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A rediscovered Devote ghetiden with interesting woodcuts (CA 1117)

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In 1964 Amsterdam University Library acquired the only known copy of CA 1117, an illustrated edition of the Devote ghetiden. In 1868, while compiling his Annales de la typographie nierlandaise au xve siècle (1874-90) Campbell examined this little book, which was then still in the possession of the antiquarian bookseller Olivier of Brussels. On grounds of the type and the woodcuts Campbell supposed the book, which lacks various leaves including the final one with (probably) the imprint, to have been printed in about 1496 by Peter van Os van Breda at Zwolle, and this is what the entry in the Annales says. After 1868 the Olivier copy disappeared, though it subsequently proved to have gone to the inaccessible Arenberg collection, itself since auctioned and dispersed. Once it had been rediscovered it became possible to verify and extend Campbell's data on it. The article discusses first the woodcuts and then the type material, on the basis of which Campbell decided that Peter van Os van Breda was the printer. Because the book, which contains 81 woodcuts from the same series, 67 of them different, was for so long impossible to find, it is not included in the surveys of woodcuts in Low Countries incunabula. Conway (1884) and Schretlen (1925) do, however, discuss two other editions containing woodcuts from the same series, namely the Epistelen ende evangelien, Haarlem, Jacob Bellaert, 8 April 1486 (CA 695) and Ludolphus de Saxonia, Boec vanden leven ons heren Jesu Cristi, Zwolle, Peter van Os van Breda, 15 March 1499 (CA 1185(I)) and on the basis of these they arrive at the reconstruction of a series of 49 woodcuts made by the Haarlem Woodcutter (Co 11.9). On the basis of the similarity between these woodcuts and the corresponding ones in the well-known Leeu serie of 68 for a lost edition of the Devote ghetiden (Co 9.2), Conway supposed that the Haarlem series was originally more extensive and that the two series may have been the same as regards numbers and subjects.


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