Leaf  of the 1476 Italian translation of Pliny the Elder's Naturalis historia, the greatest encyclopedia of knowledge of the natural world in the classical era. An illustrated border (30-70 mm wide) has been added to the text on the recto of the leaf, painted in colors and gold for the original owner of the book, whose portrait medallion appears in center of upper panel. A large vignette of Pliny the geographer at his desk, holding a compass within the capital "E" at beginning of text. Panels on left and right contain a winter scene, with caption "Renovera," and a mandrake and crown, respectively. The lower panels feature drawings of putti, animals, and garlands of leaves, and flowers. Medallion in the center of lower panel contains arms of Arcangelo Spigliati of the Spigliati family of Florence, featuring a tower surmounted by two lions rampant (see A. Marquand, Giovanni della Robbia. Princeton: Princeton Univ., 1920, page 162). Capitals on verso of leaf have in alternating red and blue ink.
2 columns of 38 lines. Written by 1 person in a rounded Italian gothic bookhand in olive-brown ink; rubrics in red minuscule. On folio 1r, 9-line initial parted red and blue on blue and red penwork; the remainder of the quotation from Inferno in a display script; on f. 2v, 3-line initials alternately in red and blue, on penwork of the opposite color; initials in the text slashed with red. f. 1r badly worn.
Written in Italy in the late fifteenth century, to judge from paleographical features and watermark. A tiny book meant for personal use, this text may once have belonged to a longer breviary but the prayers and readings represent a consciously selected self-contained unit. Bought from Bernard Rosenthal (his MS 75, penciled on front pastedown) in August 1988 by Richard and Mary Rouse. Given to UCLA in 2005.
Written in Italy in the second half of the thirteenth century, a fragment from a pocket-size sermon book produced by its user, judging by its inexpert script, simplicity of design and execution, and the poor quality of the parchment. Bought from Bernard Rosenthal (his MS 62, in pencil on inside of front cover) in August 1988 by Richard and Mary Rouse. Given to UCLA in 2005.
Script is in a single 17th-century hand, possibly that of a French scribe, suggested by pen scribblings in French in Chapter 263. Many of the spaces for illustrations have been left blank; in most cases, the location of these spaces conforms with the illustration spaces in the Du Fresne edition of 1651. Eighteen of the spaces contain very informal drawings and scribblings in pen and pencil which have no relation to Leonardo's Trattato. They were added later by artists at the end of the 17th century, which, as Steinitz indicates, suggests that perhaps the present copy "was in use in an artist's workshop in the high baroque period, close to the schools of Bernini and Borromini." These drawings include sketches of figures, as well as ornaments and architectural decoration in pencil, some of them redrawn or partially redrawn in pen and ink. Fabriano paper, with watermark of a saint carrying a cross, similar to Briquet 7628. Binding is old [17th- or 18th-century?] tree-calf paper over paper boards; brown leather spine and corners; gilt spine title "Manoscritto." Pencilled notes on front and back pastedowns indicate former ownership of Sir Thomas Phillipps, and Los Angeles bookdealers Zeitlin & VerBrugge, respectively, the latter dated March 9, 1946. Provenance: From the library of Sir Thomas Phillipps; "Phillipps MS 21154" above text on recto of first leaf.Manuscript copy of selected chapters from Leonardo's Trattato della pittura, probably from the first printed edition in Italian of 1651, edited by Raphael Du Fresne. Text of the manuscript begins and ends as the first edition of 1651, with 365 chapters, captions, and numbers. The unique element of this copy is the addition of three sections which do not appear in any of the other handwritten copies or in the printed editions. For a complete transcription of these three added chapters of Belt MS 34, see Steinitz, Appendix 7, page 232.