148 leaves. (5 3/8 x 3 5/8 in.; 138 x 92 mm). collation: 1-74, 8-228= 148 leaves. Printed on vellum. Title framed within architectural border; several woodcut initial word panels; woodcut printer's device appears on f. 218v.; Occasional staining and soiling; Nineteenth-century maroon quarter calf stamped "D-G"; edges and joints rubbed.
a luxury prayerbook printed on parchment
Before the invention of the printing press, parchment, with its strength and durability, was the material of choice most predominantly used by scribes in the production of books. With the advent of printing came the new dominance of paper as a writing surface. Proportionally however, more books were printed on parchment in the first fifty years of printing than at any other time, in part, because 15th century printers were still actively competing with the manuscript. It soon became clear though that procuring the vast quantities of animal skins required to produce books would prove to be both difficult and expensive while, techniques and costs for making paper made it an increasingly more affordable alternative. By the mid-16th century, printing on very fine parchment, or vellum, was reserved for luxury copies of books. The Mantua printing house of Venturino Ruffinello was the most prolific in the production of vellum copies.
(This volume is the first section of part one of this work. The second section of part one, bound with part two, was sold in these rooms, 17 December 2008, lot 121)
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