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Udine, Leonard d'

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The copy bound and illuminated for pope Pius VI.
A precious complete incunabula of Léonard d’Udine’s Sermons,
printed in Nuremberg on 22 January 1478,
bound for pope Pius VI, with his arms,
and enriched with an elegant illumination in his intention.


Leonard d’Udine. Leonardus [Matthaei] de Utino. Sermones aurei de sanctis.
22 january 1478. 

Folio [413 x 288 mm] of 211 leaves numbered 2 – 211, 2 columns, 50 lines per page plus the name of the saints.
Erroneous placement of 4 leaves but complete.

Full marbled painted and decorated vellum, gilt roulette around the covers, flat armorial spine. 18th century armorial papal binding.

First edition of Leonard d’Udine’s “Sermones aurei de Sanctis”, printed in Nuremberg by Anton Koberger on the 22nd January 1478.

The first edition by Goff was published in Cologne by Ulrich Zell in 1473. Leonard d’Udine, one of the most famous predicators of his time, was born in Udine at the beginning of the 15th century.

Goff L-159 ; HC 16134 ; STC il00159000 ; BMC II 415.

An act from the general chapter of the Dominican order, held in Cologne in 1428, mentions him as a professor of theology. He had the honor of preaching in Florence, in 1435, in front of pope Eugene IV and the cardinals, and went on to Venice, Milan, Rome and in the main towns of Italy. He was elected prior of the Dominican convent of Bologna; and sometime after, provincial for the whole of Lombardy. According to father Echard, he died around 1470. Leonard d’Udine’s sermons have some relation to Barlette’s and Menot’s. They met with astounding success and were printed with particular care.

The present copy was enriched for the pope Pius VI of a superb illuminated circular miniature of the good shepherd mounted on leaf 2, the displaced text being handwritten in ink on the verso. It comes from a 15th century Italian workshop, probably painted in a humanist manuscript. The illuminated border on the same leaf presents a coat of arms supported by two angels. Blank leaf 212 was not kept by the binder.

A very beautiful copy with very wide margins (height: 412 mm instead of 405 mm for the B.M.C copy), preserved in its elegant papal binding with arms on the spine of pope Pius VI (Giovanni Angelo Braschi), who was pope from 1775 to 1799.

From the Selbourni library with dry seal.

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