BIBLE, Cistercian

A MONUMENTAL 12TH-CENTURY CISTERCIAN LATIN BIBLE

BOOKS OF ISAIAH, JEREMIAH, EZEKIEL, DANIEL, EPISTLES, ACTS, APOCALYPSE AND GOSPELS. Illuminated manuscript on vellum.

Italy, Lombardy, circa 1170-1190.

£240,000

460 x 310 mm, 251 leaves on parchment, substantially complete: I8-1 (i excised, probably blank), II-XIII8, XIV8+2 (bifolium added between vi and vii), XV-XVII8 (iii and vi as singletons), XVIII-XXXI8), wanting a quire after VIII (fol. 63), two after XXIV (fol. 194), and quire XXXII but for fol. 251, Catchwords at lower margin of last verso of quires; paper flyleaf and conjoint pastedown at beginning and end. 325 x 204 (93, 21, 90) mm; ruled for two columns and 34 lines of text in lead point, pricking at upper and lower margins and fore-edge (from recto), additional vertical line between the bounders dividing the two columns. North-Italian transitional caroline script (Littera carolina) in brown, corrections and additions in black throughout and text on additional leaves 110-111 provided by a second contemporary North-Italian Cistercian hand (Littera protogothica textualis); marginal notes referring to readings in the refectory in the Gospels: “Hic dimittatur legere in refectorio” (fols 201r,  215r, 239r) and “Hic incipiatur legere” (fols 217v, 242r); marginal chapter references in an Italian hand in grey ink throughout, c.1400. Rubrics, often with notes in small hand (littera glossularis), in lower (occasionally upper) margin as on fol. 109v, providing guidance to the rubricator, chapter numbers and marginal numbering of the biblical readings (Lc .I. , Lc .II. etc) in red throughout; running titles by rubricator in red at beginning and end of gatherings up to fol. 103r, otherwise in dark brown or grey ink by different hands to the end of the Epistles (fol. 166v). Two large initials (9-15 lines), the first in blue, the second blue and red, both with penwork decoration in red, blue and green and followed by first words of text in red capitals touched in blue (fols 2r and 35v); one large 7 line initial in blue with reserved blank and penwork decoration in red and yellow (fol. 95v); similar large initials (6-13 lines) in red, occasionally extending into the margin, at beginning of texts (fols 119v-242v); minor initials (2-4 lines) in red, green and red (fol. 15v) or blue and red (fol. 107v) throughout. Three large initials (16-25 lines) in red with reserved red and black penwork decoration supplied to the additional text on fols 110r, 111r and 111v. Strong Italian parchment, with a number of natural flaws and some cuts with medieval repairs (see fol. 20); fol. 119 with a long horizontal cut, but complete; lower margin of fols 232-233 and 237 and fore-edge of fol. 238 cut away; overall in good condition. In later brown sheepskin over unbevelled wooden boards, some scuffmarks, sewn on four double-split spine bands of alum-tawed skin, two endbands on parchment core with yellow sewing thread, now loose, and title “Quat. [?] Proph. mai / et / Plus [?].Lib.N.Test.” on spine, shelfmark “229” in black ink on upper pastedown; shelfmarks “35” and “67” on spine, all 17th/18th century.

This splendid volume was produced in Northern Italy in the second half of the twelfth century for the use of a monastery of the Cistercian order, established in 1098 by Robert of Molesme at Cîteaux. The unusual order of the biblical texts (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel; Epistles, Acts and Apocalypse; the Gospels), reflects a programme of reading in the Night Office carried out in Cistercian communities from Advent to Epiphany, Lent, and Easter to Pentecost (ordo librorum ad legendum; Reilly 2005, pp. 169-170). The Cistercians included the reading of the four Gospels into the refectory element of their annual cycle, but excluded the Passion narratives as highlighted in the manuscript by the marginal notes “Hic dimittatur legere in refectorio” (fols 201r,  215r, 239r) (Webber 2010, pp. 20 n. 47, 32). The large size of the volume, the two-column layout, well-spaced lettering and use of red minor initials throughout were designed to assure legibility for reading aloud. The additional punctuation supplied by the second hand in a darker ink in accordance with the Cistercian practice of indicating short, medium and long pauses in the reading, supplied further helpful guidance (Parkes 1992, pp. 195, 197). The textual corrections by this second hand testify to the attention paid to the correctness of biblical texts in accordance with St Bernard of Clairvaux’s wishes.

The sober yet elegant decoration of the initials also follows the Cistercian practice of austerity, including restrained decoration in their manuscripts. The initials to Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel are similar in style to those found in a 12th-century manuscript Bible now in the Biblioteca Civica “Angelo Mai” at Bergamo, MA 600 (olim Alpha V 17; see Zizzo), with an almost certain Cistercian origin. The three initials in red with reserved and red and black penwork decoration on leaves 110r-111v are consistent with the decoration of Cistercian manuscripts produced in Italy, as in two 12th-century codices; an Office lectionary at Harvard, Houghton Library, Typ 223 online at http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/collections/early_manuscripts/bibliographies/Typ.cfm, from the Abbey of Morimondo (Ferrari 1993, p. 299) and from Acquafredda Abbey (see Ferrari 1993, p. 295) a 12th century Commentary on The Old Testament-Pentateuch by Isidore of Seville and Hugh of St Victor’s Rex Salomon, now at Berkeley, Bancroft Library, MS UCB 16.

Both these manuscripts have covers almost identical to the present, and bear similar titles on the second spine compartment, also found on Jerome’s Commentary on the Minor Prophets, now Milan, Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Gerli MS 12, identified by Ferrari (Ferrari 1999, pp. 36, 41-42, 44) as one of the manuscripts mentioned in the twelfth-century book list from the Abbey of Morimondo found on the last verso of the Abbey’s Office lectionary mentioned above (Houghton Library, Typ 223).

The present manuscript shares the same 18th-century provenance, if not origin, as those three manuscripts now at Milan, Berkeley and Cambridge. From the beginning of the eighteenth century many manuscripts from Cistercian abbeys in Lombardy were collected at the monastery of S. Ambrogio in Milan to support the programme of cultural reform promoted by the Congregation of St Bernard in Italy and the Austrian government. On arrival at S. Ambrogio, they may have been supplied with new covers and a manuscript title on the spine. The present manuscript must have arrived about the same time, when the influx increased exponentially with the suppressions of the monasteries in the last quarter of the century; many of these codices were then dispersed onto the open market. A good number were acquired by the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, but many entered private collections, such as those of the marchesi Trivulzio of Milan, Count Francesco Giovio (1796 – 1873) of Como, and Matteo Luigi Canonici (1727 – 1805), Jesuit and antiquarian of Venice, further dispersed through later sales.

