Close XYL-34 Sixtus IV, Pont. Max.: Forma Confessionalis et Absolutionis ad Opus Sanctae Cruciatae, 1482

 Schr. 2989 state 2. Incipit: ‘Pateat vniuersis presentes litteras inspecturis. Qualiter deuot[ ] in christo [ ] diocesis ad opus sancte cruciate . . . Quapropter auctoritate prefati domini . . .’ The ‘Forma confessionalis’ of 1482, issued and sealed in the name of the commissary Petrus (Petrus Cristannus, also known as Cristini or Christmann, of Breslau), Warden of the Munich Franciscan convent, records the right of the recipient, whose name is to be added by hand, to be granted the plenary indulgence instituted by Pope Sixtus IV in his bull ‘Domini et Salvatoris’ (4 Dec. 1480) after the capture of Otranto by the Turks; see Bullarium Franciscanum, ns III, ed. J. M. Pou y Marti (Quaracchi, 1949), 684 no. 1367 and note. It is followed by the ‘Forma absolutionis’. The letter of indulgence was printed many times, with almost identical wording, in the years 1482 and 1483, mostly on behalf of the individual commissaries, under whose names the letters are often listed in modern catalogues; for a complete list see Einblattdrucke, 6, and Paulus, Geschichte des Ablasses, III 206; see Johannes Kaufmann (K-002). The full text of the xylographic edition is given in Griese (in preparation).

refs. Analecta Franciscana, 2 (1887), 481; Paulus, Geschichte des Ablasses, III 205–7; F. Eisermann, ‘Der Ablaß als Medienereignis. Kommunikationswandel durch Einblattdrucke im 15. Jahrhundert. Mit einer Auswahlbibliographie’, in Tradition and Innovation in an Era of Change, ed. R. Suntrup and J. R. Veenstra (Frankfurt a.M., 2001), 99–128, at 107–9.

 [Augsburg: Johann Blaubirer, 1482]. Single-leaf woodcut with Latin text.

 23 lines. The xylographic edition is an exact copy of the typographic indulgence [Nuremberg: Friedrich Creussner, 1482], for which see Einblattdrucke, 22, 23; GW 32; Goff 32; BSB-Ink F-191. At one time wrongly thought to be a forgery. The Bodleian impressions all represent the second state, in which line 4 has been corrected to read ‘potestatem habeat eligendi’. The suggestion by Voulliéme, followed by Schreiber, that Johann Schaur of Munich may have been the woodcutter is circumstantial. Assigned here to the workshop of Johann Blaubirer in Augsburg on the basis of the paper (with a distinctive ‘scales’ watermark in copies 1 and 2, as also in the London BL copy IB. 38), which is identical with the paper stock used for Sixtus IV, Summarium indulgentiarum bullae apostolicae contra Turcos ([Augsburg: Johann Blaubirer, after 4 Dec. 1480])(S-237), a copy of which was preserved as a pastedown in the same binding as that from which Bodleian copies 2 and 3 of the letter of indulgence were removed. The attribution of this edition of the Summarium to Blaubirer is based on the use of his type 118/119 G (illustrated in GfT pl. 465).

ills. Breslauer & Meyer, cat. VII (Berlin, [1900]), 116 (no. 420); E. Weil, Die Wiegendrucke Münchens. Ein bibliographisches Verzeichnis mit neun Typentafeln (Munich, 1923), pl. I; K. Haebler, Einblattdrucke von den Anfängen der Druckkunst bis zum Tode Maximilians I. 1455–1519, Jacques Rosenthal catalogue 92 (Munich, [1931]), 27.

refs. Pr 9; C 5540; Einblattdrucke, 22, 23 note 1; Schreiber, Handbuch, VI 55; GW 32 note 1; Sheppard no. 10. See also: K. Dziatzko, ‘Bibliographische Miscellen 7’, ZfB 9 (1892), 335–9, at 338–9; E. H. Voulliéme, ‘Der gefälschte Münchener xylographische Ablassbrief’, ZfB 21 (1904), 566; G. Leidinger, ‘Der Münchener xylographische Ablassbrief von 1482 ist echt’, ZfB 22 (1905), 138–41.

