BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Marston MS 55 Florence, ca. 1445-50
Nonius Marcellus, De compendiosa doctrina
ff. 1r-130r Senium est tedium et odium dictum a senectute quod senes
omnibus odio sunt et tedio...persecutus aristoteles animancium omnium
ortus uictus figuras. Finis. Amen. f. 130v ruled, but blank
The books are in the following order: I-II, IV-XV, XVII-XX, III;
W. M. Lindsay, ed., Teubner (1903), 3 vols; Aldo Lunelli, "L'editio
princeps del capitolo III di Nonio," Res Publica Litterarum 9 (1986)
pp. 193-202 (cited p. 198). The text is very corrupt:
beginning in the latter portion of Book IV and Books V-XI the text of
entries is often omitted and sections are frequently abridged; Books
XII-XX and III are essentially complete. Passages containing Greek
are handled in three ways: first, by omitting the Greek and leaving
no space for its later insertion; second, by transliterating the Greek
into Roman letters; third, by leaving a large blank space where the
Greek was presumably to be inserted. Decorative initials appear at
the beginning of each book (except for VIII which begins without a
break at the conclusion of VII) and, for those books whose contents
are arranged alphabetically (II-IV), at the first entry for each letter.
Parchment, ff. iii (modern parchment) + 130 + iii (modern parchment),
283 x 195 (179 x 115) mm. 39 long lines. Double vertical bounding lines,
often not quite full length (Derolez 13.31); ruled in pale brown ink.
Single pricking in inner margin, 68 mm. below bottom line, and in outer
margin, 3 mm. below bottom line.
I-XIII 10. Vertical catchwords perpendicular to text in gutter
(Derolez 12.7). Quire and leaf signatures (e.g., a1, a2, a3, etc.)
in lower right corner, recto.
Written in a small upright humanistic cursive script by a single
scribe who began copying the text with a single line of majuscules;
written below top line.
According to A. C. de la Mare the decoration is possibly by the
Florentine artist Giovanni Varnucci (d. 1457) in his early style.
Folio 1r with partial border in upper and inner margins; white vine-stem
ornament on blue, green and pink ground with grey and pale yellow dots,
terminating in penwork with gold balls. At the left upper corner vine-stem
ornament is inhabited by a red-winged putto being attacked by a bird.
Historiated initial, 9-line, gold, against a blue, green and pink ground
with white vine-stem ornament, and a medallion with the profile of a man,
dressed in a red and green cap and red robes against blue ground (for a
detail of this medallion see Garzelli, Miniatura fiorwentina, p. 54,
no. 58: middle photo on the left, incorrectly identified as MS 438).
Numerous small initials, 4-line, gold on blue, pink and green or blue
and pink rectangular grounds with white and pale yellow filigree.
Binding: England, s. xx, after 1926. Dark green pigskin, gold-tooled
with the arms of C. H. St. John Hornby on the upper side; title on spine.
Written in Florence ca. 1445-50; early modern provenance unknown, although
stamps (now mostly erased) of the Minutoli Tegrimi family of Lucca on
ff. 1r, 130r and v ("Di casa Minutoli Tegrimi") suggest it may have belonged
to this family as early as the 15th century; for other manuscripts with this
stamp see Abbey Cat., p. 55, n. 2 and p. 53, fig. 18 for detail of stamp.
Illustrated in De Marinis sale cat. VIII (1908) no. 47; bought from De
Marinis in 1926 (Hoepli, Milan, cat. 44) by C. H. St. John Hornby (M. 65;
booklabel inside front cover; notes on f. i recto; armorial binding).
Acquired from Hornby by J. R. Abbey (bookplate), in 1946 when he
acquired other manuscripts from the Hornby collection; Abbey's note in ink
on final flyleaf: "J. A. 3207/ 15: 9: 1946." Belonged to H. Harvey Frost,
whose collection was dispersed in the 1950s. Purchased from Davis and Orioli
in 1955 by L. C. Witten, who sold it that same year to Thomas E. Marston
secundo folio: Numquam dum ego
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 70, no. 55.
Barbara A. Shailor