CONRADUS DE HALBERSTADT [CONRADUS DE ALEMANIA]. Concordantiae bibliorum. [Strassburg: Johann Mentelin, not after 1474].
Large folio (410 x 292 mm). Gothic types, 3 columns, 66 lines. COLLATION: [a-i10 kl8 m10 2a-d10 e8+1 f-l10 3a-h10 i12 4a-h10 i8 k12]: 415 leaves (of 417, lacking initial and final blanks). 9-line initial "Q" in red and yellow on first page of text, 7- to 8-line initials in red for each letter of the alphabet, column headings in red in upper margin, rubricated throughout. (Approximately 50 leaves with mostly marginal tiny worm holes occasionally touching letters, nearly half of the last leaf renewed, not affecting text, a few leaves at end with repairs to lower corner and margin, occasionally affecting signature.) Contemporary brown calf, sides decorated to a similar pattern, wide blind fillet and roll-tool border, central blind diaper pattern, all over blind flower, star, fleuron and stag(?) tools, spine in 5 compartments with 4 double-cord raised bands, later tan calf lettering-piece gilt to second compartment, clasps and catches, printer's waste endpapers (some overall wear, old repairs to joints preserving original spine, straps renewed).
FIRST EDITION, THE FIRST PRINTED BIBLE CONCORDANCE, A WIDE-MARGINED COPY IN A CONTEMPORARY BINDING
German theologian and Dominican Conrad of Halberstadt completed a new manuscript concordance ca 1310, which improved on the concordances of Hugo de Sancto Charo and other English Dominicans by citing abbreviated forms of quotations, thus making it easier to use. This edition, printed by Mentelin, is also significant for the manner in which it is signed. "This volume is very peculiar in its method of signature, and shows in an interesting manner the transitional period between the manuscript and printed methods of signing" (W. Blades, "The Use & Development of Signatures in Books" in Books in Chains and Other Bibliographical Papers, pp.110). The signatures, MOST PRESENT IN THIS COPY, are printed in the lower left corner; signature "a" is used for every gathering in the first quarter of the book, "b" in the second quarter of the book, and so on through signature "d."
RARE: According to ,American Book Prices Current, only two copies of this work have sold at auction in the last 40 years: The Blades-St. Bride Foundation-Rattey copy, sold Swann, 15 April 2004, lot 45; another copy, sold Christie's London, 17 November 1976, lot 143. BMC I, 58; BSB-Ink C-497; Goff C849; GW 7418; H 5629.
Estimate $ 10,000-15,000