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Liber equorum and De la generatione deli oselli de rapina.

Ferrara?, Italy, between 1400 and 1450.
Physical Description:
1 volume (ff. i + 60 + iii) : parchment ; 255 x 174 mm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
SF309.R84 L53 1420+ Oversize
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Archives & Manuscripts
"It is believed that this manuscript was written in Italy circa 1420. It seems that the Liber Equorum was written by Ruffus, also called Giordano Ruffo, between 1240 and 1250; there are numerous manuscripts of the work extant, most of them in Latin. Ruffo's treatise on the horse was the first printed in 1492, the editio princeps being in Italian. The text of the Mellon manuscript is in Latin. Morando's treatise on falconry apparently is known only in this particular copy, which is in Italian. Both works, Ruffo's and Morando's, are in the hand of the same scribe."--Podeschi.
"Ruffo's Liber equorum is the oldest known western text (that is, not derived from Arabic originals) on horses and horse medicine. There are many surviving manuscripts of the work, most in Latin, as is this one. The text is the cornerstone of medieval animal medicine and of the scientific study of horses. Ruffo made observations of the circulatory system and was able to distinguish between veins and arteries; he also offered various treatments for lameness."--'The Compleat Horseman' 2001.
Selected exhibitions: "'The Compleat Horseman': Sporting Books from the Bequest of Paul Mellon" (Yale Center for British Art, 17 February-29 April, 2001).
Podeschi, J.B. Horse and horsemanship, 2
Giese, M. Moamin und seine italienische Übersetzung unter dem Titel "Morando falconer, De la Generatione deli Oselli de Rapina." (Würzburger medizinhistorische Mitteilungen, 30 (2011) p. 65-96)
Phillipps MS 8411.
The last flyleaf is now a stub.
The first text is faintly ruled in brown ink; the second in hardpoint.
I-II¹⁰, III⁸, IV-VI¹⁰, VII⁶ (one of these is a stub; another is the back pastedown). Catchwords throughout. There are quire signatures in both sections of the manuscript. In the portion containing the first text the first quire is marked in red in the center-right of the bottom of the page with the quire letter a and numbers up to four. The central bifolium is not marked. The marking "a1" seems to have been removed with the damage to the border on f.1 (see below), although a small amount of red ink is still visible in the correct location. On ff. 2 and 3 the numbering has been corrected in the same hand as the original numbering. ff. 1-4 also have dark red numbers in the lower right corners. In the portion containing the second text the folios are numbered in black ink in the lower right hand corner, starting with number 1. They also record the order of the folios in an earlier mis-binding which attached the third quire of this text incorrectly. There are also occasional red quire signatures giving both letter and number. Although these have largely been trimmed, the ones that remain seem to agree with the foliation in black ink. This suggests that the red quire signatures represent the original, incorrect, binding of the manuscript, while the letters used confirm that the two texts were originally bound together in this order. In the incorrectly bound quire, numbers have been added at the end of each block to text to indicate which folio should be read next, perhaps in the same hand as the black folio numbers. The current binding maintains the correct order of the text.
The manuscript is written in a humanist book-hand by a single scribe. Chapter headings are rubricated in a dark red throughout. Initials are alternately in red with purple pen-flourishes and harping and in blue with pink flourishing and harping.
The beginning of the body of each text is marked with illuminated initial and border. On f. 1v is a ten-line decorated initial C containing a pink vase with three red and gold flowers. A partial border of stylized flowers and foliage in pink, red, green, blue, and gold, surrounded by pen-work scrolls and decorated with illuminated dots, runs around three sides of the page. The decoration is Gothic in inspiration and coloring. The inner margin is decorated with illuminated dots and pen-work. The style of the border suggests an origin in Ferrara. In the center of the lower margin a section of the border has been cut out, perhaps to remove the crest of the original owner. Small patches of red ink are visible at the edges of the missing section. The border has been repaired with a piece from a different manuscript containing an illuminated bar border in similar shades of pink, green, and blue with dense pen-work. On f. 29r is a nine-line initial L decorated with red and green foliage and a red flower. The inner margin is decorated with foliage in green, red, blue, and gold, finished with pen-work scrolls, flowers in pink and gold, and illuminated dots. The remaining three sides have a bar border. The inner bar is in blue with white highlighting; the main bar is green and decorated in gold ink with laurel leaves; outside this is an illuminated bar, and finally the whole is surrounded with geometric pen-work. In the center of the lower border is a medallion in pink and blue containing the gold nomina sacra "yhs", with the ascender of the h crossed.