A twentieth-century note in English pencilled on the upper flyleaf suggests that this manuscript may have passed through the hands of the bookseller Giuseppe (Joseph) Martini of Lugano between 1913 and 1942, though it is not mentioned by Ferrari in her list of Cistercian manuscripts described in Martini’s catalogues (Ferrari 1999, pp. 34-35). It was Martini who probably invented the myth of provenance from the library of the celebrated humanist Paolo Giovio (1483 – 1552) still recorded in the literature of some Italian Cistercian manuscripts (see Berkeley, University of California, Bancroft Library, MS UCB 16, in Digital Scriptorium).

K56

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MOLITOR, Ulricus

THE FOUNDATION IMAGERY OF WITCHCRAFT

De laniis et phitonicis mulieribus.

Constance, [Basel, Michael Furter] 1489 [ie. about 1495].

£95,000

4to. 30 unnumbered leaves. a–c⁸, d⁶. Gothic letter. Capital spaces, seven fine full page woodcut illustrations within double ruled border, manuscript medical? recipe in early C16th hand on blank verso of last, another note in the same hand on recto of c8, ‘Millot de Sombernon’ in near contemporary hand at head of blank verso of last, ‘vendu 21 r mac-carthy’at head of front fly, C19th printed shelf label on pastedown, Guy Bechtel’s bookplate below with his motto ‘in carcere meo liber.’ Very light age yellowing, the very rare minor spot or mark. A fine well margined copy, crisp and clean in lovely C18th French green morocco, in the style of Derome, covers bordered with a triple gilt rule, fleurons gilt to corners, flat spine with repeated gilt fleurons within double gilt border, red morocco label gilt, edges and inner dentelles gilt, all edges gilt, joints very expertly (invisibly) restored.

A beautiful copy of this exceptionally rare and important text, the first and most important illustrated work on witches and a work that has defined the image of witches to this day. The ‘De Lamiis,’ was first published in 1489 with the same series of iconic woodcuts. It is one of the earliest printed works on witchcraft, and contains the first ever illustrations of witches. This, probably the first Basel edition, is beautifully printed in a fine gothic letter in thirty-two lines and very finely illustrated with seven stunning woodcuts depicting witches and their activities. The first depicts two witches around a large pot, one throwing in a cockerel the other preparing to throw in a snake, the resulting brew creating a storm. The other blocks represent a lycanthropic scene of a wizard mounted on a wolf, the devil disguised as a bourgeois man corrupting a woman, the ensorcellment of a man by a witch firing a spell, witches transformed into animals flying on brooms, and a group of three witches around a table.

The book is written in the form of a dialogue between the author and the dedicatee, the Archduke Sigismund of Austria, who doubts the existence of witches. At a time when complete theories about witchcraft were yet to be established, the author defended belief in the powers of the Devil and his ability to trick the human mind. The woodcut depicting three witches together, eating and drinking beneath a tree, is typical of the format of the work. The title on the previous page to this woodcut reads “An super lupum vel baculum unctum ad convivia veniant et mutuo comedant et bibant et sibi mutuo loquantur ac se invicem agnoscant.” “Can [witches] come to feasts on a wolf or an anointed stick, eat drink, speak together and recognize one another?” The women are not doing anything other than eating but the image has become deeply anchored in the popular imagination, as it was used and referred to again and again in imagery and literature throughout the centuries, not least in Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth.’

“The first tract on witches to be illustrated, 1489 – 94, was written by the lawyer Ulrich Molitor from Constance in 1484. He actually argues against the persecution of witches because he was sceptical of the value of confessions under torture. He did, however, believe that they were heretics and should be punished with death. In the illustrations, the witches are not characterised by any special dress or undress, implying that all women were capable of being witches. They look like ordinary housewives except in the ‘Flight to the witches’ Sabbath, when they are changed into animal shapes. Although the text speaks of the witches’ evil activities being a figment of their imagination, delusions inspired by the devil, the illustrations portray the effects of their malignant and harmful magical spells as real enough, e.g. a witch shooting at a man who tries to jump away, or witches making a brew, using a rooster and a serpent as ingredients, whilst hailstones come crashing down from the sky. Molitor certainly believed in the reality of their sexual intercourse with the devil.” ‘Picturing women in late Medieval and Renaissance art’ by Christa Grössinger.

“With the appearance of Ulrich Molitor’s ‘On Witches’ in 1488 – 89, the arguments of the Malleus were repeated in the literary format of a conversation among Molitor, Duke Sigismund of the Tyrol, and Sigismund’s minister Conrad Schatz, with a suite of seven remarkable woodcuts that for the first time offered related pictorial images of witches’ activities without any identifying physical or costume features attributed to witches – that is, some of the illustrations seem to depict ordinary women doing ordinary things.” Witchcraft in Europe, 400 – 1700. Alan Charles Kors, Edward Peters.

Several of the incunable editions of this book, including the first, have the date 10 January 1489 on the colophon. ISTC and GW date this edition to around 1495, though it is clearly earlier than Fairfax Murray (German, volume II, no. 289) also ascribed to Basel, Amerbach or Furter, which contains identical but broken versions of the same woodcuts, which Fairfax Murray dates to 1490.

Brunet cites this copy from the library of Reagh Mac-Carthy, the great Irish bibliophile (who found refuge in France, near Toulouse) in his sale of 1815 (I no. 1678). Justin ‘Reagh’ Mac-Carthy himself bought some of the major collections of the C18th, such as the library of Giradot de Prefond, and founded one of the richest personal libraries ever assembled, which included over eight hundred volumes of works printed on vellum. He also seems to have profited from the naïvety of the Librarian of Albi, Jean-François Massol, who was proud to have ‘swapped’ several precious medieval manuscripts with him for more ‘useful’ works such as Buffons’ 8vo. ‘Histoire Naturelle.’ The sale of his books at Paris in 1815 was one of the greatest of that century.

