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Incunabura Collection

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Incunabula Leaves from Germany

Biblia latina
14.Biblia latina
Biblia latina.
[Basel: Berthold Ruppel, about 1468]
GW 4207. Typ.1:116G
Call No.YP21-84, Taf.19

It is believed that Berthold Ruppel is the same person who appeared under the name Bechtolff von Hanau in Das Helmaspergersche Notariatsinstrument (Helmasperger's Notarial Instrument of 6 Nov. 1455), a record of the court proceedings involving Gutenberg and J. Fust. After serving as an assistant to Gutenberg, Ruppel introduced the art of printing in Basel. His work began with this this Biblia latina. He printed the second edition of Biblia latina around 1474, but died after completing only Volume 1. Bernhard Richel took over his work and printed Volume 2 in 1474, also in Basel.


Decretales cum glossa by Gregorius IX
15.Decretales cum glossa by Gregorius IX
Gregorius IX, Pont. Max. Decretales cum glossa.
Basel: Michael Wenssler, 1486.
GW 11472. Typ.4:190G, Typ.10:90G, Typ.11:78G
Call No. YP21-84, Taf.27

Michael Wenssler began printing in Basel around 1472. He was a prolific printer and is known to have produced about 150 incunabula. Around 1490, due to financial difficulties, he was forced to sell his printing equipment, and two years later he moved to France. There are about 10 incunabula known to be Wenssler's work in Cluny and Lyons.

Decretales cum glossa is a book of papal statutes compiled under the order of Pope Gregory IX (c.1143-1241) and completed in 1234. It is known that there are 51 editions of the book and that the first one was printed between 1470 to 1472 by Heinrich Eggestein in Strassburg. M. Wenssler printed four editions of Decretales cum glossa from 1478. The one shown here is the third.


Catholicon by Johannes Balbus
16.Catholicon by Johannes Balbus
Balbus, Johannes. Catholicon.
[Mainz: Printer of the 'Catholicon'] '1460' [not before 1469]
GW 3182Typ.1:82G
Call No. betu-19

This book was believed to have been printed by Gutenberg in 1460 according to the description in its colophon. However, a study on the paper used in the book has proved that some copies of the book were produced in 1469 or later, which leads to the theory that there may be at least three different editions. Another theory claims that all editions were printed in 1469 or later. The imprint here is based on the latter theory. As the typeface used in this book was already employed by the Behtermüntz brothers in Eltville in 1467, the dispute as to who actually printed these incunabula has not yet been settled.

J. Balbus was a monk in the second half of the 13th century. This is a Latin grammar and dictionary intended for those in holy orders. Its title Catholicon means "cure-all medicine" (panacea). There are 24 known editions of this book, one of which was printed by G. Zainer of Augsburg in 1469 (See 20).


Summa theolgiae: Pars secunda: prima pars by Thomas Aquinas
17.Summa theolgiae: Pars secunda: prima pars by Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas. Summa theologiae: Pars secunda: prima pars.
Mainz: Peter Schoeffer, 8 Nov. 1471.
GW M46467 Typ.3:88G, Typ.6:92G
Call No.YP21-84, Taf.57

Peter Schoeffer (c. 1425-1503) was a copyist or calligrapher in Paris, and then became an apprentice at Gutenberg's printing house. Later, he married a daughter of Johann Fust who brought a lawsuit against Gutenberg. P. Schoeffer printed more than 200 titles of incunabula including Psalterium (Mainz Psalter) printed in 1457. There are ten known sets of types used by him including the one used in works jointly produced with Fust.

Thomas Aquinas (c.1225-1274) is one of the most distinguished theological scholars of medieval times. His major work is Summa theologiae in three parts, although it is incomplete. There are 33 known editions of incunabula of this work. The first edition is "Pars secunda :secunda pars," printed by J. Menterin in Strasbourg around 1463. P. Schoeffer printed the same part, "Secunda Secundae," in 1467 and afterwards printed "Prima Secundae" shown here.


