On the Footsteps of Owners: From Monastery to Monastery

One of the jewels in our extensive holdings of fifteenth-century printed books (incunables) is this well-preserved volume bound in a contemporary binding and containing four separately printed works (Sammelband): Martinus Polonus, Margarita decreti seu Tabula Martiana [Venice]: Peregrinus de Pasqualibus, Bononiensis [and Dionysius Bertochus, about 1485]; Johannes Chrysostomus, Sermones de patientia in Job. Ed and tr: Lilius Tifernas (Castellanus). Add. De poenitentia in DavidDe virginitate. Cologne: Johann Koelhoff, the Elder, 13 May 1487; Johannes Johannis,  Concordiae Bibliae et Canonum cum Titulis Decretalium Totiusque Iuriscivilis. Basel: Nicolaus Kesler, 22 June 1487; 12 July 1487; and Johannes Koelner de Vanckel. Usus feudorum [Cologne: Johann Koelhoff, the Elder, after 21 Feb. 1486].   


Spine of Fifteenth-Century Sammelband.


Fifteenth-century German binding: quarter bound alum-tawed, and blind-tooled, pigskin over beech boards.

Our copy is particularly interesting because of the two hand-written Latin inscriptions on the top of the front past-down paper:

Ex [dono] p(at)ris liber attinet d(omi)no/ Bartholomeo Hagen/

Sed nu(n)c spectat ad bibliotheca(m) fr(atru)m mi(n)or(um) apud mo(n)iales/ Brixine (com)mora(n)tiu(m) ex testame(n)to d(omi)ni Frederici Prenner quo(n)da(m) capellarii S(an)cte Catherine in Runcada collatu(s) a d(omi)no Johanne Schaner/ eius testame(n)tario anno domini millesi(m)o qui(n)ge(n)tesimo vicesi(m)o secu(n)do die octobris 15.

By gift of his father, this book belongs to Bartholomeus Hagen.

But now it belongs to the library of the Franciscan brothers who stay in the convents of Brixen, as stipulated in the will of Fredericus Prenner, who was once chaplain of Saint Catherine in Runcada, the book being brought by Johann Shaner, his executor, on 15 October 1522.



Front paste-down paper with handwritten inscriptions, bookplate, and catalog-entry numbers : H: Ludwig Hain's Repertorium bibliographicum (1822); HC: W.A. Copinger's Supplement to Hain's Repertorium Bibliogaphicum. Part I (1895).

In brief, our copy had two individual owners, Hagen and Prenner, before ending in the library of one of the convents of the Diocese of Brixen (Northern Tyrol, Austria). There is also a bookplate, "In Memory of Stephen Spaulding," revealing how the Library ultimately acquired this book.  Born on December 3, 1907 at Fort Hannock, New Jersey, Stephen Tucker Spaulding was the only son of Major Thomas M. Spaulding, "02.  Stephen enrolled as a LSA student at the University of Michigan in 1924. He was an excellent student and athlete, being part of the football and swimming teams. As a result of a leg injury playing football, Stephen would develop bone cancer, dying in Ann Arbor on November 25, 1925. Shortly after his death, his parents established a book fund in his memory, whose income was originally intended for the acquisition of books in the field of early English history. A special bookplate like the one discussed here marks books purchased on this fund; It was designed by W.H.W. Bicknell of Winchester, Mass., who had built his reputation working for the Bibliophile Society of Boston.

First page.JPG

Hand-written Latin inscription on the first page of Martinus Polonus, Margarita decreti seu Tabula Martiana [Venice]: Peregrinus de Pasqualibus, Bononiensis [and Dionysius Bertochus, about 1485].

And finally, on the recto of the first page we read a later provenance note confirming the institutional ownership:

Ex Bibliotheca F(ranciscorum) F(ratum) Min(orum) Reform(atorum) apud Clarisas. Brixinae 1646.

From the library of the Reformed Franciscan friars, in the convent of the Clarisas. Brixen 1646.

A Question of Provenance: Marks from Isaac Newton's Library

Readers on the Margins