Analysis of Content
a2r Gratianus: Decretum. [Pars I. Rubric.] ‘In nomine sancte et indiuidue trinitatis. Incipit concordia discordantium Canonum. Ac primum de iure constitutionis nature et humane. Rubrica.’ [Textus.] ‘[H]umanum genus duobus regitur naturali videlicet iure et moribus . . .’ See G‑178.
a2r Bartholomaeus Brixiensis: [Glossa ordinaria in Decretum.] ‘[Q]uoniam nouis superuenientibus causis nouis est remediis succurrendum . . . [H]umanum genus. Tractaturus Gratianus de iure canonico . . .’ See G‑178.
l5r Gratianus: [Pars II.] ‘[Q]uidam habens filium . . .’ See G‑178.
L3v [Tractatus de penitentia.] ‘[H]is breviter decursis in quibus extra negocii finem aliquantulum euagati sumus . . . [S]unt enim qui dicunt quemlibet criminis veniam . . .’ See G‑178.
Q1v [Pars III. Tractatus de consecratione.] ‘[D]e ecclesiarum consecratione et missarum celebrationibus . . . [T]abernaculum . . .’ See G‑178.
T8r ‘Registrum chartarum huius decreti.’
Imprint: Venice: Thomas de Blavis de Alexandria, 28 July 1486. 4°.
Collation: a–z [et]12 [con]8 A–S12 T8.
GW: GW 11370;
Hain: HC *7905;
Goff: Goff G‑376;
BMC: BMC V 318;
Proctor: Pr 4762;
Others: BSB‑Ink G‑270; Oates 1876; not in Sheppard; Will 24.
Copy number: G-187(1)
Binding: Contemporary Italian dark brown goatskin over pasteboards on top of wooden boards bevelled inwards. Blind-tooled in Mudéjar style, but with punch-gilt roundels. Thick fillets mitred at the corners form a double frame, containing four small rosettes on each side. An octagonal central compartment, outlined by double fillets separating it from the areas above and below filled with X‑tools and minute roundels, contains interlaced rectangular strapwork around a smaller circle in the middle. The ornament inside the octagon is in relief against a punched ground. Punch-gilt roundels in the middle circles and the square are enclosed by strapwork. Four small brass bosses in the shape of rosettes at the inner corners. Four clasps (one detached) hinging on the edges of the lower cover and fastening on catches protruding from the edges of the upper cover; clasps and catches secured by three star nails arranged in a triangle. Edges pale brown (originally gilt?), gauffered with groups of four roundels separated by diagonal fillets inside dotted-line borders. The inside bevel of the boards is scored with blind fillets. Modern headbands. Rebacked, old spine laid down. Sewn on three split thongs divided and outlined by thick fillets; in the compartments of the spine small rosettes in a three-line diaper. Binding perhaps by a Spanish (Sephardic?) craftsman in Emilia Romagna or the Marche. Related bindings: London, BL, Henry Davis Gift, P. 902, Gregory IX, Nova Decretalium compilatio (Venice, 1482), reproduced by Tammaro de Marinis, Rilegature veneziane del XV e XVII secolo (Venice, 1955), no. 11, pl. IV: same binder and provenance. Imola, Biblioteca Comunale, Hebrew Bible, MS, fifteenth century, reproduced by Tammaro de Marinis, ‘L'arte delle legatura nell'Emilia', in Tesori delle biblioteche d'Italia, ed. D. Fava (Milan, 1932), 648, fig. 374. Nixon Broxbourne, no. 8: as Venetian; Nixon is mistaken in saying that clasps on Italian bindings hinge on the lower cover. Exactly the opposite is the case. It is only on bindings alla greca that the thongs or clasps hinge on the lower cover; on all other Italian bindings they hinge on the upper cover. This feature is probably irrelevant, as the clasps on the BL Gregorius IX, by the same binder, hinge on the upper cover: it is probable that on the Broxbourne book both the covers were reversed when the book was rebacked. For the typically Spanish technique of the raised circles and strapwork see Henry Thomas, Early Spanish Bookbindings (London 1939), pl. xxxix, and for the design, pls. LX, LXI, LXII, which suggest a Spanish craftsman. The Italian rosettes and X‑tools, the punch gilt roundels, the spine decoration, and the early Italian provenance imply an Italian place of origin; while the comparable binding of the Hebrew Bible in Imola suggests that he may have been a Jewish immigrant from Spain. The BL Gregorius IX is annotated by the same hand and is inscribed ‘loci Maciani' and ‘loci Sanctae Mariae Maciani'. An original endleaf has a watermark of crossed keys hanging from two circles: type of Briquet 3861 (Palermo and Rome, 1484) and Zonghi 577 (1491).
Size: 256 × 189 × 73 mm.
Size of leaf: 241 × 175 mm.
An early owner has annotated the book extensively and written a series of notes on the verso of the front endleaf: ‘Nota q[uod] Magister istud opus suu[m] dividit in tres p[ar]tes . . .', in an Italian humanist hand.
Provenance: Maciano, near Pennabilli, province of Urbino, Marche, Franciscan house(?); seventeenth(?)-century inscription on the first and last pages of text, ‘Loci maciani'. Albert Ehrman (1890-1969); armorial book-plate, purchased from William H. Schab and Heinrich Eisemann in 1951 for £45, accession number ‘R 921'. Acquired in 1978.
SHELFMARK: Broxb. 31.14.
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