[The play of chess].

Accession number: 
PML 19318
Jacobus, de Cessolis, active 1288-1322.
[Westminster] : William Caxton, [1483]
[84] leaves ; 26 cm (folio)
Credit Line: 
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1912.

Caxton's translation and printing statement from the Prologue (leaves a2r-2v): Thenne emonge whom there was an excellent doctour of dyuynete in the royaume of fraunce of the ordre of thospytal of Saynt Johns of Jherusalem whiche ... hath made a book of the chesse moralysed. whiche at suche tyme as I was resident in brudgys in the counte of Flaundres cam in to my handes/ whiche whan I had redde and ouerseen/ me semed ful necessarye for to be had in englisshe/ And in eschewyng of ydlenes. And to thende that som[m]e which have not seen it/ ne u[n]nderstonde frenssh ne latyn. I delybered in my self to translate it in to our maternal tonge/ And whan I so had achyeved the sayd translacion/ I dyde doo sette in enprynte a certeyn nombre of theym/ Whiche anone were depesshed and solde. wherfore by cause they sayd book is ful of holsom wysedom anad requysyte unto every astate and degree/ I have purposed to enprynte it/ shewyng therin the figures of suche persones as longen to the playe.
Collation: a-i⁸ k-l⁶: 84 leaves, leaf a1 blank.
Colophon (leaf l6r): Explicit per Caxton.
Date based on paper, see BMC XI 134.
Paper format: Chancery folio
PML copy leaf dimensions: 25.8 x 18.7 cm
PML copy missing 2 leaves: a1 (blank) and a8, a8 replaced in facsimile.
Printed in Caxton's type 2*:135B.
Title from ISTC.
Translated by William Caxton, from the French of Jean de Vignay.
Woodcuts (see Hodnett 12-27).

19th-century gilt- and blind-stamped laced vellum with yapp edge (25.5 x 19.5 cm), sewn on 4 supports (binding must date from Sotheran's removal of the Christine de Pisan; formerly identified as 17th-century Benelux production). Plain paper pastedowns and fly leaves; plain endbands; edges stained red.

Hand decoration: Rubrication unrealized. Annotations: No notations in text. Inscriptions on leaf a3v, including: Nullum bonum irremuneratum / Nullum malum impunitum (cf. Piers Plowman, A. 4. 126-27 and Pope Innocent III, De comtemptu mundi, III, 15).

E. Doy, French inscription and signature (leaf a3v); Henry Sotheran, purchased from a lady, October 1868, formerly bound with Christine de Pisan, Fayts of Arms (ISTC ic00472000) but apparently removed by Sotheran (Pisan copy currently unidentified); Henry Huth (1815-1878) and Alfred Henry Huth (1850-1910), Ex Museo Huthii booklabel (front pastedown), purchased from Sotheran; Huth sale, Sotheby's, 5 June 1912, lot 1443, to Bernard Quaritch for £400; Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), purchased from Quaritch, 1912.