Guide To Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library


HM 27523

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BARTHOLOMAEUS ANGLICUS, LIVRE DES PROPRIETES DES CHOSES, trans. Jean Corbichon
France, s. XV1
1. ff. I-IX: [Chapter list] Cy sont les rebriches de tous les chapitres qui sont contenus en tous les livres des proprietes des choses. Et parle premierement des rebriches du premier livre, Cy commence la table des Rubriches du premier livre des proprietes des choses translate de latin en francoys par le commandement de charles le quint par la grace de dieu Roy de france et le translata maistre Iehan de corbeichon de l’ordre Saint augustin l’an de grace mil ccc lxxii…Le xxxvi chapitre parle des noms des aucteurs qui sont alleguez en ce present livre. Explicit. Il y a en ce livre xic iiiixx et xix chapitres. [f. IXv, blank] 2. ff. 1-277v: [Prologue] Cy commence le livre des proprietes des choses translate de latin en francois l’an mil trois cens sexante et douze par le commandement du roy charles le quint de son nom regnant en france noblement et puissaument en ce temps. Le prologue, A treshault et puissant prince Charles le quint de son nom par la digne prouveance de dieu Roy de france paissible seignourie soit donnee de celuy par qui les Roys Regnent et de par le translateur de ce livre qui pour cause de sa petitesce nommez ne se doibt soit offerte et presentee honeur et reverence…[f. 2, Prologue:] Le prologue de l’acteur, Comme ainsi soit que les proprietes de choses ensuient leur substance pour ce selon l’ordre de la distinction de substances sera l’ordre et la distinction des proprietes des choses desquelles a l’ayde de dieu ay ceste oeuvre compilee…[f. 2v, Text:] Ci fault le prologue de l’acteur. Et commence le premier livre qui est de dieu et des noms divins qui sont dis de dieu, En commensant a declairer aucunes choses des proprietes et des natures des choses tant espirituelles comme corporelles…Theophile, Varro, Virgile. Ce livre des proprietes des choses fut translate de latin en francoys l’an de grace mil CCC lxxiii par le commandement de tres puissant Charles le quint de son nom regnant en ce temps en france puissaument. Et le translata son petit et humble chapelain frere iehan Corbechon de l’ordre saint Augustin maistre en theologie de la grace et promocion dudit prince et seigneur tresexcellent. Deo gratias.
Bartholomaeus Anglicus, De proprietatibus rerum in the French translation of Jean Corbichon, of which there are several incunable editions; in HM 27523 art. 1 lists 20 books, the last of 36 chapters; however, in the text the “20th” book begins, f. 273, with the rubric, Ci commence le traite de la difference des nombres et des mesures…; this and the remaining chapters numbered as Book 19, chapters 114-149. For lists of manuscripts, not including HM 27523, see Stegmüller 1564-1567, Zumkeller, n. 468 and M. C. Seymour, “Some Medieval French Readers of De Proprietatibus Rerum,” Scriptorium 28 (1974) 100-03.
Parchment, ff. iii (modern paper) + IX (art. 1, parchment) + 277 + iii (modern paper); 380 × 290 (255 × 210) mm. 110(-1; art. 1) 2-358 366(-6). Catchwords in the hand of the text in the lower right margin; quire signatures in black ink in the lower left corner of the first recto: c-z and aa-oo (a and b presumably cropped); traces of quire and leaf signatures following the same sequence, in red ink in the lower right corners of leaves: f. 12, b.iiii; f. 84, 1.iiii; f. 177, y.i. 2 columns of 47 lines, ruled in ink; pricking visible in upper and lower margins. Written in a bâtarde script. Nineteen miniatures introducing each book, framed by simple burnished gold bands, with backgrounds often as feathery gold or silver rinceaux against black or dark pink grounds; opening miniature, f. 1, the width of both columns, ca. 200 × 160 mm., divided into 4 compartments: upper left, God, as a young man, creates heaven and light, and holds a roundel around which is inscribed: J’ay fait le ciel et la lumiere pour estre a homme chambriere; upper right, God creates fire, air and water, holding a roundel inscribed: J’ay fait le feu l’air et la mer pour que homme bien me doit amer; lower left: God creates the earth, holding a roundel inscribed: J’ay fait la terre bien garnie pour donner a homme sa vie; lower right, Charles V hands the Latin text to Jean Corbichon, saying on a scroll: De tout cecy les proprietes en cler francois nous translatez; the roundel placed at the center of the 4 compartments contains a coat of arms (see below); full border of black ink sprays, gold motifs and