[Venice, G. Leoncini with] Andrea Kunadis’ Greek types 1584.
8vo. [ii], p. PRINTED IN RED AND BLACK, woodcut and typographic headpieces and ornaments, FULL-PAGE WOODCUT OF THE CRUCIFIXION, title in red and black with three woodcut border strips and Kunadis’ device.
CONTEMPORARY ALLA GRECA BINDING OF BLIND-DECORATED CALF OVER WOODEN BOARDS, outer rule frames, central rectangle of a foliage roll, Christogram in the center (slight loss to both panels), the same roll repeated on the flat spine, a pair of metal catchpins and catches, book block edges flush cut.
Apparently the ?second printing of the Eastern Orthodox hymnal: “one of the two most important poetic forms in medieval Byzantine religious poetry…chanters would use them [hirmologia] to learn the basic melodies” in the liturgy (New Grove2). Created in the 9th century to be sung by the whole congregation, the Hirmologion provides the first stanza (hirmos) of each of the roughly one thousand odes that make up the kanones. The congregants sing the remaining verses and their melodies from memory.
In the early 1520s Kunadis issued a series of Greek service books. With those same types and blocks, Giacomo Leoncini produced liturgical books in 1584-85 for export to Constantinople. Some few copies, such as that offered here, were bound up for sale to the indigenous Greek community scattered across the Veneto. I have identified three other examples (two in Venice; the one at Harvard is in an identical binding; my thanks to the Houghton staff for their kind assistance). Not in EDIT16. In good condition (minor worming to the final three lower corners, neatly repaired, loss of five sorts).
¶New Grove2 11: 332-5; La Stampa greca a Venezia nei secoli XV e XVI. Catalogo di mostra…31.V-30.IX.1968 ed. Finazzi (1968) 53,97 & Tav. XXIII; Legrand, Bibliographie hellénique 169.