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See the following: Catalogue of Books Printed in the XVth Century now in the British Museum (1908-62), I, xviii; Konrad Haebler, Handbuch der Inkunabelkunde (1925), p. 40; Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke (1925-40), III, xxii; Ronald B. McKerrow, An Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Students (1928), p. 165; Fredson Bowers, Principles of Bibliographical Description (1949), pp. 193-194; W. W. Greg, A Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration (1939-59), IV, lv-lvi; etc.


These are the only such designations frequent among the incunabula.


McKerrow, p. 29 ff.


See, for example, McKerrow, p. 174.


For such extra large sheets, see Haebler, p. 39; Bowers, p. 194; and Edward Heawood, "The Position on the Sheet of Early Watermarks," The Library, 4th Ser., IX (1929), 47.


So BMC V:191; M.-Louis Polain, Catalogue des livres imprimés au quinzième siècle des bibliothèques de Belgique (1932), no. 982; Indice generale degli incunaboli delle biblioteche d'Italia (1943-65), nos. 2470-71; J. C. T. Oates, A Catalogue of the Fifteenth-Century Printed Books in the University Library Cambridge (1954), nos. 1653-54; but Marie Pellechet, Catalogue général des incunables des bibliothèques publiques de France (1897-1909), no. 3246 simply states "in-fol."


The collation itself suggests that the book was not printed with four pages to a side of the sheet, since a large majority of the quires have ten leaves, which would have required two quarto sheets and a half-sheet. This would have caused awkward and unnecessary problems that would have been avoided with signatures of eight leaves.


"The book was thus printed in three sections, the first two of ten quires each, the last of seven quires" (BMC V:191). But quire [a], with the "tabula," would surely be the last printed, and the fact that the paper is folio (while the other early quires are quarto) suggests that it was actually machined after the folio signatures [B-D]. The distribution in the second edition may well suggest that Renner was using two presses and that two quires were always being printed simultaneously. Further, that the change in paper occurred when each press was printing the seventh quire allotted to it.


See also Pope Pius II, Dialogus de somnio quodam, Rome: Johannes Schurener, 11 Sept. 1475, which has (according to BMC IV:57) the inner sheet of quire [g] as quarto, the rest being folio. However, the Huntington, Morgan and Library of Congress copies are folio throughout.


The abbreviations and spacings are the same throughout, as also broken characters.


As Bowers points out (p. 194), cutting must be "treated as if it were a folding of the sheet."


On such half-sheet imposition, see Dennis E. Rhodes, "Variants in the 1479 Oxford Edition of Aristotle's Ethics," SB, VIII (1956), 209-212; Curt F. Bühler, "The First Edition of Ficino's De christiana religione: a Problem in Bibliographical Description," SB, XVIII (1965), 248-252; etc.


The leaf in the Museum's copy of GW 6062 measures 292 x 211 mm., so that the sheet must have been greater than 422 x 292. The double sheet must then have been greater than 600 x 420 mm. These figures may be compared with the size of the "forma regalis" (700 x 500 mm.) and the "forma mediana" (500 x 300 mm.) as cited by Haebler (p. 39). The average size of the Schurener quarto sheets was 210 x 150 mm., which means that the full sheet measured more than 420 x 300 mm. and the double-sheet in excess of 600 x 420 mm. These very large sheets were used in the printing of the over-size incunables. The sheets which the R-Printer used in Strassburg for the printing of the Specula of Vincent of Beauvais must have been greater than 646 x 475 mm. (BMC I:65), and paper of that size was also used by Peter Schoeffer in Mainz (BMC I:27). Judging from the measurements of the Morgan copy of the Golden Legend (PML 780), one deduces that Caxton used a sheet greater than 520 x 388 mm. William Blades (The Life and Typography of William Caxton [1861-63], II, xvii) asserts that Caxton's largest sheet measured approximately 22 x 16 inches (about 560 x 405 mm.).


Bowers, p. 194, and Greg, p. lvi, suggest the notations: (2°-form) 4° and (4°-form) 8°.


Actually, one-half of the same watermark appears in the upper margin, somewhat nearer the fold than the center.


McKerrow, p. 167.


Again this is a very curious (and suspicious) quiring for either quarto or octavo imposition.


So also in the copy belonging to the Philip H. and A. S. W. Rosenbach Foundation. In this copy, too, only a single watermark appears in signatures [c], [m] and [n], an impossibility with octavo printing. The copy in the Yale University Library now collates [a-v4.8], but this is a quiring which has been imposed on the book by a binder. The leaves in the Yale copy correspond to the following leaves as they left Schurener's press:

  • Original quiring Yale copy
  • a4 a1-4
  • b10 b1-8 c1+2
  • c10 c3+4 d1-8
  • d10 e1-4 f1-6
  • e10 f7+8 g1-4 h1-4
  • f10 h5-8 i1-4 k1+2
  • g10 k3-8 l1-4
  • h10 m1-8 n1+2
  • i10 n3+4 o1-8
  • k8 p1-4 q1-4
  • l8 q5-8 r1-4
  • m10 s1-8 t1+2
  • n10 t3+4 v1-8


Both have the same broken a in "suffragiū" (l. 9) and the b out of line in "ber" (l. 11) of [a]1 recto, and the same misprint "et ‖ et" (a repeat) in lines 4-5 on the recto of the fourth leaf.


The catalogue provides the additional note: "Quires b, c, and g appear to be made up."


I am grateful to Mr. William H. Scheide for permitting me to examine his copy at my leisure.


If printed as a normal quarto with a single sheet inserted, then the make-up would have been either ∣, with 5.6 inserted, or ∣, with 3.8 inserted. With normal printing, the insertion of 4.7 would have been impossible.


Compare McKerrow's observation (p. 61): "I may perhaps surprise some bibliographers by saying that always until about 1800 a normal full-sized forme of type was printed by two pulls of the lever." See also my "Caxton Studies," Gutenberg Jahrbuch 1940, pp. 169-176.


Heawood (p. 45) discusses a further complication in that, on rare occasions, the chain-wires were "placed longitudinally in the mould, giving horizontal lines in a folio book, vertical in a quarto, and so on." Compare also my "Caxton Studies."