First Copy Chancery half-sheet, oblong format. 216 × 253 mm (printed area 128 × 228 mm, originally 128 × c.230 mm). Upper margin: 11 mm. Printed in black ink in a press on one side of the paper. Chain-lines horizontal. Watermark: Scales; PiccW VI 311 (Ulm 1481). The right-hand edge has been trimmed, resulting in the loss of the last printed letter of each line; made good with a paper strip 128 × 31 mm, the letters added by hand. Despite the application of an oval seal, which has left a red stain in the wide margin beneath the ‘Forma absolutionis’, no name of a recipient has been added in the blank space in line 2. The blank side of the sheet shows signs of pasting.

Binding: Bound in a modern cloth-covered guard-book, assembled in 1954. 489 × 433 × 17 mm.

Provenance: Munich, Franciscan Observants; see copy 2. Ludwig Rosenthal (1840–1928); cat. 90 no. 102. Purchased in 1892. Former Bodleian shelfmark: Auct. 4Q 1.21(12a).

shelfmark: Arch. B b.5(1a).

Second Copy Chancery half-sheet, oblong format. 197 × 233 mm (printed area 128 × 207 mm, originally 128 × c.230 mm). Upper margin: 17 mm. Printed in black ink in a press on one side of the paper. Chain-lines horizontal. Watermark: Scales (as in copy 1). The right-hand edge is trimmed and damaged, with loss of text. Beneath the ‘Forma absolutionis’ a red stain marks the position of the seal, now lost. No name of a recipient has been added in the blank space in line 2. Badly wormed.

 This is one of two copies removed in Apr. 1918 from the binding of Auct. 4Q inf. 1.8: Antoninus Florentinus, Summa theologica, part III (Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, 26 Jan. 1478)(A-344, part III). A typographic broadside, summarizing the content of the bull ‘Domini et salvatoris’ and printed on the same paper stock as the letter of indulgence, was also used in the binding of this volume: Sixtus IV, Summarium indulgentiarum bullae apostolicae contra Turcos ([Augsburg: Johann Blaubirer, after 4 Dec. 1480])(S-237). Leidinger, ‘Der Münchener xylographische Ablassbrief’, discusses 11 similarly unused copies, all originally sealed but without recipients’ names, now in the Munich BSB which, like copies 2 and 3 in the Bodleian, were used to form pastedowns in incunabula bound for the library of the Franciscan convent in Munich. It is very likely, although no longer demonstrable, that copies 1 and 4 also derive from bookbindings made for the Munich Franciscans.

Binding: Bound in a modern guard-book.

Provenance: Munich, Franciscan Observants; see A-344, part III. Munich, Royal Library. Acquired by the Bodleian between 1847 and c.1892. See A-344. Former Bodleian shelfmark: Auct. 4Q 1.21(12b).

shelfmark: Arch. B b.5(1b).

Third Copy Chancery half-sheet, oblong format. 212 × 251 mm (printed area 128 × 230 mm). Upper margin: 7 mm. Printed in black ink in a press on one side of the paper. Chain-lines horizontal. No watermark. The right-hand edge is damaged, with loss of text. Beneath the ‘Forma absolutionis’ a red stain marks the position of the seal, now lost. No name has been added in the blank space in line 2. Badly wormed. Removed in Apr. 1918 from the binding of the same printed book as copy 2.

Binding: Bound in a modern guard-book.

Provenance: Munich, Franciscan Observants; see copy 2. Former Bodleian shelfmark: Auct. 4Q 1.21(12c).

shelfmark: Arch. B b.5(1c).

Fourth Copy Chancery half-sheet, oblong format. 190 × 280 mm (printed area 128 × 230 mm). Upper margin: 14 mm. Printed in black ink in a press on one side of the paper. Chain-lines horizontal. No watermark. Beneath the ‘Forma absolutionis’ a red stain marks the position of the seal, now lost. No name has been added in the blank space in line 2. Perfectly preserved, apart from a few worm-holes.

Binding: Kept in a brown cloth-covered portfolio, with a printed inscription speculatively attributing the leaf to Johann Schaur of Munich. 300 × 214 × 6 mm.

Provenance: Munich, Franciscan Observants. Munich, Royal Library; see the modern library stamps and shelfmark ‘Inc. 742a c.a.’ on the reverse of the leaf. Jacques Rosenthal (1854–1937); Jacques Rosenthal catalogue 92 (Munich, [1931]), no. 32. Albi Rosenthal (1914–2004). Albert Ehrman (1890–1969); armorial book-plate; purchased from Albi Rosenthal in 1951 for £75. 0. 0; ledger no. ‘R 992’; see invoice, 30 Mar. Presented in 1978 by John Ehrman.

shelfmark: Broxb. 95.8.