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Jacobus de Voragine. Golden legend [single leaf]. [Westmynster: Wynkyn de Worde, 1498]. Chancery folio (27.3 x 19.5 cm; 10.75" x 7.675").  f. $1,650.00
The collection of saints' lives called the Legenda sanctorum, or Golden Legend (Legenda aurea) — "worth its weight in gold"! — was composed in the 13th century by the Dominican hagiologist Jacobus de Voragine (ca. 1230–98, elected Archbishop of Genoa in 1292), and first printed in Latin at Basle in 1470 with William Caxton printing the first English version in 1483. This is folio ccxlviii of the 1498 London (Westminster) edition => printed by Wynkyn de Worde (a.k.a., Jan van Wynkyn), England's first typographer and successor to Caxton, whose press he formally took over in 1495 after a difficult three years of litigation following Caxton's death.
This leaf of The Golden Legend has on its recto, and continuing on the verso, the final portion of account of the nativity of the Virgin, which recounts episodes from her mature adulthood and => shows the Mother of God as a powerful figure with a powerful sense of what is due her. She promises death within 30 days to a bishop who has removed from office an unsatisfactory priest that she appreciates as specially devoted to her (he is reinstated and the bishop lives); she intercedes in another vision with her "debonayre sone" to reverse the damnation of a "vayne and ryotous" cleric who, on the other hand, has been specially devoted to her and her Hours (he reforms). In a third case, she redeems from the grasp of hell a bishop's vicar who, disappointed of promotion in office, had engaged "a Jewe [who was] a magycyan" to facilitate his signing in his own blood a soul-sacrificing deal with "the devyll" (the vicar repented). The Marian section closes with an account of "Saynt Jherom's" devotion to her. All this is followed on the verso by the beginning of the life of St. Adrian of Nicomedia, who before his conversion to Christianity and subsequent martyrdom was a Herculian Guard of the Roman Emperor Galerius Maximian. He is the patron saint of soldiers, arms dealers, guards, butchers, victims of the plague, and epileptics. The text is printed in double-column format in => English gothic type.
Provenance: From an offering of leaves from this edition of The Golden Legend by the Dauber & Pine Bookshops, New York City, in ca. 1928 .
=> English incunable leaves are increasingly difficult to obtain.
STC (rev. ed.) 24876; ESTC S103597; Duff 411; Copinger 6475; Goff J-151; ISTC ij00151000. Removed neatly from a bound volume. With a "cover leaf" in approximation of a title-page, reading "The Golden Legende. J. de Voragine. Printed by Wynkyn de Worde 1498. Dauber & Pine Bookshops, Inc. New York." => A striking relic recounting multiple miracles and presenting Mary as a most interesting personality. (40744) Please RESHELVE This.
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