regularly placed, but sparse, colored acanthus leaves. Remaining miniatures, the width of one column, 19- to 13-line height: f. 7v, God and 3 rows of angels above a gaping hell mouth, which is receiving the fallen angels; f. 17v, creation of Adam in the Garden; f. 28v, a doctor lectures to his students on the humors of the body, while on a shelf behind are urine bottles and apothecary jars; f. 36v, a doctor stands before 2 cripples; f. 66v, an old man, hunchbacked, addresses 3 men of different social situations; f. 78, a teacher lectures to his students; f. 101v, a man, holding an astrolabe, stands talking to 2 others against a brilliantly striped sky; f. 117v, a seated man with an astrolabe talks to a cleric against a sky similar to the preceding one; f. 125v, a teacher lectures to his students; f. 128v, a man, standing against an orange scroll background, points to a roundel of a starry sky, pink castle, trees, grass and water; f. 134, in 4 compartments, an eagle, a swan, a stork, a rooster; f. 145, a man talking with 2 others, in a landscape of rivers, hills, trees and a graded blue starry sky; f. 152v, a landscape of converging rivers, a tree at either end and a mountain in the center; f. 160v, a landscape with rivers, trees, hills, castles and churches; f. 181, converging rivers, hills, castles; f. 192v, 3 tall fruit-bearing trees framing 2 smaller ones, against a low horizon and a graded starry sky; f. 228, 9 compartments containing a hedgehog, a lion, a bear, a monkey, a wolf (?), a boar, a dog, a stag and a horse; f. 260, a teacher lectures to his students. Initials for books, 7- to 3-line, in white-patterned blue or pink, infilled with colored trilobe leaves on a gold base; chapter initials, 4- to 1-line, alternating blue with red penwork or red with blue; alternating red and blue paragraph marks; rubrics throughout. Bound, s. XVIII, in French polished calf; red edges. Written in France, possibly Brittany, in the first half of the fifteenth century. The first owner was a member of the Laval family, whose coat of arms is in the roundel on f. 1: or, on a cross gules 5 escallops argent, semé of alerions azure (Rietstap, vol. 4, pl. 33). On f. I, shelf mark or notarial mark composed of a large flourish or paraph and the number “cinq,” found on manuscripts of the library of the Château d’Anet, sold in Paris in 1724; this manuscript [n. 98] in that sale. The mark is on a number of manuscripts and printed books now in Vienna, for which see O. Pächt and D. Thoss, Die illuminierten Handschriften und Inkunabeln der Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek: Französische Schule (Vienna 1974) vol. 1, pls. 141, 155, 156 and vol. 2, pls. 410, 412.1 Acquired by J. B. Denis Guyon de Sardière with a portion of the Château d’Anet collection; his sale, Paris 1759, lot 227. Sold by Mme H. Lestourgie to the French book dealer Brieux. Acquired by the Huntington Library in 1964 through H. Levinson, Beverly Hills.
Secundo folio: [f. II, Chapter list] mention. Et sera; [f. 2, Text] diligence esquelx livres
Bibliography: Chronica, 5-6; Aspects of Medieval England, n. 43 open at f. 101v. D. Byrne, “The Boucicaut Master and the Iconographic Tradition of the ‘Livre des Propriétés des Choses’, ” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 92 (1978) 149-64, citing this manuscript on p. 163, n. 22.
Notes
1 We are indebted to M. François Avril for the identification of this mark.

Abbreviations
Aspects of Medieval England
Aspects of Medieval England: Manuscripts for Research in the Huntington Library, an Exhibition prepared for the Medieval Academy of America, 14 April 1972 [San Marino 1972]
Chronica
J. Preston, “Medieval Manuscripts at the Huntington: Supplement to De Ricci’s Census,” Chronica: a Newsletter Published by the Medieval Association of the Pacific 21 (1977) 2-9
Rietstap
J. B. Rietstap, Armorial général (2nd ed. 1884-87; plates 1903-26 and Supplements 1926-51 by V. Rolland and H. Rolland)
Stegmüller
F. Stegmüller, vols. 9-11 with the assistance of N. Reinhardt, Repertorium biblicum medii aevi (Madrid 1950-80)
Zumkeller
A. Zumkeller, Manuskripte von Werken der Autoren des Augustiner-Eremitenordens in mitteleuropäischen Bibliotheken. Cassiciacum 20 (1966)

C. W. Dutschke with the assistance of R. H. Rouse et al., Guide to Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Huntington Library (San Marino, 1989). Copyright 1989.
Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California.
Electronic version encoded by Sharon K, Goetz, 2003.
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