THREE DISCOVERIES IN ONE: New Evidence for a Book Bound and Owned in Ulm, ca. 1500-1531

ottoThree discoveries by three different researchers have cast new light on a remarkable 500-year-old book that has been at Princeton University since 1873: Otto von Passau’s Die vierundzwanzig Alten, oder Der goldne Thron, completed by the Strasbourg printer Johann Schott on 28 March 1500. In this work, illustrated with 25 woodcuts, the Twenty-Four Elders of Revelation 4:4 expound upon passages of scriptural wisdom so as to guide the reader to the “golden throne” of eternal salvation.

The first discovery was made in 2007 by Scott Husby, Princeton’s conservator for Rare Books and Special Collections (since retired), who identified the folio’s original (ca. 1500) blind-tooled pigskin-covered binding as the work of bookbinders at Ulm in southern Germany. ulm-o-123The tooled emblems found on the binding, including a distinctive Lamb of God, Winged Lion of St. Mark, and Pierced Heart, are associated both with the bindery of the Augustinian canons of the “Wengenkloster “ of St. Michael in Ulm, and with Konrad Dinckmut, a printer active in Ulm from 1476 and recorded as a bookbinder in that city from 1481; Dinckmut’s sons Hans and Michael appear to have continued binding books with his tools into the sixteenth century.

A Reformation-era inscription within the book supports this localization, as it records that the volume was the property of the Franciscan fathers of Ulm until the eve of the feast of St. Francis (4 October) 1531, when the city’s adoption of Protestantism led to their expulsion (“Gehort den vatter[n] zu Ulm als sy uszogen seind umb Francisci im xxxi jor”):

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The second discovery was made by John Lancaster, Curator of Special Collections, Emeritus, Amherst College Library, in October 2016. He identified the mysterious printed paper sheet that had served the bookbinder as a pastedown inside the folio’s front cover. Noting that it came from a Latin grammatical work printed idsc_0007n quarto format, he quickly determined that “the text is Alexander de Villa Dei, Doctrinale – of which there are hundreds of editions. But the lack of commentary rules out many editions, so a quick look for editions without commentary, preferably quite late (since the Otto von Passau was printed in 1500), led to success! [Ulm: Johann Schäffler], 15 Feb. 1500.”

This Ulm edition of the Doctrinale is truly rare: it exists only in a single incomplete copy at the Bavarian State Library in Munich, and – as we now know – the single sheet of binding waste discovered at Princeton. As the sheet appears to have been printed on one side only and was never cut into individual leaves, it would have been discarded by Schäffler’s printing shop in Ulm ca. 1500 and handed over as waste material for use by the Ulm binder of Princeton’s Otto von Passau, a book that likewise was printed in 1500 and imported to Ulm soon thereafter.

The third discovery came in November 2016, when Eric White, Princeton’s Acting Curator of Rare Books, tackled the nagging problem of the handsome coat-of-arms painted inside the book’s back cover, beneath the initials P and R and the date 1505. A longer-than-desired period of fruitless searching ultimately was rewarded when a match was found in a sixtdsc_0008eenth-century compendium of German armorials: the quarters on the right, divided per fess into black over white, refer to the civic arms of Ulm, while on the left the white unicorn on a black field identifies the crest as that of the family Roth von Schreckenstein, prominent patricians of Ulm.

The initials PR are believed to belong to Paulus Roth von Schreckenstein (b. 1435), the Bürgermeister of Ulm during the 1470s. Although his date of death is not known, he may well have left the book to the Franciscans of Ulm soon after 1505. Another Ulm binding with a nearly identical painted coat of arms and the initials PR is at the University of Gießen; it encloses Dinckmut’s rare Ulm edition of Der neuen Liebe Buch (not before 1486) and three Strasbourg editions from 1507 to 1509.

These discoveries increase the scholarly value of Princeton’s copy of Otto von Passau by bringing unusually rich context to the relationships between printers, bookbinders, and both mendicant and secular book owners in Germany five centuries ago; they may also shed particularly interesting light on the broader but heretofore forgotten book collecting activities of a prominent member of Ulm’s patriciate, Paulus Roth von Schreckenstein.

pr1505

Princeton University Library Rare Books and Special Collections. Call no. ExI 5959.692. Purchased by the College of New Jersey (now Princeton University) in 1873 along with an important collection of Reformation pamphlets owned by Dr. Adolf Trendelenburg of Berlin.

