Netherlandic Treasures
Netherlandic Treasures
Netherlandic TreasuresNetherlandic TreasuresNetherlandic Treasures
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Introductory Essay

Netherlandic Book of Hours. Manuscript on vellum, 2nd quarter of 15th century.

Michigan Ms. 245. A fine example of a late medieval personal prayer book containing prayers or offices to be said at the canonical hours.

Believed to have been copied and illuminated in the Netherlands, this volume is in an unusually small format (a pocket size of 3" x 4") and is also somewhat unusual textually. The Psalms, for example, are abbreviated, as if intended to be said by someone in a hurry, traveling, or in military service. In addition, it seems to have been made for an English patron. The Hours of the Virgin are according to English use, and the Litany of the Saints includes English figures such as Oswald, Cuthbert, Alban, and Edmund.

Purchased in 1988 from antiquarian book dealer A & C Sokol (London).

Guido delle Colonne (13th century). Historiae destructionis Troiae. Leuven: Johann de Paderborn (Westphalia), ca. 1480.

An example of the printing work of Johanne de Paderborn, better known as Johannes de Westphalia, the earliest Netherlands printer whom we know by name. He was trained in Italy and came to Leuven, Belgium in 1472, where he printed a large number of text books, mostly in Latin, for the Catholic University of Leuven. This account of the destruction of Troy, compiled by the Italian chronicler Colonne, was a popular title and appeared in many editions, including translations into French and Italian, up to the end of the 16th century. A manuscript ownership mark from Coimbra can be seen on first leaf.

Purchased for the Stephen Spaulding Collection in 1939 from antiquarian book dealer Davis and Orioli (London).

Michael, of Hungary. Sermones Praedicabiles. Deventer: Richardus Pafraet, 1491.

These "Laudable Sermons" by one Michael of Hungary, a Franciscan friar, were much reprinted in the 16th century. The printer, Pafraet, was a native of Cologne, where he learned the art of printing. He began printing in Deventer in 1477. His establishment there was at Platea Episcopi from 1477 to 1511. This is one of the first books printed at Deventer.

Purchased on the Dunning fund in 1955, from Christensen (i.e. bookseller Niels H. Christensen, Bloomfield, N.J.?).

Rudolf Agricola (1443-1485). Nonnulla opuscula. Antwerp: T. Martinus, 1511.

Letters, orations, and poems by the Dutch humanist Agricola, born Roelof Huisman in Baflo, province Groningen.

The printer is Thierry (Dirk) Martens, one of the earliest printers of note in the Low Countries. He was trained in Venice, worked in Aalst, Belgium with Johannes de Westfalia and alone there from 1474 to 1492. After this he was a printer of outstanding academic importance in Leuven and Antwerp.

Purchased in 1932 on European History Fund from Ann Arbor bookseller George Wahr.

Francois Baudouin (1520-1573). Notae ad lib. I & II. digest. seu pandectarum. Basiliae: per Ioannem Oporinum [1557?] [plus two other titles by Baudouin].

Three titles on Roman law by the law scholar Baudouin. The blind-stamped design called the "Spes panel" (depicting the allegorical figure, Hope) which decorates the front and back covers of this book, was designed in Leuven and employed by two different bookbinders there between 1520 and 1560.

Gift, 1980, of Bernard A. Uhlendorf, Ann Arbor collector of early printed books and modern fine printing.

Netherlandic religious manuscript, on vellum and paper, 16th century.

A collection of observations on various religious subjects, including chapters on the sacrament of penance, humility, and dependence on divine grace, as well as several prayers. The language is that of the northeastern Netherlands.

Acquired in 1954 from antiquarian dealer Lowdermilk (Washington, D.C.) for the Stephen Spaulding Collection. Chosen by Colonel Thomas M. Spaulding himself for this memorial collection honoring his son Stephen, who died while an undergraduate at the University of Michigan in 1925.