Das Ras-Bücherzeichen befindet sich in Princeton

In http://archiv.twoday.net/stories/64975739 fragte ich nach dem Verbleib des Bücherzeichens von Hans Ras of Koester, der eine später in Wernigerode befindliche niederdeutsche Bibel-Inkunabel an seine Nichten im Emmericher Agnetenkloster schenkte. Ich bin Paul Needham für seine gründliche Aufklärung des Falls außerordentlich dankbar. Needham schreibt:

“The edition in question is definitely GW 4308, and not 4307. In late 1936 and early 1937 John H. Scheide (d. 1942, father of the present owner, William H. Scheide, born in 1914) bought two copies of GW 4308, which was the last lacuna in his ambition to collect all printed Bibles in German preceding the Luther “September Testament” (of which he also owned a copy); and in the United States, only the Scheide Library has copies of all these editions.

Copy 1 = the two-volume set offered by Sotheby’s in their A. W. M. Mensing sale, London, 15 December 1936, lot 65. This copy belonged earlier to Jan Six van Hillegom, whose books were auctioned in Amsterdam by Frederik Muller, 17 Oct. 1928.

This copy was imperfect, and especially lacked the preliminary quire of 4 leaves (the first blank) with preface and summaries of the books of the Bible. However, John Scheide learned that in NYC, the dealer Lathrop C. Harper had an incomplete copy of vol. I only, which he also bought – that is,

Copy 2 = the Stolberg-Wernigerode copy, containing the preliminary quire and Genesis-Job only, and lacking at least one leaf within that range. As I understand it, the best books of the Wernigerode library were acquired by Martin Breslauer (Berlin) as he announced in the spring of 1930, and a large number of them were presented in his Kat. 49 (1931), which unfortunately I have not seen. Thus, there is a possibility that this vol. I of GW 4308 is described in that catalogue.

John Scheide took leaves out of the Stolberg-Wernigerode copy, and had them bound into the Six-Mensing copy, to complete or improve it. Therefore, the evidence of the Johannes Ras ownership is now divided in the Scheide Library! [And, conversely, John Scheide took some leaves out of the Six-Mensing copy, and they are now laid, loose, into the Stolberg-Wernigerode copy …]

“Copy 2” (Scheide 6.4.1): the vellum pastedown of this binding bears the name and painted arms of Johannes Ras, as reported in that old issue of Ex libris which you cited. By the way, the binding is not original – it is perhaps early 18th century, sheep with blind lozenge-pattern fillets over thick wooden boards (possibly, the boards are 15th century, but I am not sure of that). In any case, it is fortunate that this pastedown was preserved.

The other Ras ownership in the volume is the presentation inscription written on fo. 252v, the end of Job. This suggests that the Ras copy never had the quires containing Psalms.

“Copy 1” (Scheide 8.7.3-4): now contains fos. 2-11 from (Stolberg) “Copy 2”, with 3 documents of Ras ownership:

fo. 2r: in the initial are painted the arms of Ras, marshaled with those of “Someone” (his wife’s family?)

fo. 4v: the Ras presentation inscription, substantially identical to that of 252v of “Copy 2”. Please note: the first three lines of the inscription are written directly on 4v; the following three lines are written, smaller, on a separate strip of paper, which is pasted to the bottom margin of 4v.

fo. 5r: note the woodcut compartment at the foot of the page, showing the Madonna and visitation of the Magi. In the shield on the right are the arms of Cologne. The shield on the left is blank, to allow an owner’s arms to be painted in. In this copy, the arms are those of “Someone”, as on 2r.”


Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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