Acquisitions at the Pirie Sale

PRINTED BOOKS ACQUIRED AT THE PIRIE SALE

Stephen Ferguson
Associate University Librarian for Rare Books and Special Collections

“I’d never intended to practice law,” said Robert S. Pirie (1934–2015), a prominent New York lawyer and investment banker. “I wanted to become the rare book curator.” Pirie was the youngest in a cohort of twentieth-century American collectors of early English literature, among whom Robert H. Taylor (1909–1985) was the oldest. Long-time Princeton resident and major antiquarian bookseller John Brett-Smith (1917–2003), although British-born, was also a member of this cohort. There were many commonalities among the three. All had a bond and loyalty to the legendary New York antiquarian bookshop Seven Gables, which supplied each of them with tasteful, distinguished, and provenance-rich copies of major and minor monuments of England’s literary greats. (For more on the Seven Gables cohort, see Nicolas Barker, “Robert S. Pirie, 1934–2015,” The Book Collector 64.2 [Summer 2015]: 202–10.) Furthermore, their collective imagination and achievement projected their reputations beyond the Northeast and clear across to Britain. In some respects, the attainments of two members of this group are preserved in the Princeton University Library. Robert Taylor’s bequest is well known. Perhaps less well known is the work of John Brett-Smith, who, as bookseller and sometimes donor, augmented, supplied, and extended our collections of English literature. Therefore, when the Pirie collection came to auction in December 2015, we had another—and perhaps the last—opportunity to capture some of the glory of this remarkable group of twentieth-century collectors. Guiding our bidding decisions were themes already strong in the Taylor collection: annotated books, books of notable provenance, and extraordinary books signaling the literary taste of early modern England. The fifteen books purchased at the Pirie sale are listed below.

PIRIE

ANNOTATED BOOKS

Thomas Tusser, Five Hundred Points of Husbandry (London, 1580); annotated by Gabriel Harvey (1552/3–1631).

Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War [in Greek] (Venice: Aldus, 1502), bound with Pausanias, Works (Venice: Aldus, 1516); annotated by Roger Ascham (1515–1568) and Richard Morison (c. 1514–1556) (pictured above).

Ben Jonson, Works (London, 1692), and John Suckling, Fragmenta Aurea (London, 1646); both annotated by Charles Lamb (1775–1834).

Pliny, Epistolae (Venice: Aldus, 1508); annotated by Nicholas Udall (1505–1556).

Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, 4th ed. (London, 1658); annotated by Browne (1605–1682).

Matthias Eberhart, Scholastica (Wittenberg, 1572); annotated by Robert Burton (1577–1640).

Erycius Puteanus, Comus (Oxford, 1634); annotated by Leigh Hunt (1784–1859).

BOOKS OF NOTABLE PROVENANCE

Arthur Duck, Vita Henrici Chichele (Oxford, 1617); with the initials of Isaak Walton (1593–1683).

Michel Montaigne, Les Essais (Paris, 1625); with a note in the hand of Abraham Cowley (1618–1687) and bookplates of later notable owners.

Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum (London, 1626); with supralibros of H[enry] G[oodere] and labels of other owners.

Elkanah Settle, Thalia Triumphans (London, 1717); binding with the arms of Henry Fiennes Clinton, 7th Earl of Lincoln (1684–1728).

Abbe d’Aubignac, Pratique du théâtre (Paris, 1657); with the signature of William Congreve (1670–1729) on the title page.

William Burton, Description of Leicester Shire (London, 1622); binding with the crest of Robert Glascock.

A MARKER OF LITERARY TASTES

A Sammelband, in a contemporary binding, of eight English translations from Ovid, by George Chapman (1559?–1634), Christopher Marlowe (1564–1593), Thomas Heywood (c. 1574–1641), and others, all published between c. 1625 and 1640.

