Census of the Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States


Ms. 170/546

Parch., ff. I + III (modern paper) + IV-V (parchment) + 100 + I (modern paper), contemporary foliation 10-109 in Arabic numerals with errors, and modern pencil foliation, 232 × 162 (165/170 × 90/92) mm., 1-212 316 4-812, horizontal catchwords in center lower margin, only the first is placed in a square frame, ruled in lead, 36-42 verses per page leaving space for approximately three sonnets, written by one person in an irregular semi-humanistic hand. No decoration although space is left blank for initials with guide letters in the margin (f. 1, space for a 9ߚline initial; and space for 1 to 2ߚline initials for the other poems); the beginning letter of each verse is in a display script; the quartine and terzine of the sonnets and the strophes of the canzoni are signalled by a paragraph mark. Bound in quarter brown leather with patterned red on white paper, gold letters on spine "Petra. Rime Amor. Cod. S. XIV" and paper label with Phillipps no. 4044; on first parchment flyleaf recto are rust marks from 5 studs of earlier binding. first parchment flyleaf verso, the beginning of an alphabetical list of first verses with Arabic numeration, written in a 15thߚcent. semigothic script other than text, inc. "[A] piè di colle dove la bella vesta II ... Amor quando fioriva 91//", followed by pen trials. ff. 1-95v, Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. , inc. "[V]oi ch’ascoltate in rime sparsi e i sono (sic) ...", (nos. 1-10, 21-120, 122-243, 121 [f. 62, note to no. 121: "positum hic et bene stat"], 244-276, 277 [f. 72, note to no. 277: "scripta male e posta infra a carta una e meza"; f. 72v, vacat is written against the last four verses of no. 277], 279-283, 277 [repeated correctly this time], 278, 284-325, 334-339, 342, 340, 350-352, 354, 353, 355, 359, 341, 343, 356, 344-349, 357-358, 360-366), expl. "... Ch’acoglia el mio spirto ultimo in pace". Poems nos. 77-78, 157-158, 226-227, 232-233 and 270-271 written together as one poem; canzoni 50, 71-73, 105, 119, 125 and 126 are written in running lines; words and sometimes entire verses are missing and there are numerous additions of missing text and corrections by the scribe and a contemporary reader. A severely effaced version of no. 121 appears after no. 366 on f. 95v, followed by five lines of illegible text. f. 97, Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando furioso , Canto XIV, XCII, 1-6, in a 16thߚcent. Italic hand, inc. "Giace in Arabia una valletta amena ...", expl. "... Che non vi può mai penetrar coi raggi" (ed. L. Caretti [Milano-Napoli, 1954], 314). Other separate lines of poetry in the same hand appear on the second parchment flyleaf recto, "Sorge tra il duro Scita e l’Indo molle / Un monte che col ciel quasi confina" (Ariosto, Orlando furioso , VIII, lxxix, 1-2), repeated below; f. 96, "Il dì s’apressa" (cfr. Petrarch, Rerum vulg. fragm. CCCLXVI, 131), also repeated; f. 97, "Già in ogni parte gli animanti lassi / Davan riparo a i travagliati"; and f. 98, "Quando veggio dal ciel scender l’aurora", "Chi mette il piè su l’amorosa pania" followed (ff. 98-100v) by erased verses, and pen trials.
2nd. f.: Né mi vale
Written in Italy, perhaps Florence, s. XIV-XV; the Ariosto text on f. 97 was written in s. XVI.
16thߚcent. pen sketches of coats of arms on f. 96v, and of the Medici arms under a coronet on f. 99v; f. 95 (at the end of no. 366) is 18thߚcent. signature "Ex lib. Ay. Vinaioli Z. 60"; on first parchment flyleaf verso is written "1-1 (or A?) V. Z-60"; a short letter of 3 June 1817 is inserted loosely in the ms. from the Florentine Giovanni Molini to the Roman bookseller Giambattista Petrucci Piancastrelli in which Molini informs Piancastrelli that another ms. was sold by the nuns of the suppressed convent of Santa Caterina in Florence; perhaps the present ms. passed through the hands of either Molini or Piancastrelli or both; owned by the bookseller James Taylor of London, "2/2 Taylor" is written on front pastedown; Phillipps ms. 4044 , the number is written on the front pastedown and on the first paper flyleaf recto with Middlehill stamp; purchased by bookseller L. Witten from Phillipps sale (Robinson Trust), Sotheby, 30 November 1976, no. 877 and sold to U.C.L.A on 7 July 1978 (Catalogue 8, Laurence Witten Rare Books, 1978, 104-105, pl. 104).
N. Mann, "Petrarch Manuscripts in the British Isles", Italia medioevale e umanistica, XVIII (1975), 337-38, no. 143.

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