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Rare and Antiquarian Books

Rare books from Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG



Biblia Latina with prologues by St. Jerome
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Decorated with 66 ornamental and 57 historiated initials in colours and gold, some with extensions of grotesques, birds, or dragons.This Bible is especially luxurious with over 100 illuminated initials, an example of a transitional stage in some details of text-organization, as the chapter numbering is not applied within the text but is added in the margins; the dictionary of Interpretation of Hebrew Names is absent; and certain prologues show editorial variants. Due to the fine standard of the writing, this manuscript suggests an experienced scribe whose compact hand seems close to that of the Bible of William of Hales made in Salisbury in 1254. As the illumination is also related to work in that grand book, the manuscript may possibly be a Salisbury codex – although an Oxford origin cannot be excluded.
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US$626,864.00
Beauchamp-Corbet Book of Hours, use of Sarum
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Dynastic pride in an early English Book of Hours - text mostly framed by elaborately decorated borders, 39 historiated initials in total.The Beauchamp-Corbet Hours is decorated on nearly every page with a multitude of striking, small miniatures and bas-de-page scenes, among which are figures holding shields with coats-of-arms. This manuscript and its lady owner, Beatrice Beauchamp-Corbet-Leyburn, bears testimony to eight noble families related to Shropshire county and neighbouring regions. The nobility mentioned are Beauchamp of Hache, Corbet, Leyburn, Fitzalan, Fitzwaren, Warenne, Lestrange of Knockyn, and Leigh or Lye.English Book of Hours are extremely rare, especially such early exemplars. In addition to the wealth of heraldry describing the lineages of an identifiable noble woman, the present manuscript is also exceptional for its prestigious contemporary provenance: the celebrated author Cornelia Funke used the manuscript as inspiration for her novel Ghost Knight.
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US$734,944.00
Missale Romanum, for use in the Collegiate Church of St. Barnard at Romans-sur-Isère.
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A deluxe commission featuring the best workshop in Avignon - 12 large illuminated and historiated initials, accompanied by an elegant marginal decoration of stylized branches, often intertwined with multicoloured winged monsters; 1 full-page miniature.This manuscript, with many illuminated initials, was a part of a valuable commission executed by a professional team. At least two and possibly three hands contributed to the illumination. Five historiated initials and the full-page miniature recall the style of one of the most important artists at the papal court, Jean de Toulouse, who ran a professional workshop in Avignon at the time of Pope Clement (Robert of Geneva, 1342-1394). The codex is a newly discovered addition to his œuvre. As medieval Missals were used on a daily basis, their survival rate is quite low and those that are preserved are often incomplete or show signs of intense use. This is a precious codex with sumptuous writing and decoration. It has kept its striking, archaic… Read More
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US$286,412.00
Homiliae super Mattheum – Gregorius I, Homiliae super  Evangeliis – Origenes, Homiliae –...
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Murder and drama in Austrian History - many initials in red, one genealogical table, 2 large pen-and-ink drawings highlighted in red.The most striking feature of the manuscript at hand is probably its chain binding, decorated in the extremely rare cuir-ciselé technique, see more below. The codex was meant as a practical book for clerical use. The scribe signed his work and dated it twice, and reveals his identity as Nicolaus plebanus, presumably also the artist of the text decoration and the drawings. No other manuscripts by the hand of Nicolaus are known to survive and in general, very few manuscripts from Wiener Neustadt or Piesting have come down to us. Nicolaus' notes, written in German in 1408, are particularly interesting, as they show his genuine concern for his environment and the torments of his time. That he found such a violent end through stabbing by an enemy – as is mentioned on f. 58r – intensifies the book's history in a downright tragic way. In all aspects, the book at… Read More
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US$302,624.00
Antiquitates Judaicae
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Antiquitates Judaicae: Manuscript in Latin on vellum, illuminated by a Neapolitan workshop

by Flavius Josephus

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Used
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US$410,704.00

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1 full-page composition with the portrait of the author in a historiated initial, surrounded by lush borders in bianchi girari technique inhabited by reading figures and two angels holding a coat of arms; 20 decorative initialsThis is a beautiful example of a manuscript text that was extremely popular in the Middle Ages. The Antiquitates Judaicae is a history of the Jewish people, told by the erudite Jewish priest and historian Flavius Josephus, who led an exciting life as commander of the Jewish army, was later a captive of Emperor Vespasian in Rome, and who finally regained his liberty. Josephus tells the history of the world in general and of the Israelites in particular, beginning with the creation of Adam and Eve and ending with the Jewish-Roman war in which he participated as a commander. This text is extremely important both historically and religiously, because it is one of the few extra-biblical, non-Christian sources that verifies the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth.The… Read More
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US$410,704.00
Des Cas des Nobles Hommes et Femmes
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A notable Parisian luxury book - 5 large miniaturesThis is one of the most widely read texts by Giovanni Boccaccio on the fortunes and downfalls of renowned figures from the Bible, antiquity, and medieval history. It starts with Adam and ends with Boccaccio's own contemporaries of 14th-century Florence. De casibus derives from the tradition of stories focusing on inescapable calamities awaiting those who have been overly favoured by luck. It was composed around 1355-60 in Latin and revised by the author continuously until c. 1374. For a long time, this book was more famous and successful than the Decameron, which is probably Boccaccio's best-known book today. Boccaccio's text was translated into French in 1409 and dedicated to Jean, Duc de Berry by the Duke's secretary, Laurent Premierfait. The illuminations are stylistically associated with one of the most important workshops of that time in Paris, that of the Maître François who was recently identified with the Parisian artist and highly… Read More
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US$734,944.00
Croismare Book of Hours and prayer book, use of Rouen
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12 small miniatures in the text, all accompanied by a gold panel in the outer border containing initials RI, or simply R or I, and 8 large miniatures in golden architectural frames.This is a beautiful example of a deluxe Rouen Book of Hours from the late 15th- or early 16th century. The master who was responsible for the large compositions, Robert Boyvin, was strongly influenced by Parisian, Tours, and Bourges artists who dominated the book market at that time. Unusual miniatures with subjects from the Old Testament are found throughout, indicating that Boyvin's workshop may have specialised in this extraordinary illustration scheme. Especially tantalizing are the hints of the first owners in the gold borders that accompany the small miniatures. There, the initials of their names – R and I – are displayed in a varying semé on golden ground. Some characteristics of this book indicate that their family name may have been Croismare, a well-known noble family in Rouen. The first owner (Robert,… Read More
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US$178,332.00
Complaintes de la Foy

Complaintes de la Foy: Manuscript written in French on vellum, illuminated by the Master of the Entry of François I

by ‘Nachier’, an otherwise unrecorded poet

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Used
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US$129,696.00

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Europe avant la lettre - complaints in vain. 1 large miniature, protected by a green silk veil.This is a unique manuscript of a complaint written by an otherwise unknown poet who signed twice as Nachier. Lady Faith summons the true Catholics to embark on a crusade against the 'infidel' Ottomans. The text is otherwise unpublished and was most likely written as well as illuminated in Lyon in the first decade of the 15th century. The book at hand may have been a dedication copy meant for King Louis XII.
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US$129,696.00
Compendium of pilgrim and other texts
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Perilous Holy Land adventures in a unique pilgrim's guideThis riveting collection of early pilgrim literature has been conveyed in a well-nigh complete copy. The combination of these unusual texts is particularly intriguing and rare. The second text, possibly written by a Franciscan monk from Frankfurt, only survives in this one copy. The volume at hand may have been intended as a pilgrim's guide and a number of blank pages leave room for owner's notes. The manuscript also includes an engaging calendar of edible winter fish, a recipe for gelatine, and remedies for the Black Death. Filled with fascinating tales of adventurous and often perilous voyages in unknown lands, pilgrim's accounts were highly in demand in the late Middle Ages. A vast number of these travelogues have been "read to shreds" and are gone for good. This compendium had been described in the late 19th century and was long-lost until the present. Luckily, it is still preserved in its original binding.
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US$91,868.00
I: Fasciculus medicinae, II: Lumen Apothecariorum...
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I: Fasciculus medicinae, II: Lumen Apothecariorum...: Incl. Petrus de Tussingano. Concilium pro peste evitanda; Mundinus. Anatomia; and Rhazes, De aegritudinibus puerorum.

by I: Johannes de Ketham, II: Quiricus de Augustis

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Used
Edition
I: Third Latin edition, II: Second edition
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US$145,908.00

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From the Buxheim Charterhouse Library - an exceedingly rare, coloured, and illustrated medical compendium - 10 full-page woodcutsWith the inscription 'Cartusiae Buxheim' written on the title woodcut (f. 1r), this compendium clearly hails from the Carthusian Charterhouse at Buxheim in Bavaria. This monastery was amongst the largest and wealthiest in Europe, boasting a vast library of over 1000 volumes by the early 16th century. Indeed, the monastery was so important that in 1548, Buxheim was decreed the only German Imperial Charterhouse under the Hapsburgs. Its impressive library was founded in the late 15th century by Hilbrand Brandenburg of Biberach (1442-1514) and added to thereafter until the monastery's secularisation in 1803.Two popular works, a medical and a pharmaceutical manual, are usefully combined in the present volume. The Fasciculus medicinae is a collection of medical tracts that circulated in manuscript already in the Middle Ages. The first edition of 1491 is considered the… Read More
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US$145,908.00
Von der Kunnst Perspectiva
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Von der Kunnst Perspectiva: De artificiali perspectiva, in German

by Jean Pélerin, called Viator

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  • first
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Used
Edition
First German edition
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US$281,008.00

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The first printed treatise on perspective in German translation - 37 full-page woodcutsWhen Jean Pélerin's publication, De artificiali perspectiva, appeared in Toul, France in 1505, the first tracts on perspective by Leon Battista Alberti, De pictura, Piero della Francesca, De perspectiva pingendi, and Leonardo da Vinci existed only in manuscript form. It was not only the first printed treatise on perspective and the first work on linear perspective outside of Italy but was, moreover, the first book printed at Toul.The first diagrams demonstrate how the viewing frustum (or pyramid of vision) works. In the following, woodcuts, landscapes, buildings (interior and exterior views), and bridges serve to illustrate his approaches to perspective. Some of the buildings are known monuments, such as Notre Dame in Paris, the interior of the Palais de Justice in Rouen, or a chapel at Maillezais in Vendée.This edition is even rarer than the Latin first edition, of which about twenty-two copies are known.
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US$281,008.00
De mulieribus claris
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De mulieribus claris

by Giovanni Boccaccio

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Used
Edition
First edition
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US$302,624.00

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A famous book on famous women - with numerous ornamental four-line woodcut initials, a large illustrated woodcut border and 81 (2 repeated) woodcuts by the Master of the Ulm BoccaccioThis is the first edition of Boccaccio's celebrated biographical work on famous women. The book combines the stories of both the revered and the reviled women of renown, offering exempla of behaviours that should inspire the reader to lead a virtuous life. The present printed Boccaccio is an important witness to Renaissance Humanism north of the Alps as the first Latin edition of this text. The 'Master of the Ulm Boccaccio', one of the most important German illustrators of the incunabula period, was named after his work in the present book, also noteworthy as the first fully-illustrated book printed in Ulm. Almost all of the life stories are accompanied by a woodcut depiction, all full of vitality and humour
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US$302,624.00
Comoediae and Vita Terentii
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Comoediae and Vita Terentii: Gloss and commentary by Aelius Donatus, Guido Juvenalis and Jodocus Badius Ascensius

by Publius Terentius Afer and Francesco Petrarca

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Used
Edition
Second illustrated edition
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US$129,696.00

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With 165 woodcuts (8 full-page, including 1 repeat) by the Master of the Grüninger Terence in contemporary colouring.The texts contain traditionally the interlinear gloss and commentary by the Roman grammarian and teacher of rhetoric Aelius Donatus (fl. 4th century AD), here added by commentary of Guido Juvenalis and Jodocus Badius Ascensius. These extensive additions are set in a smaller type surrounding the main text of the plays.This edition is abundantly illustrated with remarkable woodcuts by the 'Master of the Grüninger Terence', named from the present work, who frequently worked for Grüninger, and represents the Strasbourg woodcut at its height. With his advanced technique of fine and narrow hatching this artist marks a stylistic shift in German book illustration, particularly in representing tone and dimensionality. Grüninger's Latin Terence of 1496 is the first important work with the cuts in the new style. In the present copy, the illustration is enhanced with contemporary… Read More
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US$129,696.00
A Key Work of German Mysticism
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With 4 historiated woodcut Maiblumen initials and 16 (6 full-page) woodcut illustrations by the Augsburg Kreuzfahrt Meister, all in contemporary colouring.The Dominican Heinrich Seuse (Latin: Suso; c. 1295-1366) was one of the great figures in German mysticism. Born in Constance or Überlingen, he joined the order at the age of thirteen at the Dominican priory in Constance. He was sent abroad to study in Strasbourg and Cologne, where he was deeply influenced by teachings of the celebrated mystic Meister Eckhart. After many active years as lector and prior in Constance and as preacher and spiritual advisor to Upper Rhine and Swiss convents, he was finally transferred to the monastery at Ulm, where he could dedicate his time to his literary work. About 1361-1363, Seuse compiled and revised his four major German writings into one volume, the Exemplar of his spiritual legacy. The same texts are comprised in the present first printed edition.
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US$259,392.00
Hungarian Chronicle
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Hungarian Chronicle

by Johannes de Thurocz

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  • first
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Used
Edition
First edition
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US$151,312.00

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The very rare first edition of Thuróczy's Hungarian Chronicle - with 42 woodcut illustrations in contemporary colouring.The lawyer János Thuróczy (Latin: de Thurocz or Thwrocz; c. 1435-1488/49) was notary at the royal court in Buda since 1481, and became protonotary in 1486 under the chancellor Thomas de Drag (d. 1490/91), to whom he dedicated the present work. Thuróczy wrote the Chronica Hungarorum in 1486-1487. The first and larger part is based on earlier manuscript chronicles and the first printed Chronica Hungarorum (Buda 1473); it comprises the beginnings of Hun and Hungarian history until 1386. The final part, the description of the last century, he composed himself upon own research from chancellery records.After its impressive opening woodcut, the text is further illustrated with forty-one portraits of Hungarian kings and military leaders, all enthroned, the kings with sceptre and orb. Especially remarkable and attractive are the portraits of the great patron of humanism and… Read More
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US$151,312.00