 

MANUSCRIPTS ACQUIRED AT THE PIRIE SALE

Don C. Skemer
Curator of Manuscripts

Pirie3The Manuscripts Division acquired three works at the Pirie auction: an Elizabethan prayer book c. 1580; a 1666 scribal copy of “The Second and Third Advice to a Painter,” a text that Professor of English Nigel Smith attributes to Andrew Marvell (1621–1678); and the 1660s memoir of an English woman named Mary Whitelocke. The daughter of London merchant Bigley Carleton, Whitelocke penned a fascinating 175-page memoir of her life and intimate thoughts for her eldest son. She traces her life from the time of her first marriage at the age of sixteen to Rowland Wilson (d. 1650), Member of Parliament, also from a London mercantile family. Whitelocke’s second marriage in 1650 was to the prominent Puritan lawyer, politician, and diplomat Bulstrode Whitelocke (1605–1675), a Member of Parliament and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, with whom Mary had seven children. Much of the memoir relates to Mary’s family, home, and religious beliefs. Particularly interesting is Whitelocke’s poignant account of a miscarriage that occurred during her first marriage. There is some discussion of public affairs and events, particularly in her defense of Bulstrode Whitelocke’s public life. The manuscript has been in private collections since 1860, when it was cited and quoted in a biography of Bulstrode Whitelocke. All three manuscripts have been added to the Robert H. Taylor Collection of English and American Literature (RTC 01).

Hercules and the Nemean Lion • Lyons, 1490

1490.Paris.Hercules.A1

Woodcut on leaf A1 of Raoul Lefèvre Le Recueil des histoires de Troyes (Lyons: Michel Topié and Jacques Heremberck, 10 Oct. 1490). Goff L-114. [Call number (ExI) Item 6921096]. One of nearly 100 woodcuts, some full page in size, many half page. This new acquisition has several 16th / 17th signatures passim, all of the surname ‘de Saumery.’
❧ Killing the Nemean lion was the first labor of Hercules. He holds the lion’s skin which was said to be impervious to weapons. Looking on are his host, the shepherd Molorcus who lived near Cleonae as well as the companion of Hercules, Philotes. Lefevre’s Hercules is a “a medieval knight through and through” (The Classical Tradition [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010], p. 426.) William Caxton’s first major publication was his translation into English of Lefèvre’s Recueil.

Readers respond to a war of 18th century editions: the case of Anti-Machiavel

 Call number: (Ex) 7510.606.36.12


Frederick II, King of Prussia, 1712-1786. Essai de critique sur le prince de Machiavel. A Londres, 1751. French translation of Machiavelli’s Il principe by Amelot de La Houssaye and Essai in parallel columns together with ms. annotations in ink headed ‘Différences entre cette édition a cette faite chez a Van Duren que l’on tient être l’originale.’ Call number: (Ex) 7510.606.36.12

The publishing history of Anti-Machiavel is admirably told by Kees van Strien in his Voltaire in Holland 1736-1745 (Louvain: Editions Peters, 2011) p. 103-134, 391-440. Attributed to Frederick II (1712-1786), this refutation of Machiavelli’s The Prince was praised by the enlightened and disparaged by Roman Catholics, strict monarchists, and other conservatives. The Dutch publisher Jean van Duten (1687-1757) published the text in full on October 4, 1740 to the dismay of Voltaire, who had delivered the manuscript to him. Evidently, Voltaire thought some passages should be softened so as not to offend powerful individuals not in sympathy with Frederick’s tenets on government and religion. Voltaire immediately countered with a revised edition. Partnering with the publisher Pierre Paupie, he issued it about 15-17 October, 1740 with the imprint “A la Haye, aux depens de l’Editeur. M. DCC. XL.’ It claimed to correct the errors of the earlier edition.

In this competition of editions, readers wanted both texts together in one book such as this exemplar combining print and manuscript in hybrid (van Strien, p. 127.) In the exemplar illustrated above, the printed text consists of the sheets of the ‘l’Editeur’ [Voltaire] / Paupie edition (1740). Added in manuscript are the bits of original text expunged or otherwise modified. (Who made these transcriptions in ink is not known.) Also preceding the text is a printed title page with imprint ‘Londres. 1751.’ (No such edition appears in ESTC.) In these edition wars, ‘Londres’ was a code for the original unaltered text because one of the opening salvos was Van Duten’s production of the full original text with the imprint of London publisher William Mayer / Meyer (ESTC T191141 and T91110.) (As to ‘1751’, it’s difficult to answer why this year appears, rather than an earlier year during the 1740s when the edition war was active.)

