You are in Introduction. Click here to skip the navigation.
British Library
Digital Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
 Detail from the Roman de la Rose
About Simple search Manuscript search Advanced search  Virtual exhibitions Glossaries Contact us  Main
print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back

search tips  Search tips
 
 

 

 
 

Detailed record for Additional 8785

Author Bartholomaeus Anglicus
Title De Proprietatibus Rerum
Origin Italy, N. (Mantua)
Date before 1309
Language Latin and Italian
Script Gothic
Decoration 1 full-page miniature in colours, (f. 191v). 1 half-page miniature in colours (f. 257r). 1 one third-page miniature in colours (f. 262r). 14 column-width miniatures in colours on blue backgrounds illustrating Book 18 (On Animals). 1 very large historiated initial (f. 14). Numerous large initials, some with figures, at the start of most of the nineteen books and a number of lesser divisions, in colours on blue backgrounds. Numerous small initials decorated with people, body parts and organs, stones, foliage, animals, etc., related to the accompanying texts, in colours on blue backgrounds. Smaller blue and red initials with pen flourishing throughout. Rubrics and marginal references to authors cited in red.
Dimensions in mm 270 x 210 (text space 205 x 150), in two columns.
Official foliation ff. 328 (+ 3 unfoliated paper flyleaves at the beginning and at the end)
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Red leather with gold tooling.
Provenance Guido Bonacolsi, signore of Mantua (d. 1309): dedicated and presented to him (f. 13r), presumably by the translator Vivaldo del Belcalzer, before 1309; Giovanni Lami noted in 1745 and 1746 (Novelle Letterarie di Firenze, vi, cols. 595-596, and vii, cols. 285-288: see copies on ff. 3v, 2-2v of this manuscript) that he had seen this volume in the library of Signor Marchese Niccolini, and that, according to an inscription dated 1320 (formerly on the upper inside cover, now lacking), Bonacolsi gave the manuscript to Ugoccione de Lismanini of Padua.
Uguccione de Lismanini of Padua: owned this manuscript (see Guido Bonacolsi above).
Added text, 1379-81: list of goods and prices (ff. 324v-325v).
Pietro Niccolini, archbishop of Florence from 1632 (d. 1651): stamped P.N. in a circle (f. 5r), possibly specifically referring to Pietro Niccolini, archbishop of Florence from 1632 (d. 1651).
Frederick North (b. 1766, d. 1827), , 5th Earl of Guilford, politician and colonial administrator: his bookplate, with shelfmark L/19/A (f. [i] recto).
Robert Harding Evans, bookseller: his sale, 8 December 1830, lot 65; bought by the British Museum.
Notes Complete digital coverage available for this manuscript; see Digital Manuscripts, https://bl.uk/manuscripts/.
This manuscript contains an early vernacular translation of Bartholomaeus Anglicus's (d. 1272) 'De Proprietatibus rerum' (On the Properties of Things), translated into the Mantuan dialect by Vivaldo del Belcalzer (d. after 1308), a notary and councillor of Mantua. This manuscript was given by Belcalzer to Guido dei Bonacolsi (d. 1309), signore of Mantua from 1299-1309, to whom it is dedicated.
The decoration is notable as one of the few fully-illustrated copies of the 'De Proprietatibus rerum', normally only decorated in Book 18 in the manner typical to popular medieval bestiaries. The consistent decorative programme throughout the volume is especially important for its inclusion of disembodied organs within the section initials in Books 5 and 6, similar examples of which are only found rarely in a few surgical and anatomical texts.
Select bibliography Catalogue of Additions to the British Museum, vol. 6 (London: British Museum, 1831-1835), p. 22.

Vittorio Cian, Vivaldo Belcalzer e l'enciclopedismo italiano delle origini, Giornale Storico della Letteratura Italiana Supplemento, 5 (Turin: Ermanno Loescher, 1902).

Fritz Saxl and Hans Meier, Catalogue of Astrological and Mythological Illuminated Manuscripts of the Latin Middle Ages in Manuscripts in English Libraries, 1, ed. by Harry Bober (London: The Warburg Institute, University of London, 1953), p. 3.

