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    Sale 7548

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    12 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 21

    ST THOMAS AQUINAS O.P. (1225-1274), Summa theologica, prima secundae, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

    Price Realised  


    ST THOMAS AQUINAS O.P. (1225-1274), Summa theologica, prima secundae, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
    [?Bologna, c.1300]355 x 240mm. iii paper + 160 + iii paper leaves: 1-1312, 144, catchwords in lower margins of final versos, 59 lines written in two columns in black ink in a gothic bookhand between four verticals, outer verticals double ruled, and 60 horizontals ruled in brown, additional double ruled horizontals in upper margin, justification: 240 x 72-13-71mm, paragraph marks alternately in red and blue, two-line initials alternately in red and blue flourished in the contrasting colour, illuminated border extensions of acanthus and burnished gold disks remaining to upper and inner margins on f.1 (opening ?historiated initial and lower border on f.1 excised, the excision of the initial removing sections with text of ff.2-3, the excision of the border cutting through the lower margins of ff.2-6, three holes in text and erosion of margins f.160, some worming to ff.1-7 and 151-160). 18th-century Italian half sheep and patterned paper over pasteboards, the spine lettered in gilt 'VII. D. THOM I. II. P. MS.' (scuffed).


    1. The illumination is in Bolognese style and the volume may have been written in Bologna.

    2. Perhaps from the Dominican convent of San Domenico, Gaeta (see lot 16): bound uniformly with the manuscript from Gaeta (lot 22) and eleven others and similarly inscribed 'D.4.' (f.2) and 'Foglie * 159 Miniature * 1 Segnato N. AP' (front pastedown); similar brief 19th-century description in French loosely inserted.

    3. HSA B2718; Faulhaber, pp.108-9.


    St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Summa theologica, prima secundae, opening [Qu]ia sicut damacenus dicit... and ending ...de moralibus in comuni dicta sufficiant. Explicit iste liber. ff.1-160v, with small sections of text missing from ff.1-3 and 160.

    For St Thomas Aquinas and the Prima secundae of his magnum opus, the Summa theologica, see lot 19. The Summa was rapidly adopted as the fundamental text for Dominican students -- a Dominican studium generale was established in Bologna in 1248, where this manuscript could have been made for local use or commissioned for a patron elsewhere. As a scholarly text, the Summa was often decorated only with flourished initials, as is lot 19 and the only other copies of the Prima secundae to have appeared at auction since 1975 (in these rooms, 29 November 2000, lot 11, and Sotheby's, 1 December 1998, lot 85). With its illumination, the present lot is a particularly rich copy of this crucial text.

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