Hybrid copies such as the Princeton exemplar were edged from the market by the publication in 1741 of editions replicating the manuscript annotations of a hybrid in the printed text. Voltaire was the force behind these editions, which appeared under the false imprints of ‘les Frères Columb’ (Marseille) and ‘Jaques La Caze’ (Amsterdam).

A Rhapsody of early British Ephemera: 361 General items and 416 Book Trade : Recently acquired and digitized

Museum.ticket.admission

For details about Boulter’s Museum see “Notes on an Eighteenth Century Museum at Great Yarmouth “Museum Boulterianum” and on the Development on the Modern Museum” by Thomas Southwell in The Museums Journal, October 1908, p. 110 ff [link] Call number: (Ex) 2014-0001M Box 1, item 98.

General.ephemera.sample1

Ephemera published in England, Scotland, and Ireland between ca. 1650 and 1850 : The general collection has 361 printed pieces of ephemera relating to commercial trade, institutional, entertainment, museums, medicine, etc. Not only has the Princeton University Library recently acquired these originals, it also provides:
Electronic access: Inventory list with thumbnails and links to full size images: PDF, 53 pages [link]
Description: 1.1 linear ft. (2 boxes)
Descriptive terms:
• Advertisements, trade labels, and commercial announcements for those enterprising in: Alcoholic beverages, Auctions, Banks and banking, Barbers, Boats and boating, Cabinetwork, Clock and watch makers, Clothing trade, Coaching (Transportation), Concerts, Dentistry, Exhibitions, Groceries, Harness making and trade, Horses, Hotels, taverns, etc, Hotels, Ink, Insurance companies, Iron, Jewelers, Laundries, Lotteries, Millinery, Museums, Paint, Perfumes, Real estate agents, Restaurants, Saddlery, Sewing –Equipment and supplies, Shoe industry, Shoes, Taverns (Inns), and Tea.
• Forms and genres of ephemera such as Blank forms, Clippings, Invitations, Maxims, Military orders, Programs, Receipts (financial records), Satire, and Tickets.
> Call number: (Ex) 2014-0001M

BookTrade.sample1

Ephemera from the book trade as well as some library labels and bookplates, chiefly British, 18th and 19th centuries. The book trade collection includes 416 printed pieces of ephemera relating to every aspect of the Book Trade — Booksellers advertisements, Bookbinder’s advertisements, Paper makers, Printers, Stationers, Lithographers, Circulating Library labels and advertisements. Also included are some other library labels and bookplates of individuals. Not only has the Princeton University Library recently acquired these originals, it also provides:
Electronic access: Inventory list with thumbnails and links to full size images: PDF, 36 pages [link]
Description: .9 linear ft. (2 boxes)
Descriptive terms:
• Advertisements: printing, publishing, bookselling, stationery trade, bookbinding, commerical libraries. Library labels, rules and regulations. Bookplates.
• Forms and genres of ephemera such as trade labels, binder’s tickets, bookseller’s tickets, booklabels.
> Call number: (Ex) 2014-0002M

Aristotle on all fronts: Four 18th century editions bound in one volume covering child birth, magic, palmistery, jokes, sex, astronomy, astrology, physiognomy, “monstrous” children and slang words.

15891
Bound in first:. Aristotle’s Compleat Master-piece. In three parts dispaying the secrets of Nature in the Generation of Man […] to which is added a treasure of Health; or the Family Physician. Twenty-First Edition. [London]: printed and sold by the Booksellers, 1738. (ESTC N298970, noting ‘Not in fact by Aristotle; the attribution is spurious.’)

15891_1

Followed by: Aristotle’s Compleat and Experienc’d Midwife. In two parts. I. A guide for child-bearing women in the time of their conception, bearing and suckling their children […] II. Proper and safe remedies for the curing of all those distempers that are incident to the Female Sex […] Made English by W—S—, M.D. The Seventh Edition. London: printed and sold by the Booksellers, [1740?] (ESTC N51114 noting ‘Not in fact by Aristotle; the attribution is spurious.’)

