On the back pastedown in a fine formal bâtarde script (also, significantly in the present context, known as lettre bourguignon) is an inscription that reads "C'est a moy Vaillant":
|Northampton, MA, Smith College, MS. 288, back pastedown |
[All images of this manuscript are from Digital Scriptorium]
The same words appear on the front pastedown:
|Northampton, MA, Smith College, MS. 288, front pastedown|
16th- and 17th-century records of Jean-Baptiste and his family are added on the final blank leaves.
The toponym must presumably indicate Villebichot, a short distance south of Dijon, capital city of the Dukes of Burgundy:
The first page of family records tells us that Jean-Baptiste was born in October 1588 and that his wife was Marye de Flavigny; her family presumably came from Flavigny, to the north-west of Dijon:
From the 17th to the mid-20th century the provenance of the book is currently unknown. I have not been able to locate the manuscript in the Schoenberg Database, but Martin Antonetti, Curator of Rare Books at Smith, tells me that it was given to the College in 1964 by Helen Dunbar Holmes (Class of 1909). It had been purchased for her as a Christmas present in 1962 from Goodspeed's for $500 by her husband, Hector McIntosh Holmes, of Duxbury, Massachusetts.
Martin also provided me with a scan of the Goodspeed's catalogue description, in which it is attributed to Dijon (but dated a more than a century too late):
|Northampton, MA, Smith College, MS. 288, fol.101v - detail|
In a forthcoming post on this manuscript I will provide a detailed list of the manuscript's unusual textual contents.