THOMAS AQUINAS (Saint, ca. 1225-1274). Summa theologiae. Pars secunda: secunda pars. Edited by Ludovicus de Cremona. Mantua: Paulus de Butzbach, [not after 1474].
Chancery 2o (276 x 204 mm). Collation: [1-210 3-810.8 9-168.10 1710 188 1912 2010 218; 22-298.10 308 31-388.10 396 408 41-4210 438 (1/1 blank, 1/2r text, 43/7v colophon, 43/8 blank); 448 (44/1r table, 44/8r colophon of table)]. 386 leaves (of 396, without the two blanks and the final quire). 53 lines, double column. Type: 1:75G. 3- to 11-line initial spaces. Contemporary manuscript headlines (chapter numbers) partly preserved. (Single wormhole in quires 7-8, marginal wormhole in last 4 leaves, occasional light marginal dampstaining, 2 short marginal tears.) White alum-tawed pigskin over thick pasteboard, title gilt on spine, edges gilt and gauffred, turn-ins gilt ruled, four original flyleaves preserved, bound in 1905 by Katharine Adams for St. John Hornby, with her dated gilt stamp on lower pastedown (slight scuffing to board edges).
Provenance: Johannes Groot, canon of St. Denis, Liège (contemporary inscription on first vellum flyleaf, neatly crossed out by the next owner) -- magister Bartholomaeus de Meerlair (given to) -- Bois-le-Duc, Carthusians (inscription on front flyleaf) -- contemporary inscription on same flyleaf with list of books of the Bible, a few marginalia in the same hand -- Charles Harry St. John Hornby (1867-1946) (bookplate and Shelley House booklabel).
One of the earliest and rarest editions from the second Mantuan press. In 1471-72 the Hessian Paulus de Butzbach and Georgius de Augusta (until recently misidentified with de Butzbach's brother Georg) managed the press of Mantua's proto-typographer Petrus Adam de Michaelibus. When the latter ran into financial difficulties, the two set up on their own, printing the second or third edition of Dante's Commedia on behalf of Colombino Veronese, and an unsigned edition of Scarpa, Orthographia. From then on, and until 1481, Paul continued alone, producing 18 editions, mainly of theological works. A terminus ante quem for this edition is provided by a buyer's inscription in the Gotha copy. The table by the Carmelite friar Ludovicus de Cremona, printed on a separate quire that is lacking from many copies, may have been printed after some copies of the edition had already been sold.
HC 1458; BMC VII, 930 (IB. 30633); CIBN T-180; Harvard/Walsh 3335A; IGI 9590; Pr 6888A; Goff T-213.