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[Le Psaultier nostre dame translaté de latin en françois (title from colophon). Edited by Pierre Le Goulx]
Paris: Jean Trepperel, 1501. 4to (182 x 117 mm). Collation: a8 b-r6 s8 (lacking a1 and s8). 110 (of 112) leaves, unfoliated. 33 lines, shoulder notes. Type: 7:97G. Woodcut 2-line Lombard initials. Large woodcut of St. Jerome opening text, including a banner containing typographic lettering set in a curve, thirty text illustrations printed from eight woodblocks (or possibly 7 woodblocks and a metalcut) along with a variety of small border cuts, several of the illustrations, including the St. Jerome cut, with partial contemporary wash coloring in mauve, pale olive, green, blue and/or gray. Lacking, apparently since the sixteenth century, the title-leaf and final leaf (either blank or containing a printer's device), a few shoulder notes cropped; tear in k6 affecting 4 letters, some staining and soiling, red color stains to d7v-d8r obscuring part of one word, a few wormholes especially at end, causing loss to a few letters of last 2 leaves, last leaf quite stained and with old repairs. Modern binding of green patterned silk, morocco lettering-piece on spine (chipped), beige patterned silk liners, edges stained red, 2 modern laid paper flyleaves at front and back, with an additional 4 blank leaves of different modern paper preceding text. Provenance: Roland le Roux, contemporary manuscript inscription on a2r (Rolland Le Roux demourant... [illegible]); 2 other early ownership inscriptions at end, the first partly effaced; unidentified 20th-century armorial bookplate with initials G. L.; on the first of the four leaves preceding the text is mounted a cut out transcription of the colophon title from a sale or library catalogue, with pencil inscription noting the missing title; pencil shelf-mark B-493.*** Only known copy of the second edition of this cycle of Marian prayers in French verse, copiously illustrated with woodcuts and metalcuts from Trepperel's stock. The earlier edition, by Antoine Vérard (GW M38866), dated to ca. 1500-1501 on the basis of the device, survives in four copies, all in French libraries. Attributed in the present edition to Saint Jerome, and in later editions to Bonaventura, the text has been little studied. In imitation of the Psalms of David, it contains 150 psalms or laudatory poems to the Virgin. The French decasyllabic verses elaborate on the Latin text which is printed in the shoulder notes. Following Psalm 150, which ends on r2v, is a Litany (r3r-s5r) containing repeated invocations of the Virgin, the Latin side-text opening with "Kyrie Eleison" (spelled Kyrieleyson). The last six pages (s5r-s7v) contain various prayers. The colophon, on s7v, reads "Cy fine [sic] le psaultier nostre dame tra[n]slate de latin en fra[n]coys. Imprime a Paris par Jehan Treperel demourant a la grant rue sainct iaques aupres sai[n]ct yues [Yves] a lenseigne Sainct Laurens. Lan M.v. cens et ung Le dernier iour du moys de Auril." The identity and literary sources of the text have been glossed over by the standard bibliographies, in which it is variously catalogued under the title of the Vérard edition (Psaultier notre dame selon saint jerosme, BnF), the related title Psautier [de] Notre Dame (Lacombe, Macfarlane, Bechtel, Higman), or the Latin title Psalterium Beatae Mariae Virginis (ISTC and CIBN). GW places it under the related but misleading heading Rosarium. Several different late medieval popular texts, in Latin, Italian and German, containing prayers to and encomia of the Virgin, have been lumped under the heading "Psalter of the Virgin" or "Rosarium." The best attempt to unravel them appears in the Verfasserlexikon2, but it is not obvious from which tradition this French version derives. It may be related to one of the Confraternities of the Rosary. A later edition under the same title (Le Psaultier nostre dame), though in only 20 leaves, printed ca. 1511 by the widow of Jean Trepperel and Jean Jehannot, explicitly describes itself as the "livre et ordonnance de la devote confrairie du psaultier de la glorieuse vierge marie" (Higman P-50). Brunet's suggestion of a link to the exegetical texts of the Confraternity's founder, Alanus de Rupe, published in several incunable editions, appears, however, to be incorrect. A few later sixteenth-century editions contained the Latin text only, apart from a short unillustrated edition of 1586 (cf. Lacombe 483). Clearly the text would benefit from further study. Paul Lacombe's conclusion in 1907, that "the name of the poet-translator remains to be determined" (1963 edition, p. 69) is still the case. (Lacombe explained [p. 286] that he included editions of the work in his catalogue of Horae because of the "analogous subject and illustrations, but not because of the contents themselves.") In the Vérard edition (and presumably on the missing title-leaf of this edition as well) six distichs on the verso of the title state that this text was "brought to light" by Pierre le Goux or Le Goulx, of Beaune, but they do not attribute authorship or the translation to Le Goulx, and CIBN cites him as the editor. This Trepperel edition appears to be a page for page reprint of Vérard's edition, whose title, in three lines, reads, Le psaultier nre dame / Selon saint jerome / Translate de latin en francois. Two issues or states of the Vérard title are known, one with a woodcut of Saint Gregory, and one with no woodcut (Lacombe 109 bis and 109 ter); on the verso of both issues or states are 14 lines of text in French and six distichs, as mentioned above. The final leaf of the Vérard edition contains his device on the recto and the verso is blank. The ownership inscriptions on a2r and s7v of this copy imply that the title and last leaf were already missing in the sixteenth century. Some of the woodblocks may have been cut for the edition and others must have come from the Trepperel stock. The St. Jerome cut opening the text on a2r and at least one of the two woodcuts of St. Jerome with the lion (with the Saint facing left in one and right in the other) are very close copies of those in the Vérard edition. The two Jerome cuts are used several times, printed next to cuts of the Virgin in various scenes, always with the St Jerome figure facing the other illustration. Ornamental quarter border cuts are used to vary the designs. A larger cut, of the Virgin and Child enthroned with a kneeling man, appears on its own. I have found no record of this edition, in the incunable catalogues, the online union catalogues, Lacombe, USTC, Bechtel, Renouard/Moreau, Claudin, Brunet, etc. No copies of the other known editions of this fascinating and little studied text appear to be held by US libraries. References: Paul Lacombe, Livres d'Heures imprimés au XVe et au XVIe siècle conservés dans les bibliothèques publiques de Paris.(1963), 109 bis, 109 ter, 109 quater (3 copies of the Vérard edition); Bechtel, Catalogue des Gothiques francais 1476-1560. Seconde édition (2010), P-410 and P-411 (the Vérard and veuve Trepperel editions). On the text see Die deutsche Literatur des Mittelalters: Verfasserlexikon. Zweite Ausgabe 6:42-50.
      [Bookseller: Musinsky Rare Books, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2016-09-11           Check availability:      Biblio    


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