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Incunabura Collection

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Incunabula Leaves from France

Manipulus curatorum by Guido de Monte Rochen
53.Manipulus curatorum by Guido de Monte Rochen
Guido de Monte Rochen. Manipulus curatorum.
Paris: Ulrich Gering, 4 June 1478.
GW 11735. Typ.5:99/100R
Call No.YP21-83, Pl.30

The art of printing was introduced to France in 1470 when Johann Heynlin and Guillaume Fichet invited three German printers (Ulrich Gering, Martin Crantz, and Michael Friburger) to Paris. They had printed about 50 titles of incunabula by around 1477. After that Gering continued printing independently, and sometimes jointly with G. Maynyal, B. Rembolt and others, and produced about 100 titles of incunabula. There are 15 known sets of types used by Gering.

Guido de Monte Rocherii (d.c.1350) was a Spanish theologian whose guide for priests, Manipulus curatorum, was widely used. There are close to 120 known incunabula of this book, the first one having being printed by the above-mentioned German printers in Paris in 1473. After printing this book, Gering printed the second edition in 1480 jointly with Guillermus Maynyal.


Pragmatica sanctio by Carolus VII
54.Pragmatica sanctio by Carolus VII
Carolus VII. Pragmatica sanctio, 7 July 1438.
Paris: Jean Bonhomme, 1486.
GW M16122. Typ.2:74G
Call No.YP21-83, Pl.33

Jean Bonhomme was related to Pasquier Bonhomme, who printed the first French-language incunabulum (Chroniques de Fran in 1477). Jean took over the printing business from Pasquier. There are about 30 titles of incunabula known as the works by either of them.

Charles VII (1403-1461) had a consultation on the question of national churches which had been submitted at the Council of Basel (1431-1437) at a conference held in Bruges in May 1438, and proclaimed Pragmatica sanctio in agreement on June 7 of the same year. Nine editions of this Pragmatica sanctio were printed.


Le livre de politiques by Aristotle
55.Le livre de politiques by Aristotle
Aristoteles. Le livre de politiques. Yconomique .
Paris: [Antoine Caillaut and Guy Marchant], 8 Aug. 1489.
GW 2449. Typ.3:105/106
Call No.YP21-83, Pl.32

Printers Antoine Caillaut and Guy Marchant in Paris were renowned for their prolificacy. A. Caillaut began printing around 1480 and there are about 300 known titles of incunabula of his work, while G. Marchant started printing around 1482 and there are about 170 known titles of his incunabula. Three titles were produced by the two printers jointly for Antoine Vérard, including the one shown here. A. Vérard himself was a printer and produced about 90 titles of incunabula, but he also worked as a publisher to produce about the same number of titles.

Aristotle's work was first translated into French around 1370 by Nicholas Oresme (c.1320-1382). Translations by Oresme of Ethica ad Nicomachum (Nicomachean Ethics, 1488) and Politica and Oeconomica (shown here) were both jointly printed by A. Caillaut and G. Marchant for A. Vérard.


Missale Traiectense
56.Missale Traiectense
Missale Traiectense.
Paris: Johannes Higman and Wolfgang Hopyl, 30 Nov. 1497.
GW M24790. Typ.12:111/112G, Typ.13:111/112G, Typ.14:71G
Call No.YP21-83, Pl.36

Johannes Higman began printing around 1484, and in 1489 he joined forces with Wolfgang Hopyl. There are 46 known titles of incunabula of their joint work, which include missals such as the Missale Andegavense and Missale Salisburiense. They also printed many works for the foreign market, e.g. incunabula in English. Henri Estienne (d.1520), the founder of the Estienne Family line, married the widow of J. Higman, taking over Higman's printing house, and the Estienne Family became one of the most influential printers/publishers in Paris and Geneva in the 16th and 17th centuries.


Horae ad usum Tullensem
57.Horae ad usum Tullensem
Horae: ad usum Tullensem.
Paris: Philippe Pigouchet, 20 Dec. 1499.
GW mf657. Typ.2:64/65G, Typ.3:80/81G
Call No.YP21-83, Pl.39

Philippe Pigouchet was a prolific printer who began printing around 1487 and there are more than 150 known titles of incunabula of his work. He excelled at printing Horae (Books of Hours) of which there are more than 90 known titles of incunabula.

