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Detailed record for King's 32

Author Martial
Title Epigrams, preceeded by the Liber de Spectaculis (ff. 1-5, imperfect)
Origin Italy, Central (Rome)
Date c. 1470
Language Latin
Script Humanistic cursive
Scribe Probably written by Pomponio Leto; square capitals attributed to Bartolomeo Sanvito.
Artists Gioacchino de Gigantibus.
Decoration 1 large white vine initial, accompaniedd by a three-sided white vine border, with putti holding a wreath in the lower margin, and two green parrots, in colours and gold (f. 1). Smaller white vine initials with extensions into the margins, in colours and gold, for major divisions. 2 smaller initials in gold on coloured grounds, for minor divisions of the opening page (f. 1). Small initials plain in blue for minor divisions. Square capitals used as display script with words in blue or gold (f. 1).
Initials attributed to Gioacchino de Gigantibus (the parrots characteristic of his style). Square capitals used as display script with words in blue or gold by Bartolomeo Sanvito.
Dimensions in mm 228 x 140 (155 x 70)
Official foliation ff. 172 (+ 3 paper and 1 parchment flyleaves at the beginning, and 1 medieval parchment and 3 paper flyleaves at the end))
Collation i12 (ff. iv-11); ii-xvi10 (ff. 12-161); xvii12 (ff. 162-173).
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. 'Consul' Smith binding of Venetian sprinkled calf; the covers with added gilt-stamped insignia of George III; marbled endpapers; gilt edges.
Provenance ? Probably written by Pomponio Leto (b. 1428, d. 1498) for Fabio Mazzatosta, with the first three lines of rubrication by Bartolomeo Sanvito of Padua (b. 1435, d. 1518), with illumination attributed to Gioacchino de Gigantibus of Rottenburg (fl. 1453–1485) (see Ruysschaert 1969; the unpublished notes of Prof. A. C. de la Mare at the Bodleian Library, for the Sanvito and Leto identifications).
Joseph Smith (b. 1673/4?, d. 1770), book collector and patron of the arts: his binding; listed in his catalogue (see Bibliotheca Smithiana seu catalogus librorum Josephi Smithii Angli per cognomina authorum dispositus, Addenda, & Corrigenda in superiori Catalogo (Venice: Pasquali, 1755), p. 43, col. 1); sold to King George III, along with the bulk of Smith's library and art collection, in 1762.
King George III (b. 1738, d. 1820).
Given to the British Museum by King George IV in 1823 as part of the library of King George III.
Select bibliography George F. Warner and Julius P. Gilson, Catalogue of Western Manuscripts in the Old Royal and King’s Collections, 4 vols (London: British Museum, 1921), III: Description of the King’s Manuscripts and Indexes to both Collections, p. 11.

Alfred Fairbank, ‘Three Renaissance Scripts’, Journal of the Society for Italic Handwriting, 32 (1962), 9-10 (p. 9, pl. 2).

Alfred Fairbank, ‘Bartolomeo San Vito’, Journal of the Society for Italic Handwriting, 37 (1963), 14-19 (p. 15, pl. 1).

José Ruysschaert, ‘Miniaturistes «romaines» sous Pie II’, in Enea Silvio Piccolomini Papa Pio II: Atti del convegno per il quinto centenario della morte e altri scritti raccolti da Domenico Maffei (Siena: Accademia senese degli intronati, 1968), pp. 245-82 (p. 276).

José Ruysschaert, ‘Miniaturistes “romains” à Naples’, in Tammaro de Marinis and others, La Biblioteca Napoletana dei re d’Aragona: Supplemento, 2 vols (Verona: Stamperia Valdonega, 1969), I, pp. 261-74 (pp. 263-64).

Paola Scarcia Piacentini, ‘Note storico-paleografiche in margine all’Accademia romana’, in Le chiavi della memoria: miscellanea in occasione del i centenario della scuola vaticana di paleografia diplomatica e archivistica, Littera antique, 4 (Vatican City: Scuola vaticana di paleografia, diplomatica e archivistica, 1984), pp. 491-545 (pp. 507 n. 32, 536-37, 543).

Frances Vivian, The Consul Smith Collection: Masterpieces of Italian Drawing from the Royal Library, Windsor, Raphael to Canaletto (Munich: Hirmer, 1989), p. 43 n. 96.


Images
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Martial

f. 2
Martial
Initial

f. 2
Initial
Detail of lower border

f. 2
Detail of lower border
 
Illuminated initial

f. 26
Illuminated initial
Detail

f. 26
Detail
Initial

f. 87
Initial
 

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