Innocentia vindicata, in qua gravissimis argumentis ex S. Thoma petitis ostenditur. Pars prior: Theologica, pars posterior: Symbolica. St. Gall, Jakob Müller (for the monastery), 1695

SFONDRATI Celestinus (1695)


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Fine folding frontispiece of the abbey church and 46 full-page engraved emblems within ornate baroque borders by Gabriel Ehinger. [4]ff. 119pp; [47]ff (lacks last blank). 

II: (MULLER, M). Idea Sacrae Congregationis Helveto-benedictinae, anno illius jubilaeo saeculari expressa, et orbi exposita. St. Gall, J. Müller, 1702. 

Magnificent large folding frontispiece of the Benedictine Abbots by Jacob Müller after Gabriel Hecht, portrait of Pope Clement VIII by Müller, portrait of Pope Clement XI by Müller after Hecht and 18 plates of the nine Benedictine monasteries in the Swiss Congregation (with a view of the monasteries and their arms) each followed by an emblematic plate incorporating a portrait of the abbot. [2]ff, 72pp, [4]ff.

III: MAURUS (Abbot of Einsiedeln). Moralischer Uhrzeiger der nur I. zeiget. Oder einfältige Predig von dem gebenedeyten Eins der Helvetisch-Benedictinischen Congregation, auf ihr angestelltes Jubel-Jahrs-Fest ... fürgestellt. St. Gall, J. Müller, (1702). 11pp.

Folio (320 x 210mm). Contemporary speckled calf, spine tooled in compartments (once gilt now oxidised), labels, (slight tear at head of spine, headcaps and edges rubbed).

First edition of this celebrated Swiss emblem book, dedicated to Cosimo III Medici, and bound with two works published as part of the centenary of the founding of the Swiss Congregation of the Benedictine Order, all printed at the monastery of St. Gall.

The first part explores the theology of Thomas Aquinas to prove the argument for the Immaculate Conception of Mary, followed by the 'Symbola' which emphasises the doctrine in nature through the elaborate emblems of Gabriel Ehinger (1652-1736), the Augsburg painter and engraver.

The author Caelestino Sfondrati (1644-1696), from Milan, had taught canon law at the Benedictine University of Salzburg from 1679 to 1682. In 1687 he was created Prince-abbot of the ancient Benedictine monastery of St. Gall, and was elected Cardinal by Pope Innocent XII in December 1695. On reaching Rome to receive the cardinalate his health began to fail and he died some nine months later in September 1696 and was buried in his titular church St. Caecilia in Trastevere

II: First edition of this celebration of the centenary of the founding of the Swiss Congregation of Benedictine monasteries. The plates show views of the monasteries, their arms, portraits of the abbots and emblems. The Congregation comprised of the abbeys of Einsiedeln (May 1602), Fischingen (May 1602), Muri (May 1602), St. Gall (May 1602), Pfäfers (Nov 1602), Rheinau (1603), Engelberg (1604), Disentis (1617), and Mariastein Abbey (1647). It was founded, at the urging of the Papal legate to Switzerland, in 1602, with a significant reform agenda. Of the nine Benedictine monasteries in Switzerland, which had survived the Reformation, seven had joined by 1604. Disentis Abbey joined in 1617 and the Beinwil Abbey, which had been dissolved in 1554, was refounded as Mariastein Abbey and joined in 1647. 

Landwehr German 543 & 190. Praz 496/7 & 560. VD17 12:122628F.

Provenance: 18th century armorial stamp of the library of the Fürsten zu Waldburg-Wolfegg, Schloss Wolfegg, Upper Swabia on title. 20th century stamp and bookplate of the Benedictine monastery Emmaus Abbey in Prague. 

Stock Code: 249873

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