This slim volume, printed in an edition of just twelve copies, is one of the most elusive rarities in bibliographical literature. Compiled by French scholar-bookseller Guillaume-François De Bure, the Musæum typographicum lists 510 rare books printed between 1457 and 1737, including the Mainz Psalter and the 1462 Bible. It may have been a highly exclusive bookseller’s catalogue or a forerunner to the author’s influential bibliography of rare books, the Bibliographie instructive (1763-1768). It appeared at a time when the definition of bibliographic ‘rarity’ was being hotly debated among academics, booksellers, and librarians.
The manuscript copy of this work, shown above, was used by De Bure as an exemplar for the printed version.