Imitac[i]o[n]e [christ]i.

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Accession number: 
PML 17074.1
Uniform title: 
Imitatio Christi.
[Augsburg] : Günther Zainer, [not after 1472]
[76] leaves ; 32 cm. (fol.)
Credit Line: 
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1907.

Title from incipit (leaf [1]/1r): Incipit libellus consolatorius ad instruct[i]o[nem] devotor[um] Cuius primu[m] capitulu[m] est de imitac[i]o[n]e [christ]i [et] [con]temptu damni vanitatum mundi.
Colophon (leaf [8]/6r): Viri egregii Thome montis sancte Agnetis in Traiecto regularis canonici libri de [christ]i imitatio[n]e numero quatuor finiunt felictier. per Gintheum zainer ex reutlingen p[ro]genitu[m] literis imp[re]ssi abenis.
Printed in Zainer's type 2:118G.
Collation: [1-7¹⁰ 8⁶]: 76 leaves, leaf [3]/10 cancel.
Paper format: Chancery folio
Often found with Goff A1089, A1225, A1333 (incl. A1337), E106, G221, H179, H192 and P1001, in any combination. Some copies of the set (e.g. Windsor RL) have a separate small leaf with a collective title of the ten tracts (see BMC, reprint). The collection has H192 with rubricator's date of '72' in a private collection in USA (Roland Folter); previously dated before 5 June 1473 from the rubrication date ('1473 vigil pentec') of the Sammelband in Munich.
On the attribution to Thomas à Kempis see A. Ampe, L'Imitation de Jésus-Christ et son auteur (Roma, 1973) and R.R. Post, The Modern Devotion (Leiden, 1968) pp.520-536 (CIBN).
Leaf [3]/10 is a cancel, with extra paper attached at fore edge to match dimensions of other leaves.
PML copy leaf dimensions: 30.9 x 21 cm.
PML copy listed under Division B in Checklist.

Contemporary blind-stamped pigskin over wooden boards (31.5 x 22 cm.), sewn on 4 supports by the Jodocus I workshop in Augsburg (EBDB w002408). Manuscript title label on top board, partially torn away. Plain paper pastedowns and fly leaves; manuscript waste as quire guards and hinge reinforcement. Hole from former chain attachment (rear board). 2 later silver tri-lobed clasps with a face on the central portion.
Variant Title: 

Imitatio Christi


Hand decoration: Rubricated, red lombards, paragraph marks, and capital strokes (same in entire Sammelband). Annotations: Manicules (leaves [2]/4v-5r. Pen and wash drawing of a coat-of-arms inhabited by 3 men: youth, knight, and old man with proverbs regarding death (see Walther, Carmina 7734, 15199, and 19509) (front fly leaf recto: wm bull's head/crown/flower--Piccard II, XV 234, 1471-1478). Contemporary inscriptions quoting Augustine, De civitate Dei, Bk. 13, ch. v and Robert Holcot, Commentarius in librum sapientiae on death (front fly leaf recto) and Bernard of Siena and Johannes Balbus, Catholicon (front fly leaf verso).

Schussenreid (Baden-Württemberg), Premonstratensians, inscriptions: "FF Sorethumor[ensis]" and "Shussenried," 17th/18th century (leaf [1]/1r of Imitatio Christi); unidentified shelfmarks: 3.2.7. in ink and M.69(?) in graphite (both on front pastedown); Thomas [???], inscription, abraded (leaf [1]/1r of Imitatione Christi); J. Pearson & Co., "Two Hundred Extraordinarily Important Books...," lot 181; Pierpont Morgan, purchased from J. Pearson & Co., Nov. 1907 (acc. Jan. 1908).