Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

Gordan MS 109 Italy, s. XVmed

Domenico Cavalca / Specchio della croce

1. ff. 1r-3r [Preface:] Questo libro si se chiama specchio de croce scritto per vulgare ad utilita de coloro chi non sanno gramatica. Qui ne appresso se scomenza el prologo Al nome de dio et dela Vergene maria et de tutti li santi. Narra el santo evangelio per someglanza. . . Et si la medolla e bona e le sententie vere de la crosta di fore e de parlar pinto e ornato poco curo.

ff.3r-5v [Table of Contents:] Primo. Como dio prese carne pre liberar lomo de tre defecti intro liquali ello cade per lo peccato. . . Como sadopta le prime septe beatitudine a septi doni del spiritu sancto e como se conuiengono in sieme. [Title of chapter one repeated beneath final chapter:] Como dio prefe carne per liberar lomo d'tri defecti li quali in conseno per lo peccato.

Preface and table of contents to Article 2.

2. ff. 6r-175v [Chapter heading:] Como dio prese carne per liberare lomo de tri defecti liquali in conseno per lo peccato. Capitulo primo.

[Text:] Di poi el peccato de primi parenti cadendo lomo de male in pezo perdi la someliança de dio. E como dise el salmista prese similitudine de bestia.

Expl.: per che cristo in croce ne mostra ogni sua perfectione e omni nostra maclitia. laquale per suo exemplo noy si la debiamo mostrare: E qui sic conpito el tractato delo specchio de la croce. Gratias refferamus altissimo creatori.

Cavalca, Domenico, Lo specchio della croce : testo originale e versione in italiano/ corrente a cura di Tito Sante Centi (Bologna, 1992).

3. ff. 175v-185r. Qui comença el tractato dela pouerta de cristo:

Inc.: Questo nostro dio in creato dio in carnato bono sumo perfecto e amore tutto. Onde guarda li soy filioli tutti trasformati in se per amore.

Expl.: Quamuis domenedio che l'anima como dixe io degia seruire adio solamente per isso dio loquale e digno sempre may de essere amato e seruito da ciascuna rationale creatura. Deo gratias amen. pregate dio per l'anima de fra alfonsso peccatore.

ff. 185v, 186, and 187 ruled but blank.

Unidentified ascetic treatise produced (according to a letter from Louis Richard 28 June 1910 which accompanies the text and is quoted in the Sotheby's and Quaritch catalogue entries describing the text) among the followers of Simