BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
Marston MS 62 Northern Italy, s. XV 2/4
Boccaccio, De mulieribus claris
1. f. 1r-v blank, except for title "De mulieribus claris" on f. 1r;
f. 2r-v De Eua prima parente. Capitulum Primum/ De Semiramide A
ssiriorum Regina. Capitulum Secundum/...De Tertia Emilia Primi Africani
coniuge. Capitulum Lxxij#m./ De Dripetrua Laodecie Regina.
Table of contents, in red throughout, incomplete at end.
2. ff. 3r-80r Iohannis Boccacij de Certaldo de Mulieribus claris ad
Andream de Acciaiolis de Florentia Alte Ville comitissam. Liber incipit
feliciter. [dedication:] Scripsere iam dudum nonnulli ueterum sub
conpendio de uiris illustribus libros. et nostro euo latiori tamen
uolumine et accuratiori stilo...[text, f. 3v:] De Eua Prima Parente
Capitulum Primum. Scripturus igitur quibus fulgoribus mulieres
claruerunt insignes a matre omnium [?] sumpsisse exordium non apparebit
indignum...quam in nullius comodum laceratum dentibus Inuidorum depereat.
Amen. ff. 80v-82v ruled, but blank
Boccaccio, De mulieribus claris, with dedication to Andrea Acciaiuoli;
V. Branca, general ed., Tutte le opere di G. Boccaccio (Verona, 1967),
v. 10 edited by V. Zaccaria, pp. 1-579.
Paper (watermarks: Briquet Tete de boeuf 14717 and similar to
Piccard Ochsenkopf XII.123), ff. ii (paper) + 82, 286 x 210 (194 x 114) mm.
39 long lines. Single vertical bounding lines, ruled in lead; rulings
for text in pale brown ink. Remains of prickings.
I 3 (1 = front pastedown), II 9 (structure of I-II uncertain; loss of
text in art. 1), III-VIII 10, IX 12 (12 = back pastedown). Horizontal
catchwords, center of lower margin, verso.
Text written in a well spaced gothic bookhand with humanistic
features by a single scribe, below top line. Art. 1 and rubrics added
in similar script by another hand.
Folio 3r, partial border, of poor quality: in lower margin, a patch
of green grass with two women seated, one dressed in red, the other in
green and white, supporting a shield with unidentified arms (gules,
3 helmets sable [in outline only]), a later addition. From the patch of
grass oak branches with leaves and acorns extend into inner and upper
margins. In inner margin, a fox chasing a hare. Folio 80r, a medallion
framed in red and pink and four small gold flowers, with an unidentified
monogram [letters u, p, h, a, c, l, o?] in gold against blue ground.
One pen-and-ink initial, 8-line, blue with pale red penwork. Plain
initials alternate in red and blue. Headings in red (ff. 1r-7r only).
Many initials touched with red. Guide letters for decorator throughout.
Binding: Italy, s. xv. Parchment stays from contemporary
document (see provenance below) adhered to inner and outer conjugate
leaves of quires. Original wound sewing on three tawed skin, slit
straps fastened in channels in flush wooden boards. A primary endband,
caught up on the spine, is sewn on tawed skin cores. Remains of red
secondary embroidery. The spine is square and lined with tawed skin
between central supports.
Covered in kermes pink, tawed skin with corner tongues, the
sides divided into triangles with right angled and diagonal fillets.
Three fastenings, the catches on the lower board and stubs of green
fabric straps on the upper board which is cut in to accomodate them.
Eight star-shaped bosses on the upper board (one wanting) and five on
the lower, each board with four bosses on their spine edges. Inscription
on upper cover: "de mulieribus claris." Written in ink on fore edge:
"LXXXVIII" with a helmet on each side. Label on lower board wanting.
Written in Northern Italy in the second quarter of the 15th century; the
design of the watermarks (Briquet 14717: Brescia 1433-42) and the
geographical names (Erbusco, Montirone) mentioned on the strips of a
parchment document used as binding stays suggest a place of origin near
Brescia. Unidentified arms, with "Cretulia" and "Thurj" added on either
side, and inscription in the lower margin of f. 2v: "Quid spectas
Thurum [with 3 helmets] sunt hec insignia. Thuris/ Donarunt Sacre
Iuno Minerua Venus/ Cretulia" [written below], and marginalia in
arts. 1 and 2, appear to be nearly contemporary additions by a single
person. Inscription, s. xvi, on f. 82v: "liber plebanj Brotij et
amicorum." Stamp on f. 4r: three helmets with ribbons scrolling
around shield. Purchased in 1954 from C. A. Stonehill (inv. no. 3030)
by Thomas E. Marston (bookplate).
secundo folio: [text, f. 4:] aut incude
Bibliography: Faye and Bond, p. 71, no. 62.
Barbara A. Shailor