21 November 2012
THOMAS AQUINAS (c.1225-74). De ente et essentia. Commentary by Thomas de Vio Caietanus (1469-1534). Pavia: Franciscus Girardengus, 1498.
Chancery 4° (203 x 145mm). Collation: a-i8 k4 (a1r title, a1v Vio Caietan's letter to Benedictus Tyriaca, a2r prologue, text, k3v colophon, printer's device, k4r table, k4v blank). 76 leaves. 49 lines plus headline, double column. Type: 2:130G, 8:68(70)G, 17:90G. Woodcut ornamental initial. Rubricated to d2r. (Small rust-stains on title with tiny repairs, fore-margins of last two leaves repaired.) Modern blue blindtooled calf lettered in gilt. Provenance: contemporary marginal annotations (trimmed) -- J.R. Ritman (Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, Amsterdam bookplate; sale Sotheby's, 6 December 2000, lot 44).
De ente et essentia (On Being and Essence) is a fundamental text of Thomist philosophy; its important distinction between Essence and Existence is seen by some commentators as the only road into understanding his metaphysics. NO COPY IN AMERICA; NOT IN THE BRITISH LIBRARY, and only one other copy of any 15th-century edition has been offered at auction in over 35 years. HR 1505; IGI 9540; BSB-Ink T-223.
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