Letters in Wood

Collectors of blockbooks


Watermark in Bodleian

Xylographic printing

Prototypography S-268 Speculum humanae salvationis [opens new window]

S-268 Speculum humanae salvationis.

[The Netherlands: Prototypography, c.1474-5]. Folio.
The second Latin edition.

The illustrations are woodcuts. The text is printed from type with the exception of 20 leaves on which the text is woodcut, copied from the type-printed text of the first Latin edition. Copies of the Speculum were sought after by bibliophiles and early historians of print who tried to work out how printing and movable type were invented.

This copy passed through the hands of a succession of celebrated collectors including:
Claude Gros de Boze (1680-1753); Louis Jean de Gaignat (1697-1768); Paul Girardot de Prfond (after 1800, for whom it was rebound); Justin, comte MacCarthy Reagh (1744-1811);
George Hibbert (1757-1837); and Francis Douce (1757-1834).

Shelfmark: Arch. G d.56