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ST. THOMAS AQUINAS (1226–1274). Summa theologica, pars prima.
Padua: Albertus de Stendal, 5 Oct. 1473.

This book was one of more than 450 volumes donated by Hilprand Brandenburg of Biberach (1442–1514) to the Carthusian Charterhouse in Buxheim, Bavaria, in 1506. His books are noted for bearing what may be the earliest of all armorial woodcut bookplates. Just above the hand-colored bookplate is the owner’s ink signature, “Hilthbrandus.” The inscription beneath his name asks those who borrow the book to return it when requested.

When Hilprand’s books arrived at Buxheim, the monastic librarian neatly inscribed the title within each volume and added a note recording the donor’s name. A comparison of the nearly identical inscriptions in this book and in Bridwell Library’s 1487 Imitatio Christi from St. Margaretental in Basel (the previous item in this exhibition) confirms that Jakob Louber, who left St. Margaretental in 1502 to become Prior of the Charterhouse in Buxheim, was the same anonymous librarian who likewise inscribed the hundreds of books now famed for their inclusion of Hilprand’s bookplate.