This copy then passed to the library of the Marquis of Germigny (sold 1939, no 13). In Mac-Carthy’s sale the work is recorded as being bound with the ‘Tractatus Utilissimus artis memorative’ by Matheoli Perusini (1498). This work was probably removed at some stage when the binding was restored. (As this work was only seven leaves, its removal did not affect the spine.) Its last owner was the great Scholar, author and bibliographer Guy Bechtel, author of the ‘Catalogue des Gothiques Francais 1476 – 1560.’ We have found no record of the early sixteenth century owner, ‘Millot de Sombernon.’

A lovely copy of a hugely important text with a very beautiful and most influential set of woodcuts, and most distinguished provenance.

Goff M798. (two copies only) Pell Ms 8166 (8095). GW M25157. ISTC im00798000. Brunet III, 1815 (citing this copy). Caillet, III, n°7630 (other editions). Fairfax Murray Ger., vol II no. 289 (another later edition with the same cuts).

K29

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MANUSCRIPT VELLUM LEAF. ILLUMINATED E

Leaf from a Book of Hours.

Northern France, probably Paris, 1450.

£650

Illuminated E letter on vellum, ‘Ego dixi in dimidio dierum…’. 24 lines of text with blank spaces filled by dark blue and gold bars. The same colours are used to decorate smaller initials at the beginning of each row. Both sides displayable. On its verso, an illuminated E at the bottom of the page starts Canticum (in red) ’Exultauit cor meum in domino.’

CJS 6b

BOOK OF HOURS

EXCEPTIONAL MINIATURE BOOK OF HOURS IN THE STYLE OF THE MILDMAY MASTER

Book of Hours, Use of Rome, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum.

Flanders, 3rd quarter of the 15th-century.

£95,000

Small 8vo., 96 x 68 mm, 223 leaves on parchment, including 13 added leaves (fols 1, 10, 24, 48, 64, 71, 78, 85, 92, 103, 112, 124, 151), without the calendar, two leaves after fol. 17, the first added to the original collation, and some additions to the text at end; collation: I8+1, II8+2 (viii and leaf added after vii excised at the end), III6, IV8+1, V8, VI8+1, VII8, VIII8+1, IX-X8, XI8+2, XII8, XIII-XV8+1, XVI-XVII8, XVIII6, XIX8+1, XX-XXV8, XXVI8+2, XXVII4, XXVIII4-2 (iii-iv excised), traces of catchwords in lower margin of last verso of quires (see fols 49v, 94v, 102v, 145v, 167v, 175v and 183v). Justification 50 x 33 mm, ruled in purple for single vertical bounding lines and 16 horizontal lines for 15 written lines below top ruled line. Regular Gothic bookhand (Textualis Rotunda Formata) in brown and red, possibly by an Italian scribe. Rubrics in red; versal initials (1-line high) in blue or gold with red or black pen-work decoration throughout; psalm and prayers initials (2-line high) in burnished gold-leaf set against a square ground of blue and red with white tracery throughout; 13 large illuminated book-initials and full decorated borders on fols 2r, 11r, 25r, 49r, 65r, 72r, 79r, 86r, 93r, 104r, 113r, 125r and 152r: initials (5-line high) in blue or red with white tracery decoration set against burnished gold-leaf grounds infilled with ivy-leaves decoration in blue, red, purple and green highlighted with white tracery, borders decorated with acanthus and other leaves, strawberries and flowers in gold, blue, red, pink and green, gold bar framing text on left, right and lower border, reserved white ground of the borders on fols 2r and 25r with added shell-gold; 13 full-page miniatures in the style of the Mildmay Master, with double-bar and arch-topped frames in burnished gold and purple set within full decorated borders on fols 1v, 10v, 24v, 48v, 64v, 71v, 78v, 85v, 92v, 103v, 112v, 124v, 151v: borders decorated as above, with reserved white ground of borders on fols 1v and 24v with added shell-gold, miniatures illustrating the Crucifixion, Pentecost, Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Annunciation to the Shepherds, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation in the Temple, Massacre of the Innocents, Flight to Egypt, Coronation of the Virgin, King David in prayer and Raising of Lazarus. Good quality parchment, well preserved, margins slightly trimmed, little sign of thumbing in lower right corners. Sewn on three spine bands of double-split alum-tawed skin and with bookblock edges gilt and gauffered, late fifteenth or early sixteenth century; in brown morocco with blind-fillet decoration on thin wooden boards, re-cased probably in 16th century, newer parchment flyleaf and conjoint pastedown at the beginning and the end. In modern brown cloth box. Some worming on boards and flyleaves only.

This charming Book of Hours was produced in Bruges. It is a fine representative of the devotional manuscripts from the second half of the 15th century. These books were the result of the work of a number of different artisans and artists working separately on the different phases of production – the copying of the text, the decoration of minor initials and line fillers, and the illumination of initials, borders and miniatures. The devotional texts were usually copied on dedicated single or multiple quires according to their length, with the beginnings of the canonical hours copied on rectos; they were then assembled in volumes whose textual sequences corresponded to the requirements of the individual customers, with dedicated miniatures inserted to face the beginning of the canonical hours and other illumination and decoration added to the clients’ taste and means. All the illuminated miniatures of the present manuscript are on the verso of added singletons whose parchment is often heavier and thicker than the soft and beautiful parchment of the quires, which shows hardly any visible difference between the flesh and the hair side.

It is therefore unusual to find manuscripts made by the same scribe, rubricator, decorator and illuminator/s, but each of their components may find matches in different manuscripts. This manuscript shows the same textual and illustrative sequence as London, British Library, MSS Harley 1853 and Stowe 26, but for the absence of the Mass of the Virgin and perhaps of the Psalter of St Jerome at the end. The three manuscripts are also similarly diminutive. Its beautiful Italianate Gothic hand matches that of Baltimore, The Walters Art Museum MS. W. 179. The rubrication and decoration of minor initials and line-fillers is close to that of Les Enlumineures Book of Hours 61, BL Stowe MS 26, Walters MSS 190 and 196 (made for Queen Eleanor of Portugal), and the Derval Hours, Sotheby’s, 5 July 2005, lot 98 (made for Jean de Châteaugiron, seigneur de Derval and chamberlain of Brittany). The accomplished decoration of the borders finds correspondence in Les Enlumineures Book of Hours 61 and possibly Chicago, Newberry Library, Case MS. 35 (the Mildmay Hours).