15891_2

Followed by: Aristotle’s Book of Problems. with other Astronomers, Astrologers, Physicians and Philosophers. Wherein is contain’d divers, Questions and Answers touching the state of Man’s body […]. Twenty-Fifth Edition. London: printed and sold by J.W, J.K, G.C., D.M, A.B, E.M, R.R, J.O. and L, B.M. and A.W, [1710?]. (ESTC N43372 noting ‘Not in fact by Aristotle; the attribution is spurious.’)
15891_3

And lastly comes: Aristotle’s Last Legacy: or, his Golden Cabinet of Secrets opened for youth’s delightful pastime. I. A compleat English Fortune-Teller. II. The whole art of Palmestry. III. A treatise of Moles. IV. The interpretation of Dreams. V. Observations on the Fortunate and Unfortunate Days. VI. A compleat books of Riddles. VIII. The city and country Jester; being a collection of new and witty Jests, Puns and Bulls. To which is added the Most Compleat Canting Dictionary. Translated into English by Dr. Saman, student in Astrology. Second Edition with the “Canting Dictionary.” London: printed for A. Bettsworth and C. Hitch […], J. Osborn […], S Birt […], J. Hughes […]. [1720?] (Not in ESTC)
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15891_5     
All these may be found bound together
    at call number (Ex) Item 6748731

The Publisher’s file copies for over two hundred issues of The Glocester Journal for 1794-97

Glocester.Journal

“The publisher’s file copies for over two hundred issues of The Glocester Journal for 1794-97 (volumes 73-76), all but three numbers profusely annotated with information about each advertisement – how many times it has been inserted, the name of the advertiser, and how long it was to be run for. This is an exceptional discovery: not only are runs of 18th century provincial newspapers extremely rare outside the major libraries, but files copies originating from the publishing house and comprehensively annotated by the partners are, surely, almost unknown.

“Many of the notes are signed ‘R.R.’, which must mean that the paper was actively run by its publisher Robert Raikes (1736-1811), who had inherited this profitable and influential newspaper from his father and namesake (d. 1757) a week before his twenty-first birthday. Raikes went on to run the Journal for almost fifty years, retiring only in 1802 and dying nine years later, becoming a pillar of Gloucester society and a leading figure amongst its citizenry.

“This set must have served two purposes to the printing office of the Journal: first, as a record of the newspaper over four years of its existence in the mid-1790s; second, as a record of which advertisements had been run before, and how long they were to stand for. ‘First’, ‘3d’ ‘2 more’, ‘till forbid’ (presumably, until further notice) are reasonably clear, but a few other recurrent notes, such as ‘In turn’, ‘Tymbs’, ‘Heath’, ‘Wilkes’ (these last three the names of the advertiser, one assumes), ‘Taylor & Paper’ and others may need interpretation, as will the initials of those signing the notes – R.R. is common, but other initials are also found, M.W. being the most common.

❧ The above paragraphs are extracted from the description of antiquarian bookseller Christopher Edwards, from whom the Library purchased these issues in March 2013. These issues not only provide evidence about publisher’s practices but also serve as material for such research into provincial newspapers as found in John Jefferson Looney, Advertising and Society in England, 1720-1820: a statistical analysis of Yorkshire newspaper advertisements. Thesis (Ph.D.)–Princeton University, 1983.

• Call number: (Ex) Oversize Item 6561945e

“It is not in the power of the keeper of a lottery-office to command success”

State Lottery 1761. ... Sold and Registered by  A. and C. Corbett, Booksellers, at their Correct State Lottery Office, .. at Addison’s-Head, directly facing St. Dunstan’s Church, Fleet-Street.   Not recorded in ESTC.  Tipped onto final page of A new and easy method to understand the Roman history ...  translated from the French, with very large additions and amendments, by Mr. Tho. Brown.(London, 1748). Call number (Ex) 2012-0846N

State Lottery 1761. … Sold and Registered by A. and C. Corbett, Booksellers and Publishers, at their Correct State Lottery Office, .. at Addison’s-Head, facing St. Dunstan’s Church, Fleet-Street. Broadside not recorded in ESTC. Tipped onto final page of A New and Easy Method to Understand the Roman History … Translated from the French, with very large additions and amendments, by Mr. Tho. Brown.(London, 1748). Call number (Ex) 2012-0846N

1808, May 8. Died, Sir Charles Corbett, bart. one of the oldest liverymen of the company of stationers, aged about 76. He was, in the outset of life, well known as a bookseller, opposite St. Dunstan’s church; where he afterwards kept a lottery-office; had dame Fortune at his command; and used to astonish the gaping crowd with the brilliancy of his nocturnal illuminations. But it is not in the power of the keeper of a lottery-office to command success. A very unfortunate mistake in the sale of a chance of a ticket, which came up a prize of £20,000, proved fatal to Mr. Corbett, and was with difficulty compromised, the chance having fallen into the hands of Edward Roe Yeo, esq, at that time M.P. for Coventry. Some years after, the empty title of baronet (a title, in his case, not strictly recognised in the college of arms) descended to Mr. Corbett, which he assumed, though he might have received a handsome douceur from some other branch of the family if he would relinquish it.—Melancholy to relate! the latter days of this inoffensive character were clouded by absolute penury. Except a very trifling pension from the company of stationers, he had no means of subsistence but the precarious one of being employed, when his infirmities and bad state of health would permit him, in a very subordinate portion of the labours of a journeyman bookbinder.” – Charles Henry Timperley, The Dictionary of Printer and Printing, with the Progress of Literature (London, 1839) p. 832

❧ There is a copy of Ann and Charles Corbett’s lottery broadside for the year before (1760) held at OSU. [Link]

Booklabel: Simon Villers, His Book, Coventry, April 12, 1763, pasted onto inside front board of  A New and Easy Method to Understand the Roman History ...  Translated from the French, with very large additions and amendments, by Mr. Tho. Brown.(London, 1748). Call number (Ex) 2012-0846N

Booklabel: Simon Villers, His Book, Coventry, April 12, 1763, pasted onto front free endpaper of A New and Easy Method to Understand the Roman History … Translated from the French, with very large additions and amendments, by Mr. Tho. Brown.(London, 1748). Call number (Ex) 2012-0846N

Typewriter Printed Book • First of the Kind • 1919

1919.headline

“It was bound to come. With the holiday season approaching, with book-lovers looking forward to new fiction, to special editions and illuminated texts, with nearly all the book and job compositors in New York City anticipating the festive season by beginning their “vacations” a few months earlier than ordinary people, and with pressmen “locked out” because of secession, something just had to be done to fill the want created by type that would not be set and presses that would not turn. So, enter the first book ever printed without the aid of typesetters or regular pressmen.

“It is “Piggie,” in itself an unusual book in that it romances so whole-souledly about hogs that one turns page 300 undecided whether to characterize it as the Pollyanna of the Chicago stockyards or as a post-bellum impressionistic conception of the true, inward piggishness of man. …” [Link to the complete article in 30 November 1919 issue of The New York Times]

1919.Piggie.jacket

“A novelty of book making. This book was written with a typewriter, the typewritten pages were photographed, and the book printed from the photographic plates. This was made necessary by a strike in the printing trades of New York, which prevented publication of books in the usual manner. The book is a pleasing innovation of permanent value, and perhaps may be the forerunner of the form in which all books of the future will be issued.” – Dustjacket of Piggie (New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1919).

1919.Piggie.tp

For more on ‘typewriter printed books’ see Printing without Type-setters, a composite volume of three numbers of the Literary Digest and other matter relating to the printers’ strike in 1919, gathered by Byron A. Finney, reference librarian emeritus at the University of Michigan. (Prime example of library use of the ‘typewriter printed book’ and still very valuable: Dictionary Catalog of the Research Libraries of the New York Public Library, 1911-1971 (G. K. Hall, 1979) in 800 volumes. It replicates the unique typewritten cards once filed alphabetically in thousands of wooden catalog drawers now vanished from the third floor of the Schwartsman Building.)

❧ Call number for the Princeton copy of Piggie is: (Ex) Item 6763728.

1919.Piggie.p.1

1919.Piggie.case