Basel, Johann Amerbach, 1489.






Folio. a-d8 e6 f8 g6 h8 i6 k8 l-m6. Gothic letter in two sizes on thick paper, 54 lines and headlines, capital spaces with printed guide-letter and large ms. rubricated initials. Opening page with 4-line initial in blue on punched gold ground, floral decoration in lower margin, red underlining to very first lines of text, and ink underlining throughout. First quire extensively annotated by an elegant early hand; ms. list of feast days on rear endpaper — Au am Inn, monastery S. Felicita (early title inscription). A few letters supplied in ink ms. on a4, some scattered worming mostly marginal but touching text in a, k-m, light dampstain towards the end. In contemporary German blind-tooled calf over wooden boards, sides panelled with foliate rolls and various foliate stamps. Somewhat worn, sign of restoration, re-backed, without clasps, small wormholes, but generally fine. A copy in good condition.


This is the second incunabular edition of Saint Augustine’s On the Trinity. It includes fifteenth books discussing God and his three-folded nature, according to the Christian faith. This Latin Father of the Church, who lived in the fifth century in Northern Africa, had a great influence on the Christian thought of the later centuries. Amberbach printed this and two other works by St. Augustine in quick succession; on the basis of their success he embarked on his ambitious project of printing the entire Augustinian corpus, completed in 1506. This book comes from the Augustinian (now Franciscan) monastery of Au am Inn in Bavaria, Germany. In 1686, about a thousand manuscripts and books were destroyed by a fire in the Library. The surviving volumes were kept in the monastery before being dispersed at the end of the eighteenth century. 


HC 2037; BMC III 751; GW 2926; BSB-Ink A-877; Bod-inc A-561; Goff A1343; ISTC ia01344000.