De civitate dei [with commentary by Thomas Waleys and Nicolaus Trivet]. Basel: Johann Amerbach, 13 February 1489, 268 leaves, a10 b-p8 q-y A-I6.8 K-L6 M8 N6 O8, double column, 54 lines of text and 63-65 of commentary and index plus headline, gothic type, woodcut vignette on leaf a1v, 2- to 9-line initial spaces with small guide-letters at the centre
2 works in one volume, Median folio (304 x 220mm.), early seventeenth-century blind-tooled pigskin over wooden boards, manuscript title and number 1217 written on paper slips pasted onto four spine compartments, lacking both straps
Eight incunables formerly owned by Vitus Carolus and brought to Polling by Töpsl (1711-1796) are still at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek (see in particular 2 Inc.c.a. 2400 d; 2 Inc.c.a.3490a, 4 Inc.c.a.822a; 4 Inc.c.a. 1004, with almost identical decoration; 2 Inc.c.a. 1757 m, with same stylised flower stamped in black ink at centre of the upper margin of the front pastedown; 2 Inc.c.a. 2029 and 2 Inc.c.a. 1107 with similar numbers marked the verso of the upper flyleaf).
The woodcut representation of Augustine at his desk and the battle between Babylon and Syon on the verso of the title page of De civitate Dei is the first known work attributed to the Master of Haintz-Narr, the anonymous woodcutter responsible for a number of woodcut illustrations in Sebastian Brant’s Das Narrenschiff, Basel, Johann Bergmann, de Olpe, 11 February 1494 (see lot 106 for a later edition).
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