scitu non minus utile quàm iucundum, nunc primùm in lucem foeliciter emissum: cuius index uniuersalis, in uersa pagina continetur.

Paris: Impensis Gerardi Morrhij & Ioannis Petri, 1532

$35,000.00

Large Folio: 33.5 x 24 cm. Collation: AA8, A-L6, M-N6, O-Z8, Aa-Bb8, Cc6, Dd8 (including both blanks, F8 and N6.) Complete.

The “Protomathesis”, a universally acclaimed monument of book production and design, is profusely illustrated.The book is introduced by a fine architectural title page border with a lunette of Hercules defeating the Lernean Hydra. This is followed by the well-known full-page image of the goddess of astronomy, Urania, lecturing Finé, who holds a book and an astrolabe, beneath a spherical model of the solar system.

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Hoover 312, Lalande, p. 50; Smith, Rara Arithmetica, pp. 160-61; Stillwell, The Awakening Interest in Science during the First Century of Printing, 838