Many beautifully illuminated manuscripts of Horae were produced. They were used by individuals at home rather than in church. There are about 400 known titles of incunabula of Horae, 60% of which were printed in Paris. A calendar was attached to the front so that memorial days of the saints could be identified. The image shown here is the calendar for October, showing the days of the week and memorial days. The Roman figures are called "Golden Numbers," which are related to the lunar calendar and used as the basis for finding the date of Easter day. Codes such as "a, b, ...... g" in the next column are called "Dominical Letters," and they represent the days of the week. Since January 1 always started with the letter "a," the relation between the code and day changed depending on the year. In 1499, "f" fell on Sunday, whereas in 1500, "e" fell on Sunday.


Decretales cum glossa by Gregorius IX
58.Decretales cum glossa by Gregorius IX
Gregorius IX, Pont. Max. Decretales, cum glossa.
[Lyons: Johannes Siber, about 1485]
GW 11470. Typ.2:100G, Typ.5:87G
Call No.YP21-83, Pl.14

In 1473 Guillaume Le Roy of Liege brought the art of printing to Lyons with financial aid from Barthélemy Buyer. The city later became the second most productive in printing in France. Johannes Siber began printing in 1478 together with Martin Huss, who had started the business the previous year. From 1481 Siber worked independently and there are about 140 known titles of incunabula of his work. J. Siber printed many books on Roman law and canon law, including 7 editions of Decretales cum glossa by Pope Gregory IX, 27 editions of Corpus Juris Civilis, and 2 editions of Gratianus's Decretum.


Horae: ad usum Romanum
59.Horae: ad usum Romanum
Horae: ad usum Romanum.
Lyons: [Jacobinus Suigus and Nicolaus de Benedictis], 20 Mar. 1499.
GW mf105. Typ.11:96G
Call No.YP21-83, Pl.24

Jacobinus Suigus, who came from San Germano Vercellese in Italy, and was engaged in printing in San Germano, Vercelli, Chivasso, Venice, and Turin. He later moved to Lyons in 1496. While he was in Turin, he worked with Nicolaus de Benedictis of Catalonia, and their partnership continued in Lyons. There are 37 known titles of incunabula of their joint work.

The book shown here was printed with funds provided by Boninus de Boninis of Ragusia, who was a printer himself and produced 40 titles of incunabula in Brescia, Italy. The border of this book is engraved metal.


Le proprietaire des choses by Bartholomaeus Anglicus
60.Le proprietaire des choses by Bartholomaeus Anglicus
Bartholomaeus Anglicus. Le proprietaire des choses.
Lyons:[Claude Davost] 17 Apr. 1500 [1501?]
GW 3422 Typ.1:95G, Typ.3:140G
Call No.YP21-83, Pl.29

Claude Davost was a 16th-century printer who was active mainly in Lyons. The printer's name is not printed in the book shown here. While Konrad Haebler considered the printer to be Matthias Huss (used types Typ.8:140G and Typ.17:96G), ISTC deems it to be Claude Davost.

The author, Bartholomaeus Anglicus, was a Franciscan friar in the 13th century. Le proprietaire des choses is an encyclopedia covering geography, natural history, medicine, cosmology, and other subjects. The first incunabulum of this book was printed around 1470 and there are twelve known editions, half of which are translated versions: eight in French, three in Spanish, and one each in Dutch and English. The publisher's name, Jean Genin le Dyamantier, is printed in the book shown here. In the French calendar of that time, the year 1500 ended on April 10, so the date of printing is assumed to be April 17, 1501.


Le roman du noble et vaillant Chevalier Tristan by Tristan
61.Le roman du noble et vaillant Chevalier Tristan by Tristan
Tristan. Le roman du noble et vaillant Chevalier Tristan.
Rouen: Jean Le Bourgeois, 30 Sept. 1489.
GW 12815. Typ.1:106/107
Call No.YP21-83, Pl.46>

In about 1485, Guillaume Le Talleur brought the art of printing to Rouen, which later became the third-largest city of printing in France. Jean Le Bourgeois began printing in Rouen in 1488, and there are about 30 known titles of incunabula of his work, including six editions of Guido de Monte Rocherii's Manipulus curatorum.

Le roman du noble et vaillant Chevalier Tristan is considered to have originated from a Celtic legend. It widely spread by troubadours in the 12th century. Although there are many existing manuscripts in prose, which took form in the 13th century, the book shown here is the first French incunabulum. The publisher is Antoine Vérard, who continued to publish the same book in Paris.


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