The sequence of miniatures for the Hours of the Virgin corresponds to the cycle of the Infancy of Christ as was customary in Southern Flanders at the time (see B. Bousmanne, “Item a Guillaume Wyelant aussi enlumineur,” Bruxelles, 1997, p. 164).  The manuscript was undoubtedly illuminated in the circle of Wilhelm Vrelant (d. 1481; active in Bruges from 1454), the most successful illuminator in Bruges at that time. His patrons included the Dukes of Burgundy and members of their family and court as well as French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian royalty, diplomats, aristocrats, bankers and wealthy merchants. Judging from their surviving manuscripts, he and his collaborators produced devotional books in far greater numbers than any other text; it is therefore not surprising that at the time the so-called “Vrelant style” became very popular and had a strong impact on the production of Books of Hours.

The full-page miniatures are in the style of an anonymous illuminator singled out among Vrelant’s collaborators by Nicholas Rogers and given the name of the Mildmay Master after a Book of Hours in the Newberry Library in Chicago (Case MS. 35) that in the 16th century belonged to Sir Thomas Mildmay (b. in or before 1515, d. 1566), Auditor of the Court of Augmentations for Henry VIII. The master collaborated with Vrelant in the decoration of a four-volume copy of the Golden Legend in French translation for Jean d’Auxy, knight of the Golden Fleece (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MSS 672-675.

A direct comparison with the Book of Hours in the British Library (Harley MS 3000) suggests that the artist working on the present manuscript is not the Mildmay Master, even though he is seemingly the same artist of a Book of Hours attributed to him in S. Hindman and A. Bergeron-Foote, An intimate Art. 12 Books of Hours for 2012, London, 2012. He is also the same artist of another devotional manuscript (Walters MS. W. 177). The anonymous artist of these three manuscripts managed to avoid the sharp linearity and rarefied stillness that characterise the works of the Mildmay Master and used a different and warmer palette of deeper blues and reds. The iconography of his decorative cycles follows the models employed by Vrelant and his followers, but his miniatures display distinctive delicate features for the Virgin (see here the Annunciation, the Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi on fols 24v, 64v and 78v), elongated male faces (in particular of Christ on the Cross and David in prayer on fols 1v and 124v), landscapes of rolling green hills and mountains turning to dark blue in the distance, and interiors characterised by gilt-embroidered tapestries and pink and grey walls with white-stucco decoration that includes a very distinctive element. This element recalls the monograms in the trade-mark stamps imposed on the Bruges illuminators by the town administration to stop the import of illuminated single leaves by foreign artists who were not registered with the Guild. This decorative element is particularly similar to the stamp of Adriaen de Raedt, an apprentice of Vrelant in the years 1473-1475, who was occasionally named as Vrelant in the Guild’s documents.

Almost all miniatures in the present book are a simplified version of the standardized Flemish iconography for the cycle of the Infancy of Christ disseminated by Vrelant and his followers, and found, for instance, in two Books of Hours attributed to Wilhelm Vrelant and/or associates(Walters MSS W. 196 and 197), and in the Arenberg Hours attributed to the Mildmay Master (Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. Ludwig IX 8 (83.ML.104)). The fall of the idol from the column in the miniature of the Flight to Egypt (fol. 103v), in particular, is reminiscent of the Mildmay Master’s representations of the Apostle Bartolomew and Felix of Ostia destroying Idols or Mamertinus of Auxerre praying to Idols in the New York Golden Legend (PML, MS. M 675, fols 22r, 51r and 56v respectively).

The representation of the Crucifixion is the only exception. In the figures of the fore-ground and the landscape in the background our artist paraphrases the Crucifixion in Vrelant’s style as found in Walters MS. W. 197 (fol. 34v) and the Arenberg Hours (fol. 134r), but for the central scene of the Crucifixion with Christ flanked by the two thieves he seems to look elsewhere, possibly at the Crucifixion attributed to the so-called Vienna Master of Mary of Burgundy in the Hours of Mary of Burgundy (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, MS. 1857, fol. 99v) and the Trivulzio Hours (The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. SMCi, fol. 94v), executed about 1470-1475, which echo the Crucifixion in Joos van Ghent’s Calvary triptych of the late 1460s. A similar dating for the present manuscript is consistent with the style of the all its other features.

The volume provides no clue towards the identification of its original owner.  Like many famous Bruges manuscripts such as the Spinola Hours (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. Ludwig IX 18) and the Grimani Breviary (Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, MS. Lat. I, 99) copied by scribes imitating Italian bookhands, or indeed by Italian scribes working in a Bruges, and decorated by Flemish artists, the present book was beautifully produced on smooth white parchment of the highest quality and copied in an elegant round Italianate Gothic hand. The litany is of Augustinian Use, with Paul the First Hermit and Nicholas of Tolentino (canonized in 1446) among the doctors and confessors and Monica among the Virgins; other saints added to an otherwise standard text for the Use of Rome are Alexis at the end of monks and hermits, and Saints Margaret, Barbara and Elisabeth among the Virgins.

The masculine forms used in most prayers, including “Obsecro te” and “Intemerata”, with the only exception of the last, suggest that the book belonged to a man; the inclusion of the prayer “Deus propicius esto mihi peccatori et custos mei sis omnibus diebus vite mee,” traditionally attributed to St. Augustine, may indicate that he was a man of some importance, possibly a member of the large Italian community of merchants and bankers in Bruges, or a major local patron.

K34

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SEGUSIO da Susa or HOSTIENSIS, Enrico

Summa super titulis Decretalium

Venice, De Blavis, 1490.

£12,500

Large folio, 356 leaves, a-z8, 7-&-48, A-R8, S-T6. Gothic letter, double column; a few leaves slightly age yellowed; light marginal water stain to f. kviii, two small (wine?) splashes to f. yvii, clean nick to lower margin of yviii. A good, unwashed copy with wide outer and lower margins in seventeenth-century red morocco, richly gilt with decorative border and large central crowned coat of arms; a. e. mottled; on front pastedown, modern bookplate of the Portuguese collector, Count Hercules de Silva; occasional contemporary marking, notabilia and one manicula; seventeenth-century foliation throughout and collation on verso of last.

Early uncommon edition of a very successful and extremely detailed legal commentary on the Decretals, updated for ‘modern’ use and first printed in Rome in 1473. It is divided by subject matter into sections, which are identified both by sub-headings and running titles. Enrico Segusio (c. 1200-1271) was named after his hometown close to Turin, Susa. Also known as Hostiensis, he was the most prominent jurist of his time. He taught in Bologna and Paris, served Henry VIII of England as ambassador to the pope and was appointed archbishop of Embrun. At the end of his brilliant career, he was made Cardinal of Ostia and Velletri. He is mentioned by Dante in his Comedia (Paradise, XII, 82-85). This work on Roman and canon law was so successful that it was often referred to as Summa aurea, remaining for centuries an invaluable legal tool.

