REIS DE LEIRIA, Gaspar dos

REIS DE LEIRIA, Gaspar dos. Relacam do solenne recebimeto das Santas Reliquias, que forão levadas da See de Coimbra, ao Real Mosteyro de Santa Cruz. He carta coriosa, que se Escreveo da Universidade a hum amigo.

Coimbra, Em Casa de Antonio de Mariz, 1596.






FIRST EDITION. 8vo. *7 A-C8 D9 E-Z8 Aa2. [7], 182, [3] ff.. Italic and Roman letter. Fine title-page vignette with a dragon pierced by a cross with thorn crown and a burning heart, plus motto in cartouche “NEC ARTE NEC INGENIO, SED VI ET AMORE”, all within border, and letters G and R (probably the author’s initials); floriated and historiated initials, tailpieces (final tailpiece with coat of arms and mottos “SPES MEA DEUS / COGITA MORI”). Name of author by an early hand on t-p. Occasional early ink underlining. Lovely full-page woodcut at end of part one with cross and thorn crown within elaborate border showing the tree of life with entwined branches enclosing figures of kings and prophets from the Old Testament leading to the top scene of the Holy Virgin with Child. Central tear at leaf G7, without affecting text; paper flaw in L1 and L3 affecting side notes very slightly; also tiny wormhole in title. Bound in late C19th vellum over cardboards with gilt title at spine on olive green label. Overall an excellent copy.


Extremely rare first and only edition of this relation written by the canon Gaspar dos Reis. This book describes the solemn procession for the transportation of the holy relics preserved in the See of Coimbra to the Monastery of Santa Cruz. The book includes also a collection of poems by academics within the university of the city, celebrating the relics of the holy Martyrs. A table of contents terminates this interesting work, which shows some illustrations of emblems. We could only find two copies in Portugal (Lisbon, in the royal library, and Coimbra) and two others in the USA (New York Hispanic Society and Pennsylvania University), based on USTC and WorldCat.


For a description of the copy in the collection of the King of Portugal, see entry no. 245 in Early Portuguese Books 1489-1600, Cambridge-London, 1935, p. 372. Not in BMC.