Bound by Master Mathias of Vienna

(Ebendorfer, Thomas, von Haselbach, theologian and historiographer [1388-1464]). Sermones de poenitentia et restitutione (Poenitentiale). Sermones de confessione.

(Probably Vienna, after 1460).

Small folio (ca. 235 x 306 mm). Latin manuscript (bastarda in black ink) on paper. (4 blank), 365 numbered, (6 blank) ff. (fol. 37 vacat; contemporary ms. foliation continued 366-370). With 16 pretty four-line initials in colour and gilt and numerous red (and occasional blue) lombardic initials; partly rubricated and with red marginalia. Contemporary blindstamped pigskin over wooden boards, signed by the Vienna bookbinder Mathias, preserving 3 of the original 10 brass bosses, 7 of the 8 leading edge fittings, and both catch plates on the upper cover, as well as the original straps, ruled in blind. Crenellated spine-ends.


Extensive collection of mostly late sermons by the versatile Austrian theologian Thomas Ebendorfer from Haselbach near Korneuburg, who is best remembered for his "Cronica Austrie" and who long served as professor as well as variously as dean and rector of the University of Vienna. All writings here present are also to be found (in a slightly different order) in the Vienna manuscript Cod. 4041, in the author's own hand. They comprise on the one hand the fairy widely copied "Sermones de confessione" (a series of eight sermons) in Ebendorfer's revised version from 1447, and on the other a set of 25 treatises collected under the title "Poenitentiale", which focuses on penitence and repentance, reparation, debt, usury, pledges, testaments, and related subjects (1456-1461). According to Lhotsky this latter collection does not appear to have been widely disseminated beyond the author's original manuscript: although we have been able to trace individual parts in other codices (Eichstätt University Library, Cod. st 761: Lhotsky 134, 110, 102, 111, 112, 132, 133; Vienna, Schottenstift, Cod. 387: Lhotsky 110, 102, 111), this series was obviously copied very rarely, and the only other known similarly complete transmission remains the autograph in the Austrian National Library. Contains individually:

1r: Collationes de ieiunio (Lhotsky 134), nine sermons; followed by a poem (36vb) "Gloria, laus et honor ... Apicum hic scriptor quem Haselpach vexit ad ortum ut prece placatus sit deus ipse pius" (Lhotsky 136); the remainder of the column as well as the entire leaf 37 are left blank.

38r: Tractatus de contritione (Lhotsky 110, inc. "Ait dominus per prophetam", but the painted initial "S" corrupts this to "Sit ..."); interrupted on 42va (with a marginal note "hic non est defectus") and continued on 43ra; an oblong 8vo leaf written on both sides in a different hand, bound before 72r, contains inserted text; expl. 82va "... suo pondere ad aliud trahit. Sic est finis huius primae partis".

82rb: Collationes de confessione (Lhotsky 102), inc. "Ecce nunc tempus"; expl. 135va "Expliciunt collationes Mgri Thomae d'Haslpach De confessione".

135vb: De satisfactione (Lhotsky 111), ten sermons; inc. "Reddite ergo omnes debita. Ita hortatur".

180rb: Tractatus specialis de restitutione que est pars satisfactionis (Lhotsky 112), inc. "Reddite omnibus debita. Ita praecipit".

185ra: Sermo secundus de restitutione (Lhotsky 113).

190ra: De restitutione rapine (Lhotsky 114).

196ra: De contractibus emptionis (Lhotsky 115).

207rb: De mutuo faciendo (Lhotsky 116).

212vb: De usura et iudeis (Lhotsky 117).

218vb: De usura (Lhotsky 118).

224rb: Collatio tertia de usuris (Lhotsky 119).

232rb: Collatio de restitutione usuarum (Lhotsky 120).

238ra: Collatio secunda de restitutione usure (Lhotsky 121).

243rb: Collatio de restitutio pignorum (Lhotsky 122).

247rb: Sermo de solutionibus debitorum (Lhotsky 123).

251va: De restitutione vinctorum (Lhotsky 124).

255va: De testamentis (Lhotsky 125).

260va: De locatione et conductione (Lhotsky 126).

264rb: De comodato (Lhotsky 127).

266va: De custodiendo et servando deposito (Lhotsky 128).

271ra: De restitutione dampnificancium in corpore proximum (Lhotsky 129).

276rb: De restitutione dampnificatorum in bonis anime (Lhotsky 130).

281va: Collatio de restitutione fame ablate (Lhotsky 131).

286ra: Collationes de elemosina (Lhotsky 132), seven sermons.

315ra: Collationes de oratione (Lhotsky 133), eleven sermons; dated "1460" in the margin of 329v; expl. 365rb: "Et sic est finis illarum collationum".

Of the 26 individual chapters, no fewer than 16 are decorated with small, but quite meticulous initials in colours and gilt, while the others have lombardic initials. Bound in an attractive, immediately contemporary Gothic pigskin binding by the Viennese bookbinder Mathias, exhibiting the typical features of his mature work. "Mathias is foremost among Vienna's bookbinders of the Gothic period; his name is known from the scroll stamp he used. He was active from about 1450 to 1474. It was he who created the classic Viennese binding style that was to be much imitated but never replicated [...] Several books bearing Mathias's stamps were bound for Emperor Frederick III [...] His craft reached its first peak around the year 1460" (cf. H. Kühnel, Ausstellung Gotik in Österreich, Krems 1967, p. 265).

Of the original five brass bosses to each of the covers, the present volume wants three on the upper and four on the lower cover, as well as the brass clasps. Insignificant worming to lower and tiny chafe marks to upper cover. Front hinge starting at top. Several additions and insertions in the margins and on extra leaf in a different contemporary hand; numerous manicules. Small traces of worming to the upper corner of fols. 217-229, occasionally just touching foliation.

Provenance: from the library of the Servite Order in Vienna's Rossau suburb with their 18th century engraved bookplate on the front pastedown and a smaller version thereof, as well as a faded stamp, on the first page; handwritten shelfmark "MS 73" (olim: 30); traces of an additional stamp on the front pastedown. A splendid Viennese codex containing writings by one of the great Viennese scholars of the late Middle Ages, in an original binding by the leading Viennese bookbinder of the Gothic period.

A. Lhotsky, Thomas Ebendorfer: ein österreichischer Geschichtschreiber, Theologe und Diplomat des 15. Jahrhunderts (Stuttgart 1957), nos. 102, 110-134, 136.

For the binding: Kyriss K 51; Schunke, Schwenke-Slg. II, 283; Einbanddatenbank w000166; Mazal, Europ. Einbandkunst, no. 29.

Stock Code: BN#51852 Tags: , ,