The splendid armorial binding of this copy suggests the property of a wealthy seventeenth-century marquis (from the crown) almost certainly a member of the Spanish nobility, which included at the time also Southern Italian families. The work would have been particularly important to a public figure with administrative and judicial responsibilities, such as a viceroy. The armorial bindings, neither halved nor quartered, suggest such an appointment. A fine copy of a handsome and very substantial book.

Uncommon. Only three copies recorded in the US (Columbia, Huntington and Baltimore).

ISTC ih00047000; BMC STC, V, 319; GW, 12236; Goff, H-47; Hain, 8965.

L2040

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SACROBOSCO, Johannes de [with] PEURBACH, Georg von

Sphaera mundi cum tribus commentis … Cicchi Esculani, Francisci Capuani de Manfredonia, Jacobi Fabri Stapulensis [with] Theoricae novae planetarum cum commento

Venice, Simone Bevilacqua, 1499.

£9,500

FIRST EDITION thus. Fol., 150 leaves, a-c⁶, d⁸, e-z6, &⁶, 94. Roman letter in two sizes, titles in Gothic, single and double column, first commentary indented; white-on-black decorated initials, printer’s device on oivr, detailed and neat astronomical illustrations, diagrams and tables throughout, including the famous armillary sphere twice at aiiv and miv; very light damp stain in upper gutter and margins of initial and final leaves; old reinforcement to lower margin of title and inner margin of first and last gathering; few aged browned pages. A very good copy in unusual sixteenth-century Italian vellum, centrally patched from a rubricated ms prayer book in Italian fourteenth-century humanist hand; early ink title and shelfmark on spine, sprinkled edges; pastedowns from eighteenth-century Italian ms. Small loss on spine; ms notes and geometrical diagrams referring to illustrations in second commentary on front endpaper; contemporary underlining and annotations in second book of second commentary; early owners’ inscription ‘Ad uso di Fra Pietro da Casalena Min. Rif.’ and a later ‘J. Antonii abbatis apuli’, modern pen initials ‘V. S. B.’ and early annotation ‘Messe dux’ on title.

The most complete variant of this important edition with commentaries of Sacrobosco and Peurbach’s astronomical textbooks. It comprises for the first time the commentary by Francesco Capuano. Sacrobosco’s Sphaera was a very popular introduction to spherical astronomy in early modern times. Written around 1220 and printed in 1472, it was re-published hundreds of times by the end of the following century. Peuerbach’s Theoricae novae planetarum was equally influential. It consisted of a lecture script by the author’s pupil and distinguished astronomer Johannes Regiomontanus (1436-1476). The Theoricae drew extensively from Greek and Arabic tradition, providing the most up-to-date account of contemporary astronomical knowledge. It quickly became a fundamental manual for students, replacing even Sacrobosco. Scientists such as Kepler and Copernicus grounded their theories on this work.

The early life of Francesco Capuano is obscure. In 1495, he was teaching astronomy and physics at the university of Padua. His astronomical commentaries are linked to his activity as a lecturer. His innovative consideration of Peuerbach came out soon after those of Adalbert of Brudzewo (Milan, 1495). Divided into four books, they deal with: the geometrical and astronomical characteristics of the sphere; the Zodiac and the climatic zones of the globe; the seasonal alternation; the duration of nights and days during the year; and solar and lunar eclipses. The commentary on Sacrobosco investigates the astronomical properties of each celestial body, describing their movements in respect of the Zodiac. Capuano’s successful commentaries were almost certainly an important reference for Copernicus’s studies on the rotation of the Earth. The edition includes also the commentaries on Sacrobosco by Cecco d’Ascoli and Jacques Le Fèvre d’Etaples. Cecco d’Ascoli (c.1269-1327) was a renowned physician, professor and poet. His commentary originated from the lectures he gave at the university of Bologna and illustrated his impressive knowledge not only of the subject but also of astrology, magic and necromancy. This and other of his writings cost Cecco his life: he was burnt by the Inquisition in 1327. Jacques Lefèvre d’Etaples (c.1450-1537) was a major scholar and religious leader of the French Renaissance. After travelling around the Italian peninsula, he set in Paris in 1495, where he was appointed as professor of philosophy at the university college of Cardinal Lemoine. His commentaries on Sacrobosco were published together with his annotations on Aristotle, enjoying considerable success. Later, d’Etaples promoted the internal reformation of the Church. Among his pupils and followers were François Vatable, Guillaume Farel, Margherita d’Angoulême and John Calvin.

ISTC, ij00419000; GW, M14635; Goff, J-419; Hain, 14125; Sander, 6666; Essling, 263; Houzeau-Lancaster, 1642.

L1970

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BIBLE

A COMPLETE EARLY-THIRTEENTH CENTURY PORTABLE PARISIAN BIBLE

Illuminated manuscript on vellum

France, Paris or Amiens, 13th century (2nd quarter).

