Folio (285 x 187 mm).  leaves, 78, , 217, “454” [= p. 218], , “216” 220-723, [1 blank] pp.,  leaves, plus engraved allegorical title by Christof Le Blon (Johnson 35:1). Table at end in two columns. Woodcut head-pieces, some flanked or surrounded by type ornaments, woodcut initials. Ink offset on 4D1r (from printing?), occasional very minor spotting, a bit of mold in gutters Cc1-2, rust marks with holes in gutters of quire Ff. Seventeenth-century English calf, sides paneled with double gilt fillets, edges red-speckled, rebacked, corners restored, endleaves renewed (joints cracked); two leaves from Jacobus Magni (Jacques Legrand), Sophologium (Paris: Ulrich Gering, Martin Crantz and Michael Friburger, 1 June 1475, Goff M-41; GW M17658), formerly used as pastedowns, preserved and bound in at front and back between the new endpapers and the original flyleaves. Provenance: early ms. note at foot of p. 708 (copying part of last line); William Stephens / Stevens, two early signatures or pen-trials on front Sophologium leaf and signature on title, all in different hands; two English proverbs (one partially inked over) scrawled in an early hand on lower Sophologium leaf; Walter Moses 10s, early purchase note on front flyleaf; Sir Joseph Copley, Bart., engraved armorial bookplate; Wilfred Merton, signature in modern pencil on front free endleaf; (Bernard Breslauer, to): Robert Pirie, bookplate, sale Sotheby’s New York, 2-4- Dec, 2015.***
Sixth edition of Burton’s classic analysis of woe, an interesting evidentiary copy. The inner boards of the contemporary, probably Oxford binding of this copy were originally lined with two leaves from a dismembered copy of the second recorded Paris edition of Jacques Legrand’s Sophologium, an “anthology of philosophy and science taken from ancient writers” (Honeyman 2105), from the press of the three Parisian prototypographers.
Two manuscript book lists documenting the importation and sale of continental printed books into Oxford in the early 1480s were themselves preserved as binder’s waste in the Bodleian copy of Bersuire’s French translation of Livy, Historiae, Paris: [Jean Du Pré], 27 Nov. 1486 (Goff L-250), and were studied by Falconer Madan, Henry Bradshaw, and most recently Paul Needham (see references). The second and more fragmentary of these two precious documents, both of which list books sent to the London book importer the Royal Stationer Peter Actors, comprises 35 entries containing highly abbreviated “titles” of books exported from Paris by Pierre Levet, at that time evidently still a bookseller-exporter (Levet set up as a printer in Paris ca. 1485). Most of the titles were more or less securely identified by Needham with 23 books, either individual editions or groups of editions, most printed by Ulrich Gering et al. no later than 1480 or 1481. The third entry reads “Sophologium.” Gering printed three (surviving) editions of this moral treatise, one undated but ascribed to ca. 1472-73 (possibly the last edition printed at the Sorbonne press) and two editions dated respectively 1475 and 1477. The undated edition was printed in type 1:115R, in use up to 1472. The two leaves found here are printed in semigothic type 3:114, without the admixture of capitals from typeface 90G, found in the 1477 edition (cf. BMC).
While the copy to which these leaves belonged may not have been part of the Levet-Actors transaction, it was very likely part of a trade in books from Paris to England which had already commenced in the 1480s (ten years before a spike in imports of Paris editions, documented elsewhere; cf. for example, M. L. Ford, “Importation of Printed Books into England and Scotland,” The Book in Britain, Vol. III, 1999, 179-201).
The Anatomy of Melancholy was the earliest treatise devoted to the psychology of depression. The posthumous sixth edition was the last to contain corrections (cf. the Pforzheimer Catalogue, no. 119). The fine engraved title by the German engraver Christof Le Blon was first used in the third edition.
Wing B6181; ESTC R29167. On the binder's waste, cf. Paul Needham, "Continental Printed Books Sold in Oxford, c. 1480–3," in Incunabula: Studies in Fifteenth-Century Printed Books Presented to Lotte Hellinga, ed. Martin Davies (London: British Library, 1999), 243-270. Item #2775