Historia ecclesiastica tripartite by Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus
18.Historia ecclesiastica tripartite by Magnus Aurelius Cassiodorus
Cassiodorus, Magnus Aurelius. Historia ecclesiastica tripartite.
[Augsburg]: Johann Schüssler, about 5 Feb. 1472.
GW 6164. Typ.1:116G
Call No.YP21-84, Taf.3

Johann Schüssler began printing in 1470 at Augsburg following G. Zainer (See 20). He worked only until 1473 and sold five presses to the Ulrich Afra Monastery located in Augsburg. There are 12 known titles of incunabula produced by Schüssler, all of which were printed using the same typeface, which he purchased from G. Zainer.

Among the writings of M. A. Cassiodorus (See 3), Historia ecclesiastica tripartite and Expositio in Psalterium are the two main works published as incunabula. There are three editions of the former, the one shown here being the oldest.


Disticha de moribus by Dionysius Cato
19.Disticha de moribus by Dionysius Cato
Cato, Dionysius. Disticha de moribus.
Augsburg: [Anton Sorg], 2 Nov. 1475.
GW 6277. Typ.1:103G
Call No.YP21-84, Taf.7

Anton Sorg (d.c. 1492) was a prolific printer who began printing in 1475. About 200 titles of incunabula are known as his works, 70% of which are in German. He also printed many books with woodcut illustrations. He started printing with the type used at the Ulrich Afra Monastery and first printed works written in Latin. Eventually he came to use a total of seven different set of types.

D. Cato's Disticha de moribus is didactic poetry, which was so popular in medieval times that there are about 150 editions of incunabula printed. Not only was the original Latin text printed, but parallel translations in German, Italian, French, Dutch, or English were printed as well. This incunabulum is the earliest example of Disticha de moribus.


Summa de casibus conscientiae by Bartholomaeus of Pisa.
20.Summa de casibus conscientiae by Bartholomaeus of Pisa.
Bartholomaeus de Sancto Concordio. Summa de casibus conscientiae.
[Augusburg: Güther Zainer, not after 19 July] 1475.
GW 3453. Typ.4:94/95R
Call No. YP21-84, Taf.2

Günther Zainer (d.1478), who introduced the art of printing in Augsburg, was originally from Reutlingen and began printing in 1468. In 1470 he sold his original set of types to J. Schüssler and then printed Etymologiae (1472) by Isidore of Seville and also the book shown here using Roman type. Later, he started using a larger Gothic type and produced about 100 titles of incunabula with woodcut illustrations. These illustrated books became famous after receiving high praise from William Morris (1834-96). Five sets of types are known to have been used by G. Zainer.

Bartholomaeus of Pisa (c.1260-1347) was a Dominican monk and Summa de casibus conscientiae is a book on moral theology, itself a revision of Summa confessorum by Johannes of Freiburg. There are 8 known incunabula editions of this book.


Biblia(German)
21.Biblia (German)
Biblia [German].
Augsburg: Johann Schösperger, 9 Nov. 1490.
GW 4306. Typ.2:94/96G, Typ.3:140G
Call No. YP21-84, Taf.14

Johann Schönsperger (d.1523) began printing around 1480, and the number of incunabula known as his works is about 200 titles. He produced reprinted versions of many incunabula. He printed German Bible in 1487 and again in 1490, and the one shown here is a reprinted version of that printed by A. Koberger (See 24) in Nuremberg in 1483. He continued printing into the 16th century, and Theuerdank by M. Pfintzing, which he printed in 1517, is famous for its beautiful woodcuts.


Missale Frisingense
22.Missale Frisingense
Missale Frisingense.
Augsburg: Erhard Ratdolt, [17 Mar.] 1492.
GW M24383. Typ.19:132/134G, Typ.20:222/224G
Call No. YP21-84, Taf.17

The books that E. Ratdolt (See 8) printed immediately after returning to his hometown, Augsburg, include the Index characterum diversarum manierum impressioni paratarum (Type specimens, 1486), which uses 14 different typefaces. He also printed calendars, daily prayer books and similar works with the same typefaces. As for missals, he printed 10 titles of incunabula including Missale Augustanum and Missale Pataviense. There are 19 known sets of types that Ratdolt used in Augsburg.