£150,000

146 x 95 mm, 656 leaves on parchment: I12, II-XII24, XIII26, XIV-XVII24, XVIII18, with no catchwords or leaf signatures; flyleaves at the beginning and end, the first and last used as pastedowns; modern foliation in pencil “1-655” repeating no. 521 (followed here). Justification 98 x 66/67 (30/31 x 5/6 x 30/31) mm ruled in lead point with two vertical bounding lines for two columns and 42 horizontal lines for 41 lines of text, with two extra horizontal lines; pricking holes for vertical bounders showing occasionally in the lower margins; two extra horizontal lines (3 mm apart) at circa 9-11 mm from upper ruled horizontal line and circa 15-19 mm from lower. Very small Gothic French bookhand (Textualis) deriving from glossing script, often called ‘pearl script’ (Perlschrift), in dark brown ink; less formal small Gothic hand influenced by documentary script for the added index of liturgical readings at end (fols. 653v-656v) (apparently unfinished); headings and highlighting of capitals in red, running-titles and chapter numbers in alternating red and blue capitals, versal initials in Psalms (fols 276r-303v) and Interpretationes (fols. 591r-653v; capitals not executed and dedicated space left blank from letter E onwards), chapter initials (2-15 lines high) in alternating red and blue with contrasting pen-flourished decoration throughout, 66 large puzzle initials (3-39 lines high, mostly 4-6 lines) in red and blue with pen-flourished decoration in red or red and blue, 78 large illuminated initials (from 3-line to column high, mostly 7-9 lines), in designs of spiralling foliage, occasionally inhabited by small dragons or other grotesque animals, in colours (blue, red, pink, green and white) and shell-gold. A few marginal 15th-century notes in light brown ink (see fols 248v, 425r and 425v, the latter by a Northern continental hand) and manicula in red (fol. 144v). Parchment (?) tabs marking the beginning of books removed. Thin parchment of good quality, with slight cockling, and a short cut at the fore-edge of some leaves caused by the removal of parchment tabs marking the beginning of books. Running titles occasionally cropped by the binder. C. 1500 binding, probably Flemish, light brown calf over bevelled wooden boards, sewn on four raised double-split spine bands, covers tooled in blind to a panel design, outer panel filled with a blind tooled heads-in-medallion roll, second panel with blind fleuron, rosette and leaves tools, and central panel semé with blind-tooled fleurons, with two long decorated brass catches at fore-edge of upper cover, and two stubs of calf-leather straps for fastening clasps (missing) secured at fore-edge of lower cover by two brass plaquettes; spine, edges and corners restored. 18th-century shelf marks on verso of third upper flyleaf and corner of lower pastedown; 19th century shelf mark “105/ 100_9 [or 1] i” in pencil at lower edge of upper pastedown. Preserved in wooden book box.

This charming and prettily decorated portable Bible is an untouched and unspoiled early example of the Parisian Bible of the 13th century. It was copied and decorated in the second quarter of the century, shortly after university theologians completed the standardization of the biblical texts. The new Vulgate had been created to facilitate university teachers and members of the preaching orders, who often travelled between universities, monasteries and church congregations in different parts of the country. It was therefore conceived as a text that could be copied in volumes of diminutive format, written on very fine parchment in the tiny formal Gothic script mostly used until then for marginal glosses. The new biblical vulgate started circulating in its final form about 1230. The present manuscript is therefore an early representative of the Parisian Vulgate. The text is complete and all the canonical prologues, each rubricated in full and decorated with an illuminated or a pen-flourished initial.

The initials are elegantly decorated with twirling rinceaux in colour and gold, and sometime include small dragons or other grotesque winged animals intertwined with the scrolling foliage. The puzzle initials, formed of interlocked scalloped segments in red and blue separated by a thin white line, are filled with curling pen-work decoration dotted in blue. A similarly curling and dotted decoration surrounds them and elongates into the margins in elegant pen strokes of red and blue. The style of the painted decoration resembles closely to works of the Parisian workshop known as the “Vie de saint Denis Atelier” (active 1230-1250) for the Benedictines of the Priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs in Paris and the Cistercians of Clairvaux Abbey (see Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de france, MS latin 233). It also closely recalls the style of manuscripts produced at the same time in Amiens, Northern France for the Benedictine Abbeys of Anchin, and Marchiennes (see Douai, Bibliothèque Municipale, MSS 18, 20 and 21). The small codicological feature of parchment tabs marking the beginning of books, now removed from the present manuscript, adds a further link to manuscript Bibles produced at Amiens for monastic use (see R. Branner, Manuscript Paintings in Paris during the Reign of Saint Louis; a Study of Styles, Berkeley, 1977, cat. 210, pl. X).

In the 13th century the manuscript was used in a monastic or ecclesiastical institution as indicated by the index of liturgical readings added at the end of the volume by a 13th-century hand which was more used to writing monastic cartularies or ecclesiastical deeds than liturgical books. The prominence given to the feast of St Vincent of Saragossa (22 January) at the beginning of the readings for the Proper of the Saints, suggests a particular devotion to the saint.  St Vincent is the patron saint of Macon and Viviers in France, Berne in Switzerland and Soignies in Belgium. A particular veneration for St Vincent and the probable Flemish origin of the fifteenth century binding combine to point to the collegiate church of St Vincent at Soignies as the probable 13th-century owner. St Vincent’s was built as the church of the Benedictine Abbey founded by St Vincent Madelgarius (d. 677), a Flemish nobleman. Soignies Abbey was dissolved and transformed in secular Chapter in the 11th century.

In the 17th century the book was in Prussia, in the possession of Johann Friedrich Bessel, a philologist of Tilsit, respondent and praeses at the Universities of Wittenberg and Helmstedt between 1654 and 1667. Left after Bessel’s death with others of his book to Christopher Horch Senior, possibly the father of the German physician Christopher Horch (1667-1754) of Berlin, it was given by Horch to an unidentifed individual on 13 February 1682 (“Hac Biblia manuscripta donata / mihi fuit à Dn. Christophero / Horch Sen. ex libris relictis / B. Dn. M. Besselj / Anno 1682 .d. 13 Febr.” on upper pastedown). The unnamed recipient of the book was probably either Heinrich Bartsch (1627-1702), councillor, treasurer and vice-mayor of Könisberg, who gave his collection to Könisberg Stadtbibliothek, or his son Heinrich Bartsch Jr (1667-1728), a jurist at the University of Wittenberg. In 1718 the library was opened to the public by Bartsch Junior, who donated his collection of Bibles.

In the 19th century the book was stamped “Stadtbibliothek Koenigsberg” twice in the lower margin of fol. 1 recto. The Bible is mentioned in the library catalogue A. Seraphim, Handschriften-Katalog der Stadtbibliothek Königsberg i.Pr., Königsberg i.Pr., 1909, p. 300. The library was destroyed by a bomb in August 1944. Since 1946 Königsberg has been part of Russia.

K36

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ARISTOPHANES

CLASSICAL COMEDY IN ALDINE EDITION

Comoediae Novem.

Venice, Apud Aldum, 1498.

£59,500

EDITIO PRINCEPS. Folio. 346 unnumbered leaves, lacking two blanks. Text in Aldus’ large Greek type 146, 41 lines of scholia surrounding in smaller (type114), Aldus’ preface in Roman. Woodcut strap-work initials in two sizes and headpieces. Early Greek marginalia in brown ink mostly to first quarter of volume. Title page very slightly soiled and strengthened at gutter, two leaves slightly browned (probably damp at printing), couple of minor marginal tears, last leaf with small old marginal repairs, strengthened at gutter, slightly soiled on verso. A very good copy, crisp, clean and well margined in C17 vellum over boards C18 mottling, gilt red morocco labels and gilt thistle motif on spine, C19 ms. bibl. notes on front pastedown, Walter Hirst’s charming bookplate and Sir Thomas Philip’s pencilled shelf mark beneath, earlier ink lettering (press mark?) on rear pastedown, Quaritch pencil note beneath.

