Catechismus Romanus, ex decreto Concilij Tridentini.



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8vo (154 x 102mm). [4]ff. 935 (=937), [1]pp. [29]ff. Contemporary German blind-tooled pigskin, outer medallion roll with heads of reformers, labelled - Erasmus, Melanchthon, Jan Hus, Martin Luther - two inner rolls of arabesque leafy ornament, space for date and initials left blank, spine with five raised bands, title in manuscript at head, lacking green silk ties (minor wear to spine, some rubbing to pigskin). 

Dillingen: Sebald Mayer, 

The first German edition of the Roman Catholic Catechism, the manual for the use of parish priests established at the Council of Trent. As the title and introduction explain, it is reprinted by Mayer, in Dillingen - the first press there - with the authority of the church hierarchy and the permission of Paulus Manutius, described glowingly in the introduction as 'doctus in primis Typographus'. Manutius held the papal privilege and printed the first edition of the Catechism in Rome, in 1566. Structured into four parts, it covers faith and the Creed; the sacraments; the ten commandments; and prayer. 

The present copy contains the striking arms, with three wolf rods, of the Swabian noble family vom Stain, painted in bold yellows and blacks on the first of three vellum leaves bound into the volume before the title page. Not uncommon practice in books from the libraries of members of the nobility, it is a clear statement both of ownership, and of the family's adherence to post-Tridentine Catholicism, though that was not true of all lines of the Stain family; just two years before the publication of this edition, in 1565, one branch in Baden-Württemburg converted to Lutheranism. Though a commonly used tool in binders' workshops and undoubtedly not deliberate, there is an enjoyable contrast between the staunchly Catholic content of this work, and the busts of Reformers - Luther and Melanchthon among them - that decorate the binding.

Tucked between the pages of this volume for safekeeping are two, small, well-worn and well-used prayer slips, in German, one with a woodcut of Maria Magdalena; this book was a handy and fitting receptacle for these aids to private devotion. 

Provenance: 1. Twentieth-century exlibris of F. A. Streit, Forchheim, printer and publisher. 

VD16 K 2052.. 

Stock Code: 250345

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