Lot 3
  • 3

Astesanus de Ast

30,000 - 50,000 GBP
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  • Astesanus de Ast
  • Summa de casibus conscientiae. [Strassburg: Printer of Henricus Ariminensis Type 4 (Georg Reyser?), not after 9 May 1474]
  • Paper
Royal folio (400 x 285mm), 433 leaves [*10; 1-910 1012; 11-1710 1812; 19-2810 298 3010 3110+1 (i.e. +7* quod eos percipiat); 32-4010; 41-4210], double column, 63 lines, semi-gothic type, 2- to 10-line initials supplied in red and blue, red and blue paraphs, contemporary manuscript quire numbering at foot at start of each quire (some cropped or trimmed), contemporary blind-stamped calf over wooden boards by Johannes Meigfoge, contemporary paper label on upper cover "Summa Ast...", ninth-century vellum manuscript leaves used as pastedowns (see below), a few deckle edges, lacking both clasps, binding rubbed


BVT, Tübingen University Library ink stamp on first leaf with old shelfmarks Gb486 and Gg 127


Goff A1163; HC 1891; BMC ii 484 (as Speyer: Georgius de Spira, not after 1478); Bod-inc A-469; BSB-Ink A-796; GW 2752

Catalogue Note

A beautiful crisp copy in a contemporary named binding with ninth-century manuscript pastedowns.

The binding is by Johannes Meigfoge, active in Ellwangen or Tübingen (Baden-Württemberg) in 1475-1513 (Kyriss workshop 53; Kyriss identifies 38 bindings by him). The covers comprise borders and panels created with blind fillets and filled with varying stamps: four sizes of rose stamps, two sizes of hearts pierced with an arrow, an eagle in a shield, a small border stamp of a fleur-de-lys and a cross, two sizes of fleurs-de-lys stamps together with Meigfoge's scroll-shaped name stamp. The Württembergisches Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart contains four bindings by Meigfoge, two of which also have a Tübingen provenance.

The binding contains two large ninth-century (probably first half) manuscript fragments as pastedowns, taken from a manuscript of Bede's In librum Genesim. Other bindings by Meigfoge are recorded with similarly early manuscript fragments: a copy of a 1481 Bible in the University of Texas has a strip of a ninth-century New Testament manuscript, and a 1480 Milanese book of canon law, now in the University of Tübingen, has a fragment of a tenth-century "Apostolgeschichte" manuscript, and these may well be the remnants of a Carolingian monastic library once in the vicinity of Ellwangen or Tübingen. The abbey at Ellwangen dates to the mid eighth century, became an imperial abbey in 814, and was converted into a secular college of Augustinian canons in 1460, a few years before the present leaves were reused in this binding. G. Hardin Brown’s and J.A. Westgard’s forthcoming list of extant Bede manuscripts records some 22 manuscript copies of the text (but not including the present one). None are definitively older than the present witness.