THOMAS AQUINAS (c.1225-1274). Catena Aurea super quattuor evangelistas. Venice: Hermannus Liechtenstein and Johannes Hamman, 4 September 1482.
Chancery 2° (295 x 195mm). Collation: a10 b-m8 n-o10 p-r8 A-E8 F6 G-T8 U6 X-Z8 AA6 BB-II8 (a1 blank, a-r commentary on Gospel of St. Matthew, A-F on Mark, G-U on Luke, X-II on John, II8r colophon, register, II8v blank). 391 leaves (of 392, without blank a1). 62 lines of commentary and headline, double column. Type: 6:150G, 9:107G, 10:82R. ILLUMINATED BY A CONTEMPORARY NORTH-EASTERN ITALIAN ARTIST WITH DELLA ROVERE ARMS in lower border: opening page with 16-line initial border in gold and colours with white foliate in-fill, floral border with gold dots, illuminated initial opening other 3 three parts, 3-line initials alternating in red or blue. (Occasional light spotting, occasional light dampstain at upper margin, II1.8 rehinged, small wormholes in first 2 leaves, border just shaved, a little flaking to first initial.) Later vellum over pasteboard, flat spine lettered in gilt, sprinkled edges (wormholes). Provenance: Della Rovere family (arms).
The fine contemporary illumination appears to have been done for a member of the Della Rovere family, possibly for Francesco, Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484, Pope 1471) but more likely for Giuliano (1443-1513) before he was elected pope in 1503. As patron of the arts, Pope Julius II laid the cornerstone of St. Peter's Basilica in 1506 and engaged most notably Bramante, Raphael and Michelangelo. HC(Add) *1334=H 1333?; BMC V, 356 (IB. 21962); Bod-inc. T-135; Goff T-230.