Vincentius Bellovacensis: Speculum naturale.

[Strassburg: Printer of the 1481 'Legenda aurea', not after 13 Dec. 1481].
Fol.  Part I: [1-410 5-238 24-2510 26-358 3610 378 3810].  [320] leaves (1/1 and 2/10 blank).  Part II: [1-228 236 24-348 35-366].  [282] leaves  (1/1 and 36/6 blank).
ISTC iv00293000; Goff V293; BMC II x, III 860; Polain(B) 3948; Walsh 151.

Proctor assigned this book to the press of Anton Koberger in Nuremberg; a note in the Introduction to BMC II states that it “has now been transferred to Basel” and that “it was probably printed by Johann Amerbach”;  however, in the Addenda at the end of BMC III the book is ascribed to the Printer of the ‘Legenda aurea’ in Strassburg, as it is by CIBN V-192 and Sack (Freiburg) 3682 (the latter adds “für Anton Koberger in Nürnberg?”)

Shelf-mark: Sp Coll Hunterian Bv.1.6 (see main library entry for this item)
Variants: Part I: 1/2r, col. 1, line 12: ‘... Michi ...’ not, as Polain ‘... Mihi ...’;  2/9v (f. 19v), col. 2, line 35: ‘De innocatōne mundi ...’ not, as Polain ‘De innouatōne mundi ...’;  3/1r (f. 21r), col. 1, lines 1-2: ‘... Ex libro || qui dicitur imago mūdi ...’ not, as Polain ‘... Ex libris || qui dicitur imago mundi ...’;  3/1r, col. 1, lines 5-8: ‘... Di=||citur em [macron above ‘m’] p[ri]mo mo||do mund[us] archeti||pus ...’ not, as Polain ‘... Di=||citur em [macron above ‘m’] archeti||pus ...’.  Part II: 2/1r (f. 9r), col. 1 line 2: ‘... Guillerinus de conchis ...’ not, as Polain ‘... Guillermus de conchis ...’;  2/1r, col. 1, lines 4-5: ‘... effe||ctu ...’ not, as Polain without the line break;  2/1r, col. 1, line 7: ‘fuit tenuior aqua’ not, as Polain ‘fuit teniora’.
Provenance: Ramsey, (Huntingdonshire, England), Benedictines, BVM and S. Benedictus:  painted coat of arms on 3/1r (f. 21r) of part I, argent a chevron sable charged with three rams’ heads couped or; inscription on front flyleaf in an 18th-century hand “Speculum naturale Vincentij Beluacensis. Liber hicce rarissimus utilissimusq[ue] Speculum Mundi dictus, cum pluribus aliis, servatus est ab exitio, e Monasterio de Ramsey, dissolutis Domibus Religiosis sub tunc temporis Rege Henrico ejus Nominis Octavo: Opus autem fuit Vincentij Beluacensis, Burgundi, illustris Theologi, de quo plura legas licet, in Folio ducentesimo quartodecimo Libri Cronicorum Mundi, qui Liber et ipse ibidem una cum hoc Speculo Mundi fuit conservatus.”;  unknown to N.R. Ker, 'Medieval libraries of Great Britain: a list of surviving books', 2nd ed. (London: 1964) and 'Supplement' (London: 1987).
D. P. (17th century):  large initials “D(?) P(?)” on 1/6v, 1/8v, 1/9v, and 2/10r (ff. 6v, 8v, 9v, 20r) of part I.
William Purdue (17th century):  inscriptions on 2/10r (f. 20r): “WJLLJAM PVRDVE” and “Will[ia]m Purdue”.
Richard Wharton (fl. 1630):  scored through inscription on 36/5v (f. 281v) of part II “I am the booke of Richard Wharton and All thes letters I wrote with my hand. Let no man seeke it yf he bee wise except he willingly knew the prize which yf he doeth and cary it home the prize of me ys 3li 8s 6d In the yeare of o[u]r Lor[d] Charles 1630 [...]”
James Sommeres/Summers (17th century):  inscription on 11/7r (f. 87r) of part II “James Sommeres His Book 1428 [an inventory number?]” and a cropped inscription on 1/10v of part I “James [...] His Book 1428” accompanied by a small pen-and-ink sketch of a bishop’s head with mitre.
William Hunter (1718-1783), physician and anatomist:  source unknown.
University of Glasgow:  Hunterian bequest 1807;  Hunterian Museum bookplate on front pastedown, with former shelfmark “Ad.1.4”.
Binding: England, 18th-century calf;  covers decorated in blind with a border formed from a floral roll and from repeated application of a narrow roll with crescents to produce a scallop design;  gold-tooled spine;  sprinkled red-edged leaves.  Size:  455 x 335 mm.
Leaf size: 440 x 320 mm.
Annotations: Occasional marginal annotations in 16th and 17th-century hands.
Decoration: On 3/1r (f. 21r), col. 1, of part I, a twelve-line initial ‘M’, which is supplied in blue and embellished with white tracery, is set on a square gold ground, and, within the body of the letter, is foliate decoration in blue, mauve, red and white;  the upper, lower and inner margins of the same page are decorated with foliate and floral borders, with the coat of arms of Ramsey Abbey (see Provenance) incorporated in the lower border, and with vertical bars in gold and mauve encasing the first column of text.  On 1/2r, col. 1, of part I, a twelve-line initial ‘Q’ is supplied in gold on a rectangular ground divided into blue and mauve quarters, each embellished with white tracery, with foliate and floral decoration in the upper and lower margins and with a vertical bar in gold and mauve in the inner margin;  similarly decorated principal initials in both parts;  on 4/5r (f. 35r), col. 1 of part I, a twelve-line initial ‘M’ is supplied in blue on a square ground of red floral and foliate pen-work with added green and yellow washes;  similarly decorated principal initials throughout.  Smaller initials and paragraph marks supplied throughout in alternate red and blue, capital strokes in red.
Imperfections: Part I:  wanting the first blank leaf and bifolium 32/4.5 (ff. 256-257).   Part II:  wanting the final blank leaf.

Decorated page with monastic coat of arms in Vincentius Bellovacensis: Speculum naturale