November 30, 2010
A Book described as being among “the finest specimens of typographical art” produced in England
Intrationu[m] excellentissimus liber : perq[uam] necessarius o[mn]ibus leg[is] hominib[us] : fere in se continens o[mn]em medullam diuersa[rum] materia[rum ac pl[aci]t[orum], tam realiu[m], personalium q[uam] mixt[orum], necno[n] multorum breuium, tam executionu[m] q[uam] aliorum valde vtilium … Impressum … London[i] … : In officina, ere ac impensis … Ricardi Pynson …, anno no[st]re redemptionis 1510, die … vltima mensis Februarij (i.e. London: Richard Pynson, 28 February 1510.) FOLIO. [9 of 10], clxxxv [i.e. 183] leaves. 33 x 25 cm in binding; 30.5 cm lvs., a relatively TALL COPY. FIRST EDITION . Binding: 19th century English Gothic Revival Blindstamped binding, sympathetic spine rebacking, title leaf supplied from the British Museum in old mimeograph, without final blank leaf; otherwise TEXT COMPLETE, 16th century contemporary blank leaves inserted after index in beginning, likely for legal note-taking and annotations; twelve leaves with margins re-inforced with some loss, dampstaining, some worming throughout. Beautiful typography throughout with Celtic inspired typographical spacers. Colophon: Explicit opus excellentissimu[m] [et] perutile in se continens multas materias o[mn]ibus leg[is] ho[min]ib[us] p[er]q[uam] necassarias, nouiter impressum, correctum, emendatum, [et] no[n] minimo labore reuisum London[i] in vico vulgariter nu[n]cupato Fletstrete in officina, ere ac impensis honesti viri Ricardi Pynson, Regis impressoris, moram suam trahentis sub signo diui Georgii anno n[ost]re redemptionis MDCCCCx die vero vltima mensis Februarij; Verso with magnificent woodcut printer’s device [McKerrow 9] as depicted. STC 14116; Beale, Early English Law Books; Treatises T283.
FIRST EDITION of this monumental and important treatise on court writs, which in essence, acted as a medieval legal template book. Court pleadings which were once purely oral, from the middle of the reign of Edward IV, became written and therefore required standardization and accuracy consistent with common law. It was in response to that basic need that this book was printed.
“Richard Pynson (1448 in Normandy – 1529) was one of the first printers of English books. The 500 books he printed were influential in the standardisation of the English language. Pynson, whose books make him technically and typographically the outstanding English printer of his generation, is credited with introducing Roman type to English printing.” (Wikipedia) “Pynson printed numbers of useful books in all classes of literature. The works of Chaucer and Skelton and Lydgate, the history of Froissart and the Chronicle of St. Albans; books such as Æsop’s Fables and Reynard the Fox, romances such as Sir Bevis of Hampton are scattered freely amongst works of a more learned character. On the whole he deserves a much higher place than De Worde. It is rare, indeed, to find a carelessly printed book of Pynson’s, whilst such books as the Boccaccio of 1494, the Missal printed in 1500 at the expense of Cardinal Morton, and known as the Morton Missal, and the Intrationum excellentissimus liber of 1510 are certainly the finest specimens of typographical art which had been produced in this country.” [Ref: Plomer. H. A Short History of English Printing]