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Epistolae ad Familiares
- Illuminated manuscript in Latin, written on vellum, possibly written by Ser Pietro di Bernardo Cennini and illuminated by Francesco d'Antonio del Chierico. Italy, Florence, ca. 1460-1470. 270 x 175 mm., ii, 156, ii leaves. Collation: I-XV10, XVI6-1 (last blank cancelled), perpendicular catchwords in hand of the scribe. Modern pencilled foliation including front flyleaf. Written in brown ink in a very fine, humanist minuscule between 37 horizontal and two pairs of vertical lines ruled in pale ink, justification: 195 x 105 mm., rubrics in pale red, two-line initials in dark blue throughout (often several on a page), 16 large (five- to nine-lines) white-vine initials in raised burnished gold, entwined with white-vine leaves infilled in blue, pink and green with three or more dots in white and with marginal extensions up and down the margins, the first with a two-sided border with winged putti carrying a wreath (original coat of arms erased), a bird and a butterfly. Lower corner of opening folio slightly thumbed. A few contemporary marginal notes, erasure at end affected several pages (below explicit on fol. 156v caused rubbing on fols. 155v-156r as well), few minor wormholes mostly in margins, few other creases and marks, generally in very fine condition, complete and with clean wide margins. Binding: late 16th-early 17th century (?) gold-tooled brown morocco, nine raised bands, panel design, perhaps Sicilian (see La Bibliofilía, vol. 68 (1966), pp. 181-183), gilt edges (covers a little worn, small sections missing from head and foot of spine); vellum pastedowns (lifted) from a mid 14th-century Italian manuscript of Aristotle's Politics, Book 4 in Latin translation written in 2 columns. In a modern quarter red morocco fitted box with gilt lettering. PROVENANCE:1. Unidentified original patron, his coat of arms (fol. 2r) erased. 2. Perhaps a Sicilian owner by the late 16th-early 17th century when the manuscript received its present binding, presumably contemporary to the inscriptions on the flyleaf: "Di don Francesco st.st.lia. Di Don Domenico."3. Book-label with initials R.L.A. (gilt on blue).4. Giannalisa Feltrinelli (bookplate; F 159 in her library, her sale Christie's London, 3 December 1997, lot 151 sold to Bernard Quaritch).5. Helmut N. Friedlaender, with his bookplate. His library sold (Christie's New York, 23 April 2001, lot 5). Helmut Friedlaender (1913-2008), American bibliophile and lawyer, was an advisor to the Rosenwald family.SCRIBE: The manuscript is written by one excellent hand in a small humanistic script. Spaces for quotations in Greek are left blank. According to P.O. Kristeller, Iter Italicum V, 1990, p. 346 the scribe was identified by the great expert Albinia de La Mare as Ser Pietro di Bernardo Cennini (1463, see also no. 53451 in the Schoenberg database). He was a prolific Florentine scribe (ca. 1445-84) to whom at least 32 other manuscripts are attributed, the first of which dated 1460 (see Garzelli 1985, pp. 445 & 526-29). Piero Cennini was the son of the first book printer in Florence and a professional notary. He mostly wrote an elegant humanist, cursive hand (contrary to the present manuscript that is written in a minuscule). He copied texts for his own use as well as for clients, especially Hungarian clients such as Archbishop Vitez and Matthias Corvinus. The present manuscript is not listed in Garzelli 1985.TEXT:Epistolae ad familiares (fols. 2r-156v), divided into sixteen books. Book I (fol. 2r), Book II (fol. 11v), Book III (fol. 18v), Book IV (fol. 27v), Book V (fol. 35r), Book VI (fol. 46v), Book VII (fol. 56v), Book VIII (fol. 66r), Book IX (fol. 70v), Book X (fol. 84v), Book XI (fol. 98v), Book XII (fol. 107r), Book XIII (fol. 118r), Book XIV (fol. 130v), Book XV (fol. 140r), Book XVI (fol. 150r).Fol. 156v: Ego vos ad III Kal. videbo, tuosque oculos, etiam si te veniens in medio foro videro, dissaviabor. Me ama. Vale. Marci Tullii Ciceronis Epistolarum Familiarium Liber Sextusdecimus et ultimus [Attributes: Hard Cover]
      [Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller Inc.]
Last Found On: 2016-12-09           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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