Odds and quads

These images represent highlights from a collection of almost 200 rare books, incunabula and manuscripts donated by the businessman Henry Davis (1897-1977) to the University of Ulster.

June 20, 2013

The book in black and white (left), printed in Paris by Geofroy Tory in 1529, had a crucial impact on the development of typography, since it determined the victory of Roman over Gothic type.

Alongside designs for letters in Greek, Hebrew and oriental alphabets, Tory makes the case for Roman script with reference to the proportions of the face and body of what he saw as the perfect man.

The Latin Bible (centre) is richly illuminated in gold and colour, and incorporates striking initial letters by an Italian artist.

Printed in Mainz in 1462, it was only the fourth Bible to be published and links directly to Johannes Gutenberg’s original press, since its creators, Johann Fust and Peter Schoeffer, had respectively provided financial backing for Gutenberg and worked in his printing house.

The third image (right) shows Peter of Abano’s commentary on Aristotle, which features an elaborate border picked out in gold leaf. The book was printed in Venice by Johannes Herbot in 1482 with illuminations for Cardinal Philibert Hugonet, whose coat of arms appears on the first page of the text. It was rebound in 1900 by Douglas Cockerell, a leading figure in the development of hand bookbinding.

Send suggestions for this series on the treasures, oddities and curiosities owned by universities across the world to matthew.reisz@tsleducation.com

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