SPIERA, Ambrosius de; VENETUS, Marcus (editor) Quadragesimale de floribus sapientiae. Venice: Bonetus Locatellus for Octavianus Scotus, 20 February 1488/89. 4to  leaves (first and last blank). Gothic type; 60 lines & headline: with white on black woodcut printer’s device at end. Rubricated with guide letters and capitals beautifully supplied in red with decoration often extended into the margins. A contemporary owner has written “Flores Sapienne” on the recto of the first blank leaf. Few tiny round worm holes in first few and last few leaves with small worm hole in bottom blank margins of some leaves; few contemporary annotations and pointing hands in the margins; some faint spotting. Contemporary blind tooled calf over wooden boards with two clasps (front hinge expertly repaired, few tiny worm holes and light rubbing) with contemporary vellum MS spine label and two brass clasps (bottom clasp a newer substitute).
Fourth edition of this book of Lenten sermons by the Servite theologian and preacher Ambrosius de Spiera (ca. 1413-1454/55). First pubished in 1476 by Vindelinus de Spira in Venice, this popular collection would go through seven editions by 1516.
“The Quadragesimale, as the names suggests (Quadragesima, the forty days of Lent) is a group of sermons delivered during the season of Lent. By Ambrosius’ time the name Quadragesimale had become common for sermons preached in Lent. G.R. Owst indicates that the “work of the Mendicants undoubtedly take first place where Lenten oratory is concerned. Its greatest monuments are their immense ‘Quadragesimalia’ which elaborately divided discourses for each of the forty days.” – Ronald M. Rentner, Ambrosius Spiera: A Fifteenth-Century Italian Preacher and Scholar, in “Church History” vol. 43, no. 4 (Dec. 1974) pp. 448-459.
A very handsome copy of this beautifully rubricated incunable preserved in original finely decorated binding.
Hain-Copinger 922: GW M43134; BMC V, p.436; Goff S-681; ISTC No. is00681000.