The binding of the manuscript is early, although not original (see above). The wooden boards are covered in leather, blind-tooled with knotwork patterns, and decorated with small gilt roundels. The decoration is arranged as a border around a circular central knotwork pattern. There are holes for attaching a clasp in the center of the upper and lower boards, but no clasp survives. The style of the binding is Florentine, dating from the second half of the 15th century.
Provenance: 1. The manuscript appears as manuscript 32 in the August 1807 supplement to the catalogue of books for sale by Carlo Salvi in Milan: Supplemento al Catalogo de'Libri che trovansi vendibili nel Negozio di Carlo Salvi, Libraio sul Corso di Porta Orientale al N. 634 in Milano, August 1807 -- 2. It was sold by Sotheby's in London as lot 249 in their sale on the 26 February 1821 of manuscripts "brought to this Country by the Abbé [Luigi] Celotti" (c.1768-c.1846), many of which came from the collections of Mateo Luigi Canonici (1727-1805) and Giovanni Saibanti -- 3. Richard Heber (1773-1833), no. 781, label on spine. It was sold by Evans in the sale of Heber's manuscripts on 10 February 1836 -- 4. Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872), no. 8411, label on spine -- 5. Paul Mellon (1907-1999), bookplate on front pastedown.
Record created by YCBA staff from research and description by Katherine Hindley, Andrew W. Mellon Graduate Research Associate, Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts, Yale Center for British Art, 2015.
Text 1: ff. 1r-26v. Incipit liber equorum et condictionum infirmitatum eorum cum remediis seu medicamentibus. Et primo capitula . . . [text:] Cum inter cetera animalia asummo rege opifice . . . Inclavatura tamen inquiratur et attingatur decenter ad vivum. Deinde curetur ut de aliis inclavaturis predixi. FINIS.
Text 1: Giordano Ruffo [Jordanus Ruffus] of Calabria, De medicina equorum. Ruffo was employed by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II (1194-1250) and completed the treatise shortly after the emperor's death. De medicina equorum was widely distributed in both manuscript and print and was translated into vernacular languages including Italian, French, and Catalan.
Text 2: Oremus. O domine sancte Job qui in primo interitu tuo vermem habuisti ... [sanctum] Job et mortui sunt [...] est. + Job + [...] + [...]. + [...]. + Job. +
Text 2: Charm to cure diseases in horses, partially erased. ff. 27-28 are ruled but left blank.
Text 3: ff. 29r-60v Qui comenza li capituli del primo libro de Morando falconer dela generatione deli oselli de rapina ... [text:] Qui parla dela generatione deli oselli de rapina e deli costumi suoy e dele malathie sicundo Morando falconer Le generation di oselli de rapina ... Sparaveri Astori Aquile questi nevole volar senza compagnia de suo smirlo ne de altro falcone. FINIS.
Text 3: Morando the Falconer, De la generatione deli Oseli de Rapina. Morando's treatise on falconry is an otherwise unrecorded translation into Italian of the first book of the influential Book of Moamin. See Giese.
Subject Terms:
Falconry -- Early works to 1800.
Heber, Richard, 1773-1833 -- Ownership.
Horsemanship -- Early works to 1800.
Horses -- Anatomy -- Early works to 1800.
Horses -- Diseases -- Early works to 1800.
Horses -- Early works to 1800.
Illumination of books and manuscripts, Medieval.
Manuscripts, Medieval -- Connecticut -- New Haven.
Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, Yale Center for British Art.
Phillipps, Thomas, Sir, 1792-1872 -- Ownership.
Veterinary medicine -- Early works to 1800.
Manuscripts, Medieval -- Italy -- 15th century.
Ruffo, Giordano, -1256. De medicina equorum.
Morando, the Falconer. De la Generatione deli Oselli de Rapina.
Celotti, Luigi, approximately 1768-approximately 1846, former owner.
Canonici, Matteo Luigi, 1727-1805, associated name.
Saibanti, Giovanni, associated name.

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