Census of the Petrarch Manuscripts in the United States


MS 881

Two bound volumes, paper (Watermark: Ancre dans un cercle, similar to Briquet no. 586, Venice, 1504), vol. I - I (cont. paper) + 398 + I, vol. II - I (cont. paper) + 227, 156 × 105 (125 × 75), collation vol I - 18 (plus one at beginning of quire) 2-98 108 (plus two folios at end of quire) 11-238 248 (plus one fol. at the beginning of the quire) 25-278 288 (minus last two folios of quire); vol. II - 18 (plus one at the beginning of the quire) 2-188 198 (plus two folios added after sixth folio of quire) 208-378, quires partially numbered, on recto upper margin, in vol I (1, 2, 3, 4 on first folios of the quire), in vol. II the quires are numbered 1-8 (on recto in upper outer margin), both vols frame ruled in lead, 16-18 lines per page, written in a humanistic script, text written in black and red ink. No illumination or decoration. Binding: 16thߚcentury Venetian olive morocco, borders of blind and gilt-ruled fillets, gilt corner ornaments, central Fugger shield enclosing two fleur-de-lis; on the front cover of vol. 1 are stamped in gilt the vowels A*E and on the second volume are the vowels I*O*U; backs blind-tooled in compartments with gilt fillets on the bands, edges in gilt and gauffered; red and green headbands, evidence of three pair of green silk ties. Concordance of Petrarch’s poetry ( Rerum vulg. fragm. and Triumphi ), in two volumes:
Vol. I contains word endings from a to ezzo for the vowels A and E; vol. II contains word endings from di to volo for the vowels I, O and U, all in alphabetical order. Vol. I f. 1r, "A" (written in red ink, in middle of page)
f. 1v, blank
ff. 2r-398v, (word endings in vowels A and E), inc. "Fra - 3, 6, 9, 30, 67; Pieta - 3, 4, 14, 19, 21; Ma - 3, 5, 6, 12, 16, 191; Da - 4, 5, 25, 27; A - 4, 25, 43, 73, 75; Gia - 4, 9, 12, 15, 31; Fa - 5, 7, 8, 10, 14, 24; Tra - 7, 17, 18, 23, 38, 51; Dara - 8; Qua - 8, 20, 24, 47; Ha - 9, 22, 23, 29, 46 ...", expl. "... in mezzo - 374." (the reference numbers do not correspond to the numbers of the poems in Rerum vulg. fragm.; they may refer to page or folio numbers in a manuscript or printed edition of the collection).1
Vol. II f. 1r, blank
f. 1v, "I" (written in red ink, in middle of page)
ff. 2r-223v, (word endings in vowels I, O and U), inc. "izzarsi (in red): Drizzarsi. 44 ...", expl. "... uolo (in red), Nuvolo - 20."
ff. 224r-227v, blank.
Written in Italy, possibly Venice, in s. XVIin.
The binding, with Fugger shield, suggests that the manuscript was owned by a member of the Fugger family, the eminent Augsburg banking dynasty. Ms acquired by the Beinecke Library in August 1999 from E.K. Schreiber Rare Books, NYC.

1. For example, all the words in Petrarch’s first sonnet ("Voi ch’ascoltate") are numbered ’3’, the Triumphi are numbered ’287’.

Briquet, C.M. Les Filigranes, facsimile of the 1907 edition with supplementary material, ed. A. Stevenson. 4 vols. Amsterdam, 1968.

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