A very handsome copy of the beautiful first printed edition of Aristophanes comprising the first nine plays (10 and 11 were not published till 1525) and one of the chef d’oeuvres of Aldus’ early Greek press. The editor was Marcus Musurus, the celebrated Greek humanist, who also contributed an excellent preface on the reasons for studying Greek and the stylistic beauty of Aristophanes. Aldus founded his career on the publication of Greek texts, the first printer to do so, with this type designed and cast on new principles which he perfected over a period of five years. To his scholarly care we owe more of the editiones principes of the major Greek classics than to any other printer and the Aristophanes, texturally and artistically, was one of his finest achievements.

Aristophanes was the greatest of the Athenian comic dramatists and one of her greatest poets. For richness and fertility of imagination probably only Shakespeare is comparable and Aristophanes’ direct influence on English literature was considerable; the comedies of Jonson, Middleton and Fielding derive from him. Apart from constituting one of the surviving glories of hellenic culture Aristophanes’ comedies are an invaluable source for its social history. His surviving plays, out of a probable forty or fifty, provide us with an accurate if satirical commentary on the political, religious, sexual, economical and domestic life of Athens over a period of thirty six years. His changes in style and content match the concurrent constitutional and social changes in the State itself. The plays’ themes are invariably contemporary, a mocking mirror to the condition of the city. This edition has the benefit of the scholia of Thomas Magister, John Tzetzes and Demetrius Triclinus themselves incorporating much of the more ancient commentaries of Appolonius, Callimaches, Didymus and others, which were superseded in later editions by much newer but also much inferior work.

“Première et belle édition (…) Les Scolies sont dans cette importante et belle édition imprimées bien plus correctement que dans la reimpression faite à Florence 1525” Renouard, 16:3.

“Premiere édition belle et rare” Brunet I 451.

BMC V 559. GW, 2333. Goff, A-958. Sander I 580. Essling I 2,2 1163.

L1201

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SCHEDEL, Hartmann

COLOURED AND ANNOTATED BY A HUMANIST

Liber Chronicarum.

Nuremberg, Anton Koberger, 12 July 1493.

Price on request

FIRST EDITION, large folio, ff. (xx) 266 (v) 266-299 (i), lacking final blank. Gothic letter, up to 64 lines to page, initials painted in red and blue and rubricated throughout. One thousand eight hundred and nine woodcuts of various sizes, the largest double page, from small medallion portraits to large maps. All most elegantly hand-coloured by Johann Kruyshaar c. 1521, his and other early marginal notes (some shaved) intermittently throughout, extensive towards end, many place names added to city views in Kruyshaar’s hand, his catalogue of the Abbots of his monastery on fols 269v-271 (else blank save for running titles and page numbers) Kruyshaar’s autograph on head of title page and acquisition note of this ‘famous volume’ (1521) beneath, early manuscript page references below and on verso, his shield and monogram at foot. Very nasty looking spiders added to portraits of heretics and other grave malefactors. Another purchase record of Kruyshaar on verso of last recording that he paid 3 gold pieces for the book uncoloured, and that he himself rubricated the text, and illustrated the “pictures themselves with charming colours,” which indeed he did. In late 18th-century German 1/4 diced Russia, green watered paper boards and morocco label. Minor repair to joints and head and tail bands.

First edition of the earliest and ultimate coffee table book, one of the greatest and grandest of incunabula, and when published the biggest and most elaborately illustrated book ever produced. A traditional world history, is it largely drawn from Italian sources such as Blondo, Forresti and Piccolomini. There are also passages of more modern interest such as Schedel’s account of the invention of printing at Mainz, of the proto-Reformation movements of Wycliff and Huss, and the famous voyage of Cam and Behaim (lacking from the German translation) actually to Africa, but long believed to be evidence of their first discovery of the New World. But the glory of the work lies in its sumptuous woodcut illustrations, one the greatest examples of that art of any time. They are identified in the colophon as the work of Michael Wohlgemuth and William Pleydenwurff, making this one of the very few incunables illustrated by known, named artists. More recently, a number of the splendid cuts have been attributed to Pleydenwurff’s young disciple, Albrecht Dürer, and they bear a remarkable resemblance to his later illustration of the Apocalypse, making this Dürer’s first published illustration. He had probably been given the great opportunity by the publisher, Koberger, who was his godfather.

Of particular topographical importance are the double page maps; that of Europe is the earliest to appear in print, and the world map is one of only three before 1500 to show Portuguese knowledge of the coasts of Africa, as well as the city, views which in many instances constitute the earliest pictorial representation of those places, invaluable today. About 400 copies of the volume are believed to have survived, a very small proportion of which have contemporary, or near contemporary, hand colouring.

Johann Kruyshaar of Lippstadt (1484 – 1555), better known as Joannes Cincinnius, was a Westphalian humanist, author and scholar of some significance. Educated at the Paulinum Gymnasium in Münster and then the University of Cologne, where he followed the “Bursenhumanisms” of the Domuschulrektor Timon Kernerer, the refined Thomism he learned there is reflected in his book acquisitions, as well as his mathematical and scientific studies, especially astronomy and geometry. His connection there with the Münster humanists, and particularly Rudolf von Lingen also gave him an historical approach to writing and literature. He always maintained that he did not deserve his inclusion among the obscurorum virorum (Epistolae 1515).

Cincinnius had joined Werden Abbey by 1505, where he served i.a. as librarian and archivist. He continued his studies, especially Greek, over nearly 40 years, and produced several published works, historical or religious, which evidence the influence of the Christian humanism of Erasmus. His book acquisitions from 1520 indicate an interest in Luther, but as with many of the humanists of the devotio moderna, never an attraction. Cincinnius had an abiding passion for learning and books. He raised the level of the monastic school to that of the great Latin School at Emmerich, and provided it and the monastery with a first class library, making many notable acquisitions, including the collection of Gisbert Longolius. At the same time, Cincinnius was enthusiastically building up his own splendid library, which is thought to have numbered nearly 200 volumes. 157 of these are known, and 153 survive, mostly at Dusseldorf. Many are annotated and it is through both their quantity and his attentive noting that we can get a very rare contemporary insight into the mind of a humanist scholar, at the time of one of the major changes in the intellectual world.

