|Houghton Library, MS Typ 496 [Source]|
A reader sent me an enquiry about a manuscript a few weeks ago, that sent me off on a provenance-hunting trail with a very satisfactory result. The image above shows the last page of the manuscript, a copy of Andrea Domenico Fiocchi (alias Fenestella), De Romanorum Magistratibus, which is at the Houghton Library, and this is a detail, showing that the scribe dated its completion in 1465:
|"die .v. novembr. 1465"|
The most recent account of the manuscript's provenance is in the 2016 Beyond Words exhibition catalogue , cat. no. 201, by Rowan Watson, as follows:
"The manuscript was originally bound with a copy by the same scribe, and with the same white-vine decoration, of Macrobius's Saturnalia, a work of c. 430 CE composed in Christian Rome (London, V&A, MSL/1952/1769) [...] The V&A manuscript has the arms of the Maffei family: Gherardo di Giovanni Maffei of Volterra (1398-1466) or his sons, all papal servants, would be candidates for the identification of the first owner"
The V&A manuscript referenced here is described in Rowan Watson's 2011 catalogue of the V&A's illuminated manuscripts (vol. II, no. 105) , where the provenance begins:
"Dated 1465, Rome: v martii 1465 (f.1r); in ven' sco' i.e. Good friday (f.39v); completus die xiiii augusti Rome 1465 (f.150r) [...] Apparently made for a member of the Maffei family of Volterra, with their arms on f.1r (Azure, a demi-stag or) [...]
Here is the first page of the V&A manuscript, and a detail of the arms of the Maffei of Volterra family, held by a putto in the lower border:
|V&A Museum, MSL/1952/1769 [Source]|
So, to summarise:
- Both volumes were written in 1465 by the same scribe, and apparently decorated by the same illuminator.
- The Houghton volume is said to have been "originally bound with" the V&A one, but no supporting evidence for this statement is provided.
- The V&A volume has the (apparently contemporary) arms of the Maffei family of Volterra, and its scribe recorded that he completed it in Rome.
|BL, Burney MS 160 [Source]|
|BL, Burney MS 158 [Source]|
|Houghton, MS Typ 2 [Source] |