Dennis E. Rhodes, 'Vivaldo Belcazar and the Mantuan Dialect in the Early 14th Century: A Study of BM Ms Add. 8785 with the edition of Bks I, II and XV', unpublished PhD thesis, University College London, 1956.

Heinz Meyer, ‘Die illustrierten lateinischen Handschriften im Rahmen der Gesamtüberlieferung der Enzyklopädie des Bartholomäus Anglicus’, Frühmittelalterliche Studien, 30 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1996), 368-95 (pp. 372-73).

Heinz Meyer, Die Enzyklopa¨die des Bartholoma¨us Anglicus: Untersuchungen zur Überlieferungs und Rezeptionsgeschichte von 'De proprietatibus rerum' (Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2000) pp. 387-89, figs. 55, 59, 60.

Rosa Casapullo, ‘Le malattie della mente nel volgarizzamento mantovano del De proprietatibus rerum di Bartolomeo Anglico (Libri I-IV, V, VII)’, Quaderns d’Italià, 11 (2006), 29-53.

Ghino Ghinassi, Dal Belcalzer al Castiglione : studi sull'antico volgare di Mantova e sul ‘Cortegiano’ (Florence: L.S. Olschki, 2006), pp. 3-128.

Elizabeth Keen, Journey of a Book: Bartholomew the Englishman and the Properties of Things (Canberra: Australian National University E-Press, 2007), pp. 5, 88, 100 n. 60.

'British Library, Additional MS 8785', The Medieval Bestiary, ed. by David Badke, 15 January 2011, http://bestiary.ca/manuscripts/manu4869.htm. Accessed 11 November 2016.

Rosa Casapullo, ‘Le Trattato di scienza universal de Vivaldo Belcalzer et la tradition du De Proprietatibus rerum’, in Encyclopédie médiévale et langues européennes: réception et diffusion du De proprietatibus rerum de Barthélemy l'Anglais dans les langues vernaculaires, ed. by Joëlle Ducos (Paris: Honoré Champion éditeur, 2014), pp. 235-57.


Images
* * *
 
Presentation of the volume to Guido Bonacolsi by Vivaldo del Belcalzer

f. 13
Presentation of the volume to Guido Bonacolsi by Vivaldo del Belcalzer
Bartholomaeus Anglicus (?) and Christ

f. 14
Bartholomaeus Anglicus (?) and Christ
Historiated initial of Avicenna

f. 39
Historiated initial of Avicenna
 
Historiated initials depicting the feet and a man

f. 57
Historiated initials depicting the feet and a man
Historiated initials with figures

f. 59v
Historiated initials with figures
Historiated initials with figures demonstrating various illnesses

f. 73v
Historiated initials with figures demonstrating various illnesses
 
Historiated initials with a woman demonstrating an illness, and a medical authority

f. 80v
Historiated initials with a woman demonstrating an illness, and a medical authority
Historiated initials of figures demonstrating fevers

f. 84v
Historiated initials of figures demonstrating fevers
Historiated initial 'A' with figures

f. 108v
Historiated initial 'A' with figures
 
Historiated initials showing labours of the months

f. 125v
Historiated initials showing labours of the months
Historiated initials of Easter and Pentecost

f. 127v
Historiated initials of Easter and Pentecost
Historiated initials of birds

f. 144
Historiated initials of birds
 
Full-page miniature of two male figures seated in a rocky landscape

f. 191v
Full-page miniature of two male figures seated in a rocky landscape
Historiated initials of towns, including Rome and Rhodes

f. 195v
Historiated initials of towns, including Rome and Rhodes
Drunken woman at a vineyard

f. 257
Drunken woman at a vineyard
 
Man being chased by a beast

f. 262
Man being chased by a beast
3 miniatures of the monstrous races

f. 285
3 miniatures of the monstrous races
Sirens

f. 298
Sirens
 
Map of the world

f. 315
Map of the world

print Print this page
home Home
site search Search British Library website
back Back
top Back