HIERONYMI EPISTOLAE ET TRACTATUS.
Mainz (Peter Schoffer) 1740.
Marburg X1Xa A, 130 (formerly: Liber S. Thomae in Bursfeld.)
Hain 8553 (or 4 ?).
The first and last leaf are unfortunately wanting, but the identification of the book is beyond doubt.
Binding: Oak boards 13 mm. thick, unbevelled, 480, 335, 8o mm., bevelled at the back, except about 2 cm. from the ends which were kept entire in order to attach the headband. Covered with smooth, brown leather, the front of which shows the partly unfinished decoration photographed here.
Sewing: 5 double cords, between them 4 “blind” white leather bands. After the sheets composing the book -had been trimmed and were still in the press, a notch 7 mm deep was cut in the back at the places for the cords. Then, just as occurs in the oldest vellum books (cf. Catal. d. Einb. d. G. M. in Nurnberg), a beautifully uniform hemp thread, 0;4 mm. thick, was passed through these notches and carried over the marginof the magnificent strong paper round the headband and knotted to the latter. The headband was then sewed to the leather of the back in such a way that the leather projects 3 mm over the edges and prevents any displacement. It is possible that the sheets were again pressed and the edges scraped down before the back was pasted on over a layer of vellum strips and after the covers had been fastened on. Both the leather bands and the cords have been let into the covers and fastened with pegs; the former have all given way, the latter are intact.
The mounts are wanting, but were no doubt only hollow spherical nails.
The decoration is in plain outline without any modelling. The lines of the original sketch for the design, which seems to have been traced from a woodcut, are still recognisable, and are to some extent more artistic than those of the finished tooling. The back cover has a border of double lines with a centre field divided into lozenges. In these occur alternately round and diamond tools, representing roses, leaflets and stars, in all 5 different tools. The divisions and the position of the tools are correct, but, owing to improper damping of the leather and hea- ting of the tools, the impressions are unsatisfactory.
DECRETUM GRATIANI, cum apparatu Bartholomaei Brixiensis. Basel 1486.
(Hain 7903.) Cassel, jus canon. Fol. 91.
Binding: Oak boards covered with brown calf, 420, 290, 70 mm. Acute-angled corner pieces and an embossed centre boss. The clasps have been replaced by smaller ones.
Sewing: 4 double cords with kettle-stitch; headband ‘fastened into the boards as usuaL
Decoration : on the front cover as shown; that on the back cover is simpler, consisting of a broad, smooth border and a centre field, divided by diagonals and transversals into spaces occupied alternately by the stag tool and small roses. The mounting of the centre and corners is the same as on the front side. Marks showing that the book was formerly secured by a chain. The panels of the back are also plainly ornamented. Among the tools that used for the pointed frieze is particularly interesting.