BMC II 437. Goff S307. Fairfax Murray Ger. 394. Campbell ‘The Earliest Maps’ 1987. See Andreas Freitäger, ‘John Cincinnius of Lippstadt (ca. 1485-1555). Library and mental world of a Westphalian humanist’, Münster 2000.

K18

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ARISTOTLE

THE FERRARI – ROVIDA ANNOTATED COPY

De animalibus et alia.

Venice, Aldus, 1497 or 1498.

£39,500

EDITIO PRINCEPS. Folio, ff. 457 (i.e. 458), (9), aaαα-&&ωω10, AA-ΠΠ10, PP10+1, ΣΣΦΦ10, XX8,*8, lacking blank XX8. Greek, little Roman in preliminaries; large decorated initials; recto of first leaf lightly soiled, old oil stain to gutters at head; tear from blank lower corner at 152, small tear at foot of 364; marginal damp stains, small central oil splash over final gathering. A good, well-margined copy in early plain goatskin, vellum spine superimposed; chipped corner and front joint lightly cracked; a bit worn. Extensive scholarly Greek and Latin annotations by Ottaviano Ferrari (1518-1586), his autograph at head of title, and occasionally a slightly earlier Italian hand; with the supplemental gathering added, printed later and often missing, densely annotated by a knowledgeable late sixteenth-century Italian philologist; Ferrari’s autograph on title, early shelfmark and late sixteenth-century owner’s annotation confirming the notes were by Ferrari and the volume was purchased from Cesare Rovida’s heirs; later table of contents on front fly verso; bibliographical inscriptions (inaccurate) on front pastedown.

The third volume from a series of five comprising the celebrated collected edition of Aristotle published by Aldus Manutius between 1495 and 1498. The first two sets of Aldine Greek Type 1 cut by Francesco Griffo appeared in this edition. This tome comprises nineteen treatises of Aristotle, manly focused on animals, plus five commentaries by his pupil Theophrastus on fish, dizziness, tiredness, smell and sweat. Arguably, no other thinker in history has been more influential than Aristotle. His detailed and comprehensive studies in zoology, forming about a quarter of his surviving works, provided the most complete account on the animal world until the sixteenth century and, in many respects, up to the Enlightenment.

This copy extraordinarily retains the original strip pasted by Aldus at foot of f. 100v (kkxv) to supply a missing line, like the copy of George III in BL and very few others. The colophon also bears the corrected variant οἰκίᾳ in place of οἰκείᾳ, as in BL Cracherode copy. Gathering *8, originally missing in many copies of the edition, was integrated here by a scrupulous later owner. It consists of a fragment from the tenth book of the History of Animals, which was added by Aldus at the very last moment, so it was not included in earlier press run.

The present copy is entirely annotated, mostly by the Milanese scholar Ottaviano Ferrari (1518 -1586). Ferrari read humanities at the Canobian schools in Milan and, for a short time, taught logic at the University of Pavia. He was a close friend of Giulio Poggiani, Jacopo Bonfadio and Aldus’s son, Paolo Manuzio. De disciplina Encyclio was his most appreciated work, published in 1560 by the Aldine press under Paolo’s management. It was a valuable introduction to Aristotelian philosophy. His important Greek manuscripts which he carefully collected are mostly in the Ambrosiana Library of Milan.

As a proof of his respect for Aristotle’s teachings, his medallion portrait (about 1560) shows the Greek philosopher on its verso. Ferrari declared himself as a passionate student of medicine too, an interest which was certainly the reason for him to dwell so much on this mainly naturalistic book within the Aristotelian corpus. His annotations are dense and incredibly learned. He went over and over the volume, using three different inks and writing sometimes quick and large, sometimes minute and precise. Yet, the habit of recording in the margins and over the lines the internal page numbers treating of similar subjects remains consistent over the years of his intensive study.

Along with etymological notes on animals’ names, Ferrari made continuous reference to major and minor works by Aristotle, their Greek and Arabic commentaries, as well as an impressive list of authorities, such as Plato, Herodotus, Plutarch, Aratus, Hippocrates and Galen, Pliny, Varro, Lucretius, Cicero, Vitruvius and even Thomas Aquinas and Albert Magnus. Nor are absent mentions of early modern scholars, like Joseph Scaliger, Denis Lambin, Lodovico de Varthema, Robert Estienne, Ippolito Salviani, Pierre Belon, Piero Vettori, Bessarion and Niccolò Leoniceno. Here and there, one can find quotations from Theodorus Gaza’s Latin translation of these zoological treatises; finally, there are occasional textual emendations (for instance, f. 164r), referring to a manuscript owned by Ferrari and another by Giovanni Battista Rasario (1517-1578), a renowned Aristotelian commentator and professor of Greek in Padua and Venice.

Upon Ferrari’s death, this copy was acquired by Cesare Rovida (c.1559-1591/4), remarkably as one of his many Greek manuscripts. A pupil of Ferrari, Rovida was a bibliophile and professor of medicine in Pavia. He also commented on Aristotle and Ptolomeus, though he failed to publish his works. Because of their extraordinary value, the Ferrari-Rovida codices were purchased by Cardinal Federico Borromeo in 1606 and became one of the founding nuclei of the Ambrosiana Library (see, for instance, MS H 50 sup., with De anima and ancient commentaries, as described in Martini-Bassi, n. 435). Yet, this interesting Aldine copy of Aristotle’s naturalistic treatises has followed a different path. As we learn from the lower inscription on the title, it was sold by Rovida’s heirs to another Italian collector, who checked and certified that the annotations were truly by Ferrari.

The annotations over the tenth book of History of animals in the last gathering are also very interesting. They record numerous textual variations and commented on early authorities mentioning the text (now thought to be a spurious later addition). They were written in a very neat hand by a late sixteenth-century Italian scholar in Latin, Greek and Italian. It is a pity they were not signed. On verso of the last leaf, the annotator reported the abbreviations of the many codices he used in his philological work. One of them is said to be formerly owned by Christophe de Longeuil (died in 1522) and then Lazzaro Bonamico (died in 1552). Only few Aristotelian students, for example of the calibre of Piero Vettori (1499-1585), were able to display such knowledge and elegant handwriting in their marginalia.

BMC V 555-556; BSB-Ink, A 698; GW 2334; Goff, A 959; IGI 791; Hain *1657; Renouard, 11.2.

L1959

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