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Bod-Inc: M-195


Histoire de la vie, miracles, enchentements et prophecies de Merlin [Italian] La storia di Merlino.


Analysis of Content

a2r La storia di Merlino. Giacomo Ulrich, I due primi libri della Istoria di Merlino ristampati secondo la rarissima edizione del 1480, Scelta di curiosità letterarie inedite o rare dal secolo XIII al XVII, 201 (Bologna, 1884). This modern reprint contains only the first book of the Italian text, omitting the prophecies (ch. lxxxxi to cxv) and ch. clxvi; see Edmund G. Gardner, The Arthurian Legend in Italian Literature (London and New York, 1930), 199 n. 1. See also Donald L. Hoffman, ‘Merlin in Italy', Philological Quarterly, 70/3 (1991), 261-75, at 269. Divided into six books of unequal length. The first book, which occupies nearly half the work, is a free rendering of the prose version of the Merlin poem of Robert de Boron, which elaborates the story told by Geoffrey of Monmouth; see Gardner, Arthurian Legend, 191-216, at 191-2.

o2r [Colophon.] ISTC suggests that this work was translated into Italian by messer Zorzi, while in La storia di Merlino di Paolino Pieri, ed. Ireneo Sanesi, Biblioteca Storica della Letteratura Italiana, 3 (Bergamo, 1898), pp. lii–lvi, Sanesi convincingly suggests that Zorzi was simply the father of Pietro Delfino, the owner of the manuscript upon which this edition relies, according to the common Venetian way of mentioning the patronymic: ‘Tracta e questa opera del libro autentico del magnifico messer Pietro Delphino fo del magnifico messer Zorzi, translato de lingua francesse . . .’

o2r [Verse.] Incipit: ‘Noua materia & nouo autor uedrai | Spirto gentil che le future cose'; 17 lines of verse.

o2r ‘Tabula'.


Imprint: Venice: Lucas Dominici F., Venetus, 1 Feb. 1480. Folio.

Remarks: In three volumes: (I) Le premier volume de Merlin; (II) Le second volume de Merlin; (III) Les propheties de Merlin.


Collation: a10 b c8 d6 e F8 f–o6.


ISTC: im00498500

Hain: HR 11087;

BMC: BMC V 279;

Proctor: Pr 4489;

Others: H. Eigen, Die Überlieferung der “Letteratura cavalleresca”. Ihre Stellung auf dem italienischen Buchmarkt des 15. Jahrhunderts, Buchwissenschaftliche Beiträge aus dem Deutschen Bucharchiv München, 18 (Wiesbaden, 1987), no. 68; CIBN M‑302; Sheppard 3649.

LCN: 14455666


Copy number: M-195(1)

Wanting the blank leaf a1.

Binding: Nineteenth-century gold-tooled red morocco; bound by Bauzonnet-Trautz (signed on the front pastedown); gilt marbled-edged leaves, gold-tooled turn-ins, marbled pastedowns, and blue silk bookmark.

Size: 285 × 210 × 17 mm.

Size of leaf: 283 × 194 mm.

Early manuscript foliation, in arabic numerals, partly visible.

Provenance: Probably Guglielmo Bruto Icilio Timoleone, Conte Libri Carrucci della Sommaia (1803-1869); see his sale (1 Aug. 1859), lot 1611. Baron Horace de Landau (1824-1903); book-plate of c.1860: monogram ‘HL' doubled, beneath a coronet, and no. ‘4012': see Bragaglia III, no. 2036. Madame Hugo Finaly (†1938). [ ] Finaly (†1945); sale, 1948, lot 82. Purchased in 1949 through Quaritch; see BLR 2,28 (1949), 263.

SHELFMARK: Inc. d. I4.1480.3.

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