Pantheologia, sive Summa universae theologiae by Rainerius de Pisis
23.Pantheologia, sive Summa universae theologiae by Rainerius de Pisis
Rainerius de Pisis. Pantheologia, sive Summa universae theologiae.
Nuremberg: Johann Sensenschmidt and Heinrich Kefer, 8 Apr. 1473.
GW M36929. Typ.2:98G
Call No.YP21-84, Taf.61

It was Johann Sensenschmidt who brought the art of printing to Nuremberg. It is believed that around 1470 he opened a printing house with Heinrich Kefer, a former assistant to Gutenberg. However, there are only three known titles of incunabula produced by the two printers, one of which is a broadside (one sheet) advertising the book shown here. After printing about 50 titles of incunabula in Nuremberg, Sensenschmidt moved to Bamberg around 1479, where he produced about 60 titles of incunabula.

There are six known incunabula editions of Pantheologia, sive Summa universae theologiae by Rainerius de Pisis, and the one shown here is the oldest.


Pantheologia, sive Summa universae theologiae by Rainerius de Pisis
24.Pantheologia, sive Summa universae theologiae by Rainerius de Pisis
Rainerius de Pisis. Pantheologia, sive Summa universae theologiae.
Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 12 Feb. 1477.
GW M36940. Typ.2:113G
Call No. YP21-84, Taf.63

Anton Koberger (c.1440-1513) began printing around 1472. There are more than 200 titles of incunabula known to be this prolific printer's works. The number of different typefaces he used reached as many as 30. He is also famous for printing illustrated books such as Schatzbehalter der wahren Reichtümer des Heils (1491) and the Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg chronicle) (1493), employing an artist named Michael Wolgemuth (1434-1519) to make woodcut illustrations. It is said that A. Koberger was such an excellent business manager that in 1509 his printing house had 24 printing presses and 100 craftsmen.


Sophologium by Jacobus Magni
25.Sophologium by Jacobus Magni
Magni, Jacobus. Sophologium.
[Strasburg: The 'R-Printer'(Adolf Rusch) , 1474]
GW M17665. Typ.1:103R
Call No.YP21-84, Taf.86

Printer Adolf Rusch (See 2) did not put his name in the colophons, but the Roman-type letter R that he used first was so unusual that he has come to be called the "R-Printer." He printed 15 titles of incunabula using this typeface. Rusch also printed Sophologium around 1470. It is known from an extant letter that he printed Biblia latina around 1480 using sets of types (Typ.1, Typ.3) borrowed from J. Amerbach (See 3) (Typ.1, Typ.3).

J. Magni (c.1350-1422), a French preacher, is also known under his French name, Jacques Legrand. Sophologium is an encyclopedia made of passages from works on philosophy, natural science, and household economy taken from Abu Mashal, Chaucer, and others. There are 23 known editions of this encyclopedia, and the French version is known as Le livre de bonnes moeurs, the English as The book of good manners.


Biblia latina
26.Biblia latina
Biblia latina.
[Strasburg: Johann Prüss] 1489.
GW 4265. Typ.7:156G, Typ.8:80/81G
Call No. YP21-84, Taf.105

Johann Prüss (b.1447), who originally came from Württemberg, began printing around 1479, and worked until 1511 when he passed his printing business on to his son also named Johann. He was the most prolific printer in Strassburg, and there are more than 180 titles of incunabula known as his works using more than 20 sets of types.


Comoediae by Publius Terentius Afer
27.Comoediae by Publius Terentius Afer
Terentius Afer, Publius. Comoediae.
Strasburg: Johann(Reinhard) Grüninger, 1 Nov. 1496.
GW M45481. Typ.17:138G, Typ.22:89/90R, Typ.23:64R, Typ.33:48G
Call No. YP21-84, Taf.103

Johann (Reinhard) Grüninger began printing in 1483 and became the second most prolific printer in Strassburg. There are about 170 known titles of incunabula of his work using more than 20 different sets of types. The book shown here is one of his representative works with illustrations, as is Das Narrenschiff, (The ship of fools) (1494) by Sebastian Brant and Opera (1498) by Q. Horatius Flaccus.

P. Terentius Afer (c.195 B.C. - 59 B.C.) wrote comedies in Roman times. There are 103 known editions of his Comoediae, including the first edition printed in Rome by Sixtus Riessinger around 1469.


Sermones de sanctis by Leonardus de Utino
28.Sermones de sanctis by Leonardus de Utino
Leonardus de Utino. Sermones de sanctis.
[Cologne: Printer of Albertus Magnus 'De virtutibus', about 1474]
GW M17884. Typ.1:99/100G
Call No.YP21-84, Taf.46

The largest number of incunabula in Germany was printed in Cologne. It was Zel (See 30) who introduced the art of printing to the city around 1465. There were about ten incunabula printing houses whose names are still unknown today, and the incunabulum shown here is from one of them. Since Albertus Magnus' Paradisus animae, sive Tractatus de virtutibus(1473) was printed using the same typeface, the printer of this piece was named "Printer of Albertus Magnus' De virtutibus'." Recent research suggests that this book was produced in Basel by the printer named Johannes Solidi (Schilling), who was later engaged in printing in Vienne in France. A printer named "Printer of Dares" in Cologne is also thought to be Johannes Solidi (Schilling).

Leonardo di Udine (d.1469) was a Dominican monk whose Sermones de sanctis and Sermones quadragesimales de legibus dicti were printed as incunabula. Ulrich Zel printed the first edition of Sermones de sanctis in 1473, and altogether there are 16 known editions.


Summa de virtutibus et vitiis by G. Paraldus
29.Summa de virtutibus et vitiis by G. Paraldus
Paraldus, Guilielmus. Summa de virtutibus et vitiis.
Cologne: Heinrich Quentell, 1479.
GW 12050. Typ.1:101/102G, Typ.2:150G
Call No. YP21-84, Taf.48

Heinrich Quentell (d.1501) was the most prolific printer in Cologne who produced about 450 known titles of incunabula using 15 different sets of types. H. Quentell came from Strassburg and began printing around 1478, including The German Bible. His successors continued printing into the 16th century until around the time of the Thirty Years' War (1618-48).

G. Paraldus was a 13th-century monk. Besides the separately printed Summa de virtutibus and Summa de vitiis, there are five known combined editions of Summa de virtutibus et vitiis incunabula like the one shown here.


Postilla super totam Bibliam by Nicolaus de Lyra
30.Postilla super totam Bibliam by Nicolaus de Lyra
Nicolaus de Lyra. Postilla super totam Bibliam.
[Cologne: Ulrich Zel, about 1485]
GW M26502. Typ.2:113G, Typ.3:83G
Call No.YP21-84, Taf.43

Ulrich Zel (d.1501), who introduced the art of printing to Cologne, was a scholar monk from Hanau, and is believed to have learned the art of printing from Fust and Schoeffer. The first work he produced was Cicero's De officiis, of which there are 180 known copies of incunabula. There are 14 known sets of types that he used.

A testimony of U. Zel, described in Die Cronica van der hilliger stat van Coellen printed by Johann Koelhoff the Younger in Cologne in 1499, states that the art of printing was invented by Gutenberg in Mainz and carried down to Cologne, Strassburg and Venice. It is also written that the original model of printing was invented in Holland, which became the origin of the "Coster legend."

Nicolaus de Lyra (c.1265-1349) was a French biblical exegete who wrote many Bible commentaries. There are 57 known titles of incunabula of his books.


Legenda aurea sanctorum, sive Lombardica historia by Jacobus de Voragine
31.Legenda aurea sanctorum, sive Lombardica historia by Jacobus de Voragine
Jacobus de Voragine. Legenda aurea sanctorum, sive Lombardica historia.
[Ulm: Johann Zainer, not after 1477]
GW M11318. Typ.4:94/95G
Call No.YP21-84, Taf.112

J. Zainer (See 1) is noted for printing illustrated books such as G. Boccaccio's De claris mulieribus (1473), F. Petrarca's Historia Griseldis (1473), and Aesop's Fables (1476), but he did not include any illustrations in this book shown here. Legenda aurea sanctorum, sive Lombardica historia by Jacobus de Voragine is a widely distributed book, and there are 150 known editions of incunabula. G. Zainer of Augsburg printed its German version under title Leben der Heiligen during 1471 to 1472, which was his first illustrated book.


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