Royal folio (390 x 287 mm). Collation: [a12-1 [b8 c-d8 e8] f8 g-m10 n-z8 A-L8 M6 N8 O8 P-Y8 Z8 (numerous missignings, last leaf blank (lacking). 388 (of 389)] leaves, unfoliated. Double column. 53 lines and headlines. Types: 2:150 (headlines and headings), 1:102 (text). First page with a four-part historiated woodcut border. Initial spaces; mostly unrubricated, except in the sections with annotations (including the final table of questions), in which paragraph marks, small initials and underlinings are supplied in red by the annotator. Contemporary manuscript foliation I-CCCXC: a duplicate of sheet L2.7 bound between fols. L7 and L8, included in the ms. foliation. Deckle edges throughout. Watermarks: anchor (cf. Briquet 393, Paris 1479), shield with fleurs-de-lis (cf. Briquet 1742, Cologne 1489), gothic letter p, crown. Blind impressions of bearer blocks or strips, apparently including pieces of type at fixed points, in fore-margins of several leaves in quires A, B, I, etc. Fol. s8 with printing flaw from creased paper during printing, affecting end of the last 3 lines in second column on recto. Noticeable worming to first and last few quires, a few single wormholes elsewhere, dampstaining to upper margins of sheet x3.6.
Binding: contemporary German alum-tawed pigskin over wooden boards, covers tooled simply with double fillets forming a panel in four compartments formed by two diagonally crossed pairs of fillets, contemporary paper title label on upper cover, later paper labels on spine, two chased brass fore-edge attaches on upper cover, one of two chased brass attaches on lower cover, lacking clasps, quire liners from a large apparently 15th-century choir book on vellum, free endpapers with a bull’s head watermark; covers wormed and with some small losses to leather, pastedown endpapers renewed.
Provenance: scattered contemporary marginalia in red ink; Eucharius Henner, ownership inscription on front flyleaf; Strassburg, Collegiate church of Saint-Pierre-le-Jeune, 18th-century inscription (Collegii S Petri junioris Argentine); John Adrian Louis Hope, 7th Earl of Hopetoun, armorial bookplate (Hopetoun House Library sale, 25 Feb, 1889); [William O’Brien, bequeathed to]; the Jesuits at Milltown Park, 20th-century book-label.***
Third edition of Thomas Aquinas’s commentary on Book Four of Peter Lombard’s vast theological compilation. Peter Lombard's Four Books of Sentences, a systematic compilation of theology, was the standard textbook of theology at medieval universities. As a subject of Christian commentary it was second only to the Bible. “The book, which owed its success chiefly to its lucid arrangement, its comprehensiveness, and its absence of individuality, was commented on by nearly all theologians of repute and even versified[!]. It was finally superseded by the `Summa Theologiae’ of St. Thomas Aquinas...” (Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church). This is the third of five incunable editions of Aquinas’ commentary on Lombard's fourth book, dealing with the sacraments.
Heinrich Quentell, a native of Strassburg, was the most prolific printer of fifteenth-century Cologne, producing scholastic texts, humanistic works, schoolbooks, and liturgy. His heirs continued printing nearly as energetically for almost 20 years after his death in 1501. This edition was one of the earliest productions of his first press, which he ran from 1478 to 1483, before a sojourn of four years in Antwerp. The first page of this edition is illustrated with Quentell’s splendid four-block woodcut border, the lower compartment of which shows the Three Magi. Following Barbarossa’s transport of the purported remains of Balthasar, Melchior and Caspar from Milan to Cologne in 1164, the magi became associated with that city, and were referred to even outside Germany as the ”Three Kings of Cologne.” Thus Quentell’s use of the border in his first printed work, the two-volume Low-German Bible , was a clear nod to his adopted city. The border was used again in 1479 and 1480, in this edition and two others, and for the 1481 reprint of the Bible, each time using the same four blocks. In this edition, the block on the gutter side was trimmed, or not fully inked, at the foot. The lower border shows the Three Wise Men, two kneeling, before the enthroned Virgin and Child, flanked by soldiers. A herald at right wears a shield with the arms of Cologne; his counterpart on the left bears a blank shield, intended to be filled in by the book’s owner. All are in medieval dress. The remaining border blocks show a delightful swirl of acanthus leaves and flowers, enclosing hunters with a hare and a hunting horn, dogs, monkeys, a peasant carrying geese in a basket, a richly clad lady, musicians and mummers.
The scattered rubrication in this copy was supplied by the reader whose annotations appear occasionally in the margins; he rubricated the final table of questions (Z2v-Z8v) most consistently. Eucharius Henner, or Eucharius Gallinarius (fl. 1475-1510), a humanist from Bretten, served as canon at Speyer (cf. CERL Thesaurus). The Collegiate Church of St.-Pierre-le-jeune in Strassburg, founded in 1031, became Protestant in 1561, and was dissolved in 1789. A number of Hopetoun books have this provenance; they were apparently acquired by Charles Hope, first Earl of Hopetoun (1681-1742), thus well before the Revolutionary dispersals.
ISTC it00170000; Goff T-170; HC 1483; BMC I, 262; BSB-Ink T-265; CIBN T-160; Coq 514; GW M46385; Schreiber 5342; Schramm VIII, 19. Item #2888