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Duranti, Jean-Esienne. ... De ritibus ecclesiae catholicae libri tres. Romae: Ex Typographia Vaticana, 1591. 8vo (17.8 cm, 7’’). , 724, [76 pp]. $900.00
The first edition of this monumental survey, in full Counter-Reformation spirit, of the rites of the Catholic Church — a copy with 18th-century English ownership, most likely circulating in Catholic circles. In that era, it was probably in the library of the Rev. John Cotes (1700–94) of Alnwick, Northumbria, a onetime student at the Jesuit College in Douai who then taught philosophy there for two years (Hodgson, 8); he was in Sunderland from 1730 to 1737 (Northern Catholic History, 1981, 16), and was listed among the signatories of the Declaration and protestation of the Roman Catholics of England (1789).
Author Jean-Étienne Duranti (1534–89) was the first President of the Parliament in Toulouse; the author of juridical works, he was also a co-founder of the Compagnie royale des Pénitents bleus de Toulouse, inspired by Franciscan ideals. His De ritibus is an encyclopaedic reference work discussing => all ritual aspects of Catholicism, from the meaning of sacred objects (e.g., chalices, candle holders, holy water containers) to the function of church architecture (e.g., choir, baptistry, cemeteries), the history and parts of the mass, the meaning of types of readings or songs, and the significance of the canonical hours. Each section comprises detailed theoretical or practical points — listed in the lengthy index — including the discussion of topics such as => the vestments of corpses.
From the Vatican press, this bears the woodcut arms of Pope Gregory XIV on its title-page and an array of interesting woodcut initials and ornaments in the main text, which is printed in a small roman font with some use of italic type. This is one of few books published by this press at the beginning of the time when => Aldo Manuzio the Younger was appointed director. There was also a folio edition in the same year.
Provenance: As above, with 18th-century autograph "J. Cotes" and small manuscript price (?) on title-page; later manuscript casemark "Case B 1 14" on front pastedown. Most recently in the library of American collector Albert A. Howard, small booklabel (“AHA”) at rear.
Adam D1192; EDIT16 CNCE17949. Hodgson, Northumbrian Documents. Contemporary English calf, spine plain-style with raised bands and without labels; scratches and rubbing to modestly blind-ruled boards, upper corners bumped; front pastedown lifting but fully present, and upper outer corners (only) of one portion very shallowly rodent-nibbled. Dust-soiling notable to endpapers, title-page, and a few other leaves; otherwise text clean with minimal age-toning, occasional passages of light waterstaining, and the odd corner-crease or dog-ear. => A handsome and interesting book with enhancing provenance. (41340) Please RESHELVE This.
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