ANTONINUS FLORENTINUS (1389-1459, Saint). Summa theologiae, sive moralis. Nuremberg: Anton Koberger, (I) 17 October 1478; (II) 10 October 1477; (III) 26 January 1478; (IV) 29 April 1479.
4 volumes, imperial 2o (469 x 319 mm). Collation: (Vol. I) [110 2-148 156 16-198 206 2110 22-318 326] blank, 1/2r prologue and table, 1/4r text part I, 32/5v colophon, 32/6 blank). (Vol. II) [18 2-310 4-58 6-710 86 98 1010 11-138 14-1510 168 17-228.10 23-248 2510 268 27-2910 30-318 3210 33-368 376] blank, 1/2r prologue and text part II, 37/3v colophon, 37/4r table, 37/6v blank). (Vol. III) [1-310 4-68 7-2010.8 21-228 23-4810.8 49-5010 518 526] blank, 1/2r prologue, 1/5r text part III, 51/8r colophon, 51/8v blank, table, 52/5v-6 blank). (Vol. IV) [1-98 106 11-148 15-166 17-338 3410 35-398 40-416 428 4310] blank, 1/2r prologue, 1/3r text part IV, 43/8v table, 43/9v colophon, blank). 254, 322, 464, 338 leaves. 59 lines and headline, double column. Types 3:110aG (text) and 4:160G (headlines and chapter headings). Initial spaces of 17, 16 and 14; 11, 9 and 8; 6, 5 and 4 lines. Nuremberg illumination consisting of 4 large Lombard initials in dark blue modelled in white and black on burnished gold grounds, 3 Lombard initials in burnished gold on dark blue grounds with white tracery, all within square panelled frames in green, red, gray, yellow and white with arabesque and floral marginal extensions, the burnished gold decorated with double lines of punched dots and repeats of a small flower tool; divided red and blue Lombards with green and mauve pen-flourishing as initials to sections, simple Lombards in red or blue as initials to chapters, paragraph signs supplied alternately in red and blue, capitals touched in red. Original manuscript quiring in lead visible in center of lower margins in first half of each quire. (A number of small wormholes to the beginning and end of each volume; tear in blank margin of 3:10/7 touching two letters on verso; 48 and 2.7 bound in reverse order.)
Binding: contemporary blind-tooled sheep over wooden boards, from a Nuremberg shop closely associated with Anton Koberger (Kyriss shop 113), remains of two clasps to each volume, one clasp detached but present (lacking center- and cornerpiece bosses, scattered small wormholes especially to vol. III, some scuffing and losses to leather), most examples of the repeating pomegranate tool overstamped with a small leafy gilt tool, part-title gilt-stamped on front cover of each volume, contemporary vellum labels giving titles and shelfmarks on front cover of each volume, early woven linen bookmark in vol. 2.
Provenance: printed waste from Koberger's shop as pastedowns to vols. II-IV -- shelfmarks F.36, F.37, F.38, F.39 on contemporary labels on front covers -- Lambach (Austria), Benedictine monastery: 19th-century ink stamp in vol. III -- [H.P. Kraus, collation marks dated October 1985] -- Martin Schøyen: Inc. 12, acquisition note on back pastedown of vol. IV dated 13 March 1987, bookplates; sale, Sotheby's New York, 12 December 1991, lot 2 (to Quaritch, collation mark dated January 1992).
FIRST COMPLETE EDITION of Antoninus Florentinus' treatment of Christian ethics and morals, intended for the use of preachers and confessors. Written between 1440 and 1459, the Summa moralis was the most extensive work on moral theology produced up to its time. Part I is concerned with the soul and its faculties, the passions, sin and the law; Part II analyzes the different kinds of sin, restitution, vows and infidelity; Part III expounds the laws governing different social, religious and ecclesiastical estates, and also treats of excommunication and censure, God and Christ, the saints and purgatory; Part IV studies the moral and cardinal virtues, grace and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. The text draws extensively on the works of earlier theologians, especially Thomas Aquinas, but also includes specific discussions and concrete examples, which provide significant evidence for the society, customs and economic life of the fifteenth century.
Although parts II and III of the Summa had been printed individually by other printers before Koberger's edition began appearing in 1477, his was the first planned edition of the entire text. Part III of Nicolas Jenson's chancery folio edition is dated 1477, but his parts I, II, and IV postdate Koberger's and were not typographically uniform with part III.
The printed waste found in three volumes of this copy consists of leaves in imperial folio format printed on one side only and pasted in printed side down. They use the same Koberger types found in this edition of the Summa moralis, but Paul Needham has suggested that they are from Koberger's 20 December 1478 edition of Ludolph of Saxony's Vita Christi (Goff L-339; cf. Sotheby's New York, 12 December 1991, lot 2).
HC 1242*; BMC II, 416 (IC. 7178), 415 (IC. 7162, 7166), 417 (IC. 7189); BSB-Ink. A-594; CIBN A-452; GW 2186; Goff A-871. (4)