- Paris: (Protat Frères), 1937.
- original stiff paper wrappers with glassine wrapper; fourth volume is a cloth-backed board portfolio containing the plates.
- (iv), cliv, 304; (iv), 462; (iv), 161, (2); xiii pages + 140 leaves of plates in black and white
Price: $2,000.00 other currencies
Order Nr. 109425
First edition. A multi-volume work surveying pontifical manuscripts held in the public libraries of France (Besterman 3572). An introduction (over 150 pages long) helps establish for the reader the significance of pontifical manuscripts. After defining the term "pontifical" as a liturgical book containing all the rituals and ceremonies, culled from a variety of predecessor sources and collated together into one convenient book, that might be performed by a bishop, with the exception of the Mass and the Divine Office, the introduction proceeds into specific investigation of the arrangement of such books, the different types of ceremonies contained therein (e.g., ordinations for those distributing communion during the Mass, for readers, exorcists, acolytes, subdeacons, deacons, and priests; episcopal consecration; and dedication of churches), ways to identify and date such a book, and typical decoration. The descriptive catalogue of the 233 pontifical manuscripts from the ninth through the eighteenth centuries (beginning in Volume One and continuing through the end of Volume Two) offers in-depth informative entries arranged according to place of location. A separate section in Volume Two deals with those books that are not properly called "pontificals" (sacramentaries, breviaries, missals, etc.), but that contain similar kinds of information. Volume Three contains a table of contents, in the form of a list of manuscripts, arranged alphabetically according to present location; a list of churches and abbeys thought to be the places of generation for the manuscripts; and a general index. The portfolio, numbered volume four, illustrates many of the volumes discussed in the preceding volumes in its 140 black and white plates. Overall, a compendious and complete work for its chosen subject matter and date of creation. Printed on laid paper. Bottom of spine of volume one is partially chipped away. Bookplate. Unopened copy.