|University of Rochester, D.460 1353-001 [Source]|
In preparation for a manuscripts safari this summer, I am combing through online library catalogues of collections in New York state for manuscripts of interest. The Rush Rhees Library of the University of Rochester has an online handlist of its medieval and early modern manuscripts, for example, and one that particularly caught my eye is this:
"The script of humanism is represented by two items in the Millar Bequest, the present one and the next. Although the first is only a fragment [i.e. single leaf], it has the advantage over the second that its writer is known. He was Gherardo del Ciriagio, the leading Florentine scribe in the third quarter of the fifteenth century [...] The major part of the Cicero from which the present leaf is taken is now in the collection of Mr. B. S. Cron and bears the date 1453. The ‘complete’ manuscript—it actually lacked three leaves already—was purchased by Sir Sydney Cockerell at the sale of the library of Samuel Allen, of Lisconnan, Antrim, at Sotheby’s on 30 January 1920 (lot 42), for £10 15s. Previously it had been lot 1238 in Sotheby’s sale of 18 June 1866 and item 35747 in Messrs. B. Quaritch’s catalogue 369 of September that year. Cockerell had the manuscript rebound, but before doing so gave thirteen damaged or mutilated leaves to friends. Those that can be traced are one given to Graily Hewitt, now in the possession of Mr. Alfred Fairbank, a second in the library of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators, to which it was presented by Madelyn Walker, and the present one, which was given to St. John Hornby. It seems not unlikely that it came into the Millar collection as a gift from Hornby. It is fol. 5 of the first of the original fourteen gatherings in the book and contains chapters 26—33 of Book I of De Oratore. There is no decoration on the two pages, which each have twenty-six lines of writing on them. There are four corrections to the text, two, in the same hand as the text, being above lines, and the other two, in a more cursive script, being in the margins. All appear to be by Gherardo."
A footnote refers to B. L. Ullman, The Origin and Development of Humanistic Script, Storia e Letteratura: Raccolta di Studi e Testi, 79 (Rome, 1960), pp. 112-13, which provides a bit more information, including the full colophon "Scriptus autem fuit per me Gherardum Iohannis del Ciriagio civem et notarium Florentinum MCCCCLIII"; a record of the original collation, "thirteen signatures of ten leaves and one of eight"; and a list of the leaves that were missing from the rebound parent volume: leaves 2, 3, 5, 7, and 8 of quire I; leaf 9 of quire II; leaves 6 and 9 of quire IV; leaf 10 of quire VII; leaf 8 of quire X; leaf 8 of quire XI; leaves 1, 4, and 5 of quire XII; and the blank leaves 7 and 8 of the last quire.
Ullman lists the same three leaves as in the Millar Bequest volume, viz:
- A leaf containing De oratore I.7-13, given by the calligrapher Madelyn Walker to the Society of Scribes and Illuminators [Wikipedia]
- The Millar leaf, containing I.26-33 (now BL, Add. MS. 54244)
- A leaf containing III.84-91, given by Cockerell to the calligrapher Graily Hewitt [Wikipedia], from whom it passed to the calligrapher and palaeographer Alfred Fairbank [Wikipedia]
The Millar Bequest volume and Ullman both state that Cockerell extracted 13 leaves, but in his list of Cockerell manuscripts (British Library Journal, 1987, p. 205 no. 86), Christopher de Hamel says there were 14 (I do not know which number is correct):
UPDATE, 29 May 2022: Bill Stoneman has been in touch and kindly sent me scans of Sydney Cockerell's 1951 article, in which he reproduces the illuminated initial at the beginning of Book II of the text, and the colophon at the end: