[Auguste Vindelicorum, Ant. Sorg], 1475.
Gothic folio [301 x 212 mm] of (1) bl. l., 484 leaves with 40 lines per page, thus complete, handwritten mention at the bottom of the title, a few minor waterstains, minor annotations, contemporary bookmarks. Monastic binding in cold-stamped brown calf on wood, spine rebound, highly ornamented covers, corner spandrels and central metal decorative head, title of the work calligraphed in monastic hand on the upper cover. Binding made around 1475.
Rare princeps edition printed by Anton Sorg in November 1475.
ISTC ic00292000; BMC II 342; BSB-Ink D-189; Goff C292; GW 6277; HC 4711; IGI 2601.
“Rare edition described by Panzer, vol. 1. p. 106, and by Hain; it was sold for 9 livres 19 sh. 6 d. Alchorne Library, in 1813; 20 and 48 flor. Butsch” (Brunet I-1666).
This princeps edition reached considerable prices reported by Brunet: 9 livres 19 sh or 200 F gold in 1813, a higher price than the first edition of Les Précieuses ridicules.
“First edition, very rare; the typeface is that used by Ant. Sorg, the famous Augsburg printer. It is printed in long lines, and without figures, signatures and advertisements. These moral verses are attributed to Cato the censor, who died in 148 BC.” (M; de la Serna, Dictionnaire bibliographique du quinzième siècle, 399)
“First edition of Philippus de Bergamo’s treatise, the Speculum regiminis. Rather than a commentary on the Disticha Catonis, this text is an original work” (ISTC), and comprises the majority of the volume, commencing on folio 91. It was printed by Anton Sorg in the first year of his independent activity, with type acquired from the press at the monastery of St Ulrich and Afra”.
Cato’s work had a great reputation in the Middle Ages and was translated into many languages. Chaucer makes numerous references to it.
The versification and meter are of excellent quality.
Jacques-Philippe Bergame, Italian chronicler, born in Soldio in 1434, died in 1520, belonged to the Foresti family and entered the order of the hermits of Saint Augustine. His writings or commentaries are still sought after by well-read persons.
A precious example preserved in its rare and beautiful contemporary binding, which bears in a brass frame the title of the work in monastic writing on the top cover – spine rebound as almost always for such a thick volume – enriched with this monastic inscription on the first leaf: “Iste liber est monasterii Stti Egidii in Nuremburg ordinis sti Benedicti” and numerous marginal annotations.
In another rare occurrence, all ten tabs or small leather bookmarks fixed under paper to indicate important passages in the text and to facilitate access to them remain.