Single Leaf from Beavais’ Speculum historiale]

(Strasbourg: Johann Mentelin, 1473).

VERY RARE EARLY INCUNABULA BY ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PRINTERS OF THE EARLY RENAISSANCE.
Vincent of Beauvais was a Dominican friar who left the monastic life and eventually became lector and chaplain to the court of the French King Louis the IX. It was under such patronage that he undertook the task of writing three huge encyclopedias which he intended to include the sum of all knowledge from the time of creation to his own present day. The three major works were divided into the Speculum Majus, the Speculum Doctrinale and the Speculum Historiale. The last, despite its name, is not as much a historical overview as much as it is metaphysical commentary on religion, faith and other things supernatural. It is often regarded as the most personal and introspective of the three works and includes (as do the other two) pieces of poetry and music, possibly written by the author himself. Despite its many omissions and fallacies, all three sections of the Speculum were an influence and inspiration to poets and writers for centuries afterward, and was especially important to many of the Romantic writers, with Lord Byron often citing him as a primary influence. Item #23690

The page is from the second edition of this work, printed in Strasbourg by Johann Mentelin in 1473. Printed, in black ink, on both sides in double columns containing 62 lines in thick roman script. Many of the capital letters are touched in yellow ink and there are paragraph rubrics in red as well as large rubricated capitals in red and blue. The leaf is headlined XXXI on one side in red and II on the other in blue. Folio, approx. 18 by 12 inches, handsomely mounted in cream boards ruled in yellow and red Single leaf. Extremely well preserved, fine and very handsome.

Price: $750.00