Pontificale Romanum Clementis VIII. Primum, nunc denuo Urbani Papae Octavi auctoritate recognitum.

Antwerp, Balthasar Moretus ‘ex officina Plantiniana’, 1663.

Folio, pp. [8], 512, [3], [1 (blank)]; printed in red and black throughout, large copper-engraved vignette to title, woodcut initials printed in red and black, large woodcut tailpieces, with printed music; a few minor spots, light foxing to a few leaves, small cinder hole to X1 with loss of one character, short tear to lower margin 3B1, otherwise a very good copy; in contemporary red morocco over bevelled wooden boards, richly gilt à petits fers, panels gilt-filleted, borders roll-tooled in gilt, spine gilt in compartments, lettered directly in one, others with centre- and corner-pieces, with a small crown tool, turn-ins roll-tooled in alloy, 2 red-stained and gilt-tooled vellum clasps to fore-edge with brass fittings, edges gilt and partially gauffered, blue silk endbands sewn over woven cores, blue paste-paper endpapers, flyleaves with unidentified watermarks (two-headed eagle, crowned, above initials ‘H.E.’); a little light wear, leather and endpapers neatly retouched in places; occasional pencil marks in text, early eighteenth-century ink inscription ‘Bibliothecae D[uys?]burgensis’ to title, partially erased.


US $5519€5228

Add to basket Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
Pontificale Romanum Clementis VIII. Primum, nunc denuo Urbani Papae Octavi auctoritate recognitum.

Checkout now

An attractive Plantin-Moretus Pontifical, splendidly preserved in a richly baroque binding.

We would suggest that the striking binding was likely executed in northern Germany in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century. This would be supported by an early Duisburg provenance – ‘Bibliothecae Duysburgensis’ may be Duisburg University, founded in 1655 and disbanded in 1818, although this volume has not been identified in the printed catalogue of the University of 1685 nor in the manuscript catalogues of 1717 or 1795-99.

The work is accompanied by printed music and by an unusually varied series of woodcut initials, illustrating (inter alia) David at prayer, the Annunciation, the Magi following the star and the Adoration, St Christopher carrying the Christchild, the Baptism of Christ, the Supper at Emmaus, the Crucifixion and several Stations of the Cross, the Turin Shroud, the Resurrected Christ and Christ in Majesty, Christ greeting Mary Magdalen, the Assumption, St John the Evangelist, St Francis receiving the Stigmata, St Jerome, prayer scenes, and several martyrdoms of both male and female saints.

Curiously, an early reader has corrected the text in several places, in most instances altering the text for singular (rather than plural) use.

You may also be interested in...


Historie di M. Marco Guazzo di tutti i fatti degni di memoria nel mondo successi dal 1524 sino a l’anno 1549. Nouamente reuiste & con somma diligenza corrette & in piu luoghi emendate, con la tauola di tutto quello, che si contiene ne l’opera.

First edition thus, this copy owned by the future Pope Clement XII, of a remarkable history of recent and contemporary events, first published in 1540 and here updated by almost ten years, resuming the account of world event and Italian politics and including references to American history from 1522.

Read more


Essai sur les probabilités de la durée de la vie humaine; d’où l’on déduit la manière de déterminer les rentes viagères, tant simples qu’en tontines: précédé d’une courte explication sur les rentes à terme, ou annuités; et accompagné d’un grand nombre de tables.

A large, crisp and illustrious copy of the first edition of a classic of statistical science: it is the first to define expectation of life – which Deparcieux calls ‘la vie moyenne’ – and the first to contain life tables for males and females. ‘The first French work in the actuarial field ... After publication of this Essai, expectation of life came into general use as a descriptive statistic. Deparcieux scaled his mortality data to a radix of 1000 at age 3, calculated the survivors at every five years and interpolated the intermediate values ... [His table] was espoused by the French life insurance companies and used almost until the end of the nineteenth century for premium calculations where payments were made on survival’ (History of Actuarial Science, ed. Steven Haberman & Trevor Sibbett, London 1995, p. 243).

Read more