Canones concilii provincialis Coloniensis... celebrati anno 1536. Quibus adiectum est Encheridion christianae institutionis.

GROPPER  (1538)


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Title within an elaborate armorial woodcut border with some letters coloured, large woodcut of the Crucifixion on K2verso (partly coloured), small armorial woodcut on K4recto, woodcut initials, rubricated from f. I-LXXI.

Folio (322 x 200mm.) ff. [10], I -XLVII, [2], XLVIII- CCCXIII, [7]pp.  17th-century French smooth calf, gilt panels on covers with armorial corner-pieces,, spine with raised bands, compartments gilt with arms/monogram.

Cologne, Quentel, 1538. 

From the library of Jean Boyer, archdeacon of Conques 1508-41. This is one of some 40 plus books known to have belonged to him, printed between 1501 and 1545, some of them (not many) surviving in contemporary bindings executed at Rodez, the books dispersed in a number of French libraries. No example from his library is known outside France.

The books have his powerful ex-libris written on the title-page, and the idiosyncratic and late rubrication (at least in part) plus the colouring of letters etc. in headings. The volume is not annotated (although there are notes on the verso of title-page and on f.xxvi), but its appearance and decoration is clearly to be identified solely with one man, and one man alone.

The author Johann Gropper (1503-59) of Soest in Westphalia studied at Cologne University from 1516 . In 1525 he was appointed an official of the provost of Cologne cathedral, and later, having taken orders, he was given various ecclesiastical preferments. Present at the diets of 1529 and 1530, it was the latter that prompted him to concentrate on theological studies, and this work which contains the decisions of a reforming synod of the diocese of Cologne held in 1536 (ff i-xlvii ) together with a much longer (ff. Institutio compendiaria doctrinae christianae, a work held by some to show him the 'outstanding theologian of Germany in the sixteenth century'. He later attended the Council of Trent, and in 1558 went to Rome, where he died (see Contemporaries of Erasmus  ii, 138-139.) He may be said to have belonged to the 'reforming' branch of the hierarchy. The presence of this book in Boyer's library is indicative of Boyer's own theological position.

On the verso of the title are two inscriptions in Latin, one about Gropper and the other about his Enchiridion a work praised by theologians through Italy and France.This rather unsuitably named work - it is a folio of some hundreds of leaves, and hardly something to fit in the hand - was later abridged (Capita institutionis)  and in this form went through a number of editions. Some of his works also appeared in German.

Provenance:  1. Jean Boyer of Conques. 2. Claude Molé, 5th of that name, grand fauconnier de France (died 1660; Olivier 1335). 3. Gustave Chavaillon (bookplate).

VD16 G 3402.

Stock Code: 217775

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