Paris: Bibliotheque nationale de France, 1981-1985 and 1992. First Edition. 5 vols., 4to. Original wrappers (spines of Fasc. "H-L" and "M-O" a little faded with unimportant wear along joints). "Additions et Corrections" 16 ff. (ca. 250 entries), stapled as issued. WITH: 2 ff. half-title and title-page for Tome II, loose as issued. NOT ex-library! Very good. Item #3146
The extraordinary, almost heroic catalogue of incunabula in the BnF (CIBN), exhaustively describes ca. 8,000 titles/editions, many of which are unique. As Bernard ("Barney") Rosenthal notes in his critical review of the methodology of CIBN, notes "the sheer mass of incunabula described, the astonishing listing of multiple copies with their provenances and minor variants, the generous doses of well documented information concerning textual contents, the citation of a wide range of scholarly literature beyond the purely bibliographical works and journals, the promptness with which new data are incorporated in the descriptions, the almost fanatical (but unevenly applied) devotion to the listing of works under their true aluthors even when this means going counter to established traditions." (PBSA, 80:3 , pp. 381-386, of which an offprint is included in our copy bearing a "heartfelt" presentation inscription on the front wrapper).
The editors of Tome II intentionally skipped entries "A-G" which had already been undertaken by Pellechet and Polain ("Catalogue general des incunables des bibliotheques publique de France," 3 vols., 1897-1909). The editors then began recataloguing entries "A-G" and in 1992 released in a single volume all the entries beginning with the letter "A" and all the blockbooks ("xylographes"), present in our copy. Of Tome I, two more fascicles have been issued: Fasc. 2 ("B") in 1996, and Fasc. 3 ("C-D") in 2006, both available from the BnF directly.
¶ From the famed Bibliotheca Bibliographica Breslaueriana (sale at Christies NY, 2005, lot 1255).