Chancery folio (296 x 205 mm). Collation and contents as in BMC. 450 leaves, unfoliated, the first and last blank. Type 1:98G. Double column, 41 lines & headline (in the Flos only). Initial spaces, those in the Flos theologiae mainly with guide letters. Rubrication: opening 6- and 7-line initials in parti-colored red and blue, elsewhere alternating red and blue; paragraph marks and capital strokes in red. Sheets 3.6 and 4.5 in quire l bound out of order (as noted by an early annotator). Fols. L4r and s1r with offset text, s1v with large impression of felt? or a printer's ink ball in lower outer corner, another smaller impression in corner of fol. r4v. Condition: Occasional marginal soiling, some stains in quires F and M, dampstain in lower margin of last few quires, 1 or 2 marginal tears, a few corners creased. Binding: Contemporary Mainz binding from the shop of the “Karmeliter-Meister,” of blind-stamped calf over unbevelled wooden boards, decorated in a panel design with borders of pairs of double lines, central panel with triple fillet diagonals, upper cover decorated with repeated impressions of three stamps: paschal lamb, unicorn and rosette, and, in one impression only, an M surmounted by a crown, all found in Kyriss 160, later initials of the Franciscans of Villingen (LCV) stamped on upper cover, lower cover with an additional Blattwerk stamp, remains of catchplates, lacking clasps; rebacked preserving ?original backstrip, repair to foot of spine, rubbed. Provenance: From the library of the Conventual Franciscans at Villingen, with their L.C.V. stamp on upper cover and later manuscript exlibris on first page; Donaueschingen, Fürstenbergische Hofbibliothek, Inc. 474 (sale, Sotheby’s London, 1 July 1994, lot 316).***
the first of only two books signed by frommolt, the second printer of vienne in the dauphiné. A native of Basel (as he describes himself in the colophon, noting that he was an “alemanum basiliensem”), where he had attended the University and trained as a printer, Frommolt worked as a journeyman for Vienne’s prototypographer Johann Schilling, before setting up his own press in about 1479. He produced 13 recorded editions during the next two years.
This volume contains two indispensable works for preachers, providing the biblical background and moral themes of feast days. The Quaestiones, a treatise on the gospels by the Spanish Dominican Juan de Torquemada, Cardinal of St. Sixtus from 1439, uncle of the Grand Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada, and an important figure at the councils of Basel and Florence, was first printed in 1477. The so-called Flos theologiae (a title incorrectly applied to both works in the colophon), known as the Dictionarius pauperum from the 1490s on, was a popular collection of distinctions, an alphabetical collection of topics used by preachers. It has only recently been attributed to the late fifteenth-century German Augustinian Nicolaus de Byard (cf. Bloomfield, et al., Incipits of Latin works on the virtues and vices, no. 1841).
In this copy the idiosyncrasies of early printing processes are displayed in sheet L2 and its conjugate L7, consisting of two imperfect waste sheets, each printed on one side only; L2 has the two sheets apart, while L7 has the two pasted together to form a single sheet recto and verso. Additionally, the lower fore-margins of leaves r3v and s1v each bear a dark ink imprint, either from printer’s felt, or more likely leather, evidently from a printer's ink ball left on the paper.
Rather than a monastic bindery, Schunke’s “Mainz Karmeliter” (Kyriss 160), more accurately known as the Karmeliter Meister, was an active bindery with a network of clients not only in Mainz and neighboring Frankfurt but as far afield as Trier and Würzburg. This copy seems to have arrived at the even more distant Franciscan monastery at Villingen in the Black Forest ready bound. The stamps on the binding include Schunke Schwenke Sammlung Lamm 75 and Einhorn 8, and Kyriss Rosette 160.10 and M mit Krone 160.1. Only the Blattwerk tool on the rear cover is not identified with the bindery by Kyriss, Schunke/Schwenke or the EBDB.
Goff T-551 (3 copies of which one containing Part I only); Dalbanne & Droz, pp. 40-41, 158-167; HC 15716; BMC VIII, 374; Bod-inc T-289 (Part 2, Turrecremata, only); BSB-Ink T-567; GW M48247. Item #3146