Jerome [attr.] Vitae sanctorum patrum, sive Vitas patrum. [with] De laude et effectu virtutum. [with] Pseudo-Macarius: Epistola ad monachos.
Royal Folio; leaves measure 415 mm x 285 mm, with vast margins, apparently untrimmed. Bound in 15th-century blind-stamped South-German pigskin over wooden boards. Covers richly decorated in blind using both rolls and individual stamps, including flowerpots, dragon, double-headed eagle, lamb of God , text banners, etc; rear cover of somewhat different design with more geometric patterns. The quality of tooling – both in workmanship and in the detailing of the stamps – is superb. Most likely a formerly chained binding with evidence of several formerly present metal bosses, corner-pieces and clasps (all now gone). Old manuscript title to top spine compartment. 246 leaves (forming total of 492 pages); foliated in roman numerals: , ccxxxviii,  ff. Collation: [16 2-1310.8 14-1510 16-2510.8 26-278 286]. COMPLETE, including all three integral blanks [11, 21, 286] Printed in double column; 51 lines per page and headline. Text in fine large gothic letter: Type: 3:110aG (text), 4:160G (headings and headlines). Rubricated throughout in contemporary hand: 3- to 6-line lombard initials supplied in red and/or green, some with intricate penwork infill decorations and/or long marginal extensions, paragraph marks and capital strokes in red. Opening 14-line initial B on 22r splendidly illuminated by contemporary South-German artist: the delicately painted letter B filled with intricate tracery in lighter shades of blue is inhabited with a fine scene of St Jerome with his lion and an open book on a lectern (painted in red, white, brown and orange), all against the solid liquid gold background; the initial s extensions form winding vines terminating in large flowers and gold bezants, painted with consummate skill! in shades of blue, green and pink. Includes general Index (tabula) on leaves 12r-6v and index to part II on leaves 161r-2v. Colophon on 285v. Very Good antiquarian condition. Complete, including all three integral blanks. Binding rubbed, with wear to extremities, several small holes to boards, minor repairs to spine; clasps and metal bosses perished. Inner hinges reinforced. Pastedowns removed (if ever present) revealing insides of the wooden boards. The index leaves (1st quire) with a few tiny wormholes (not affecting legibility). Text block near fine with only minor occasional soiling; a few leaves at the end with fore-edge very lightly frayed. In all, a splendid, extremely attractive illuminated example of this massive, superbly printed early incunabulum with vast margins (likely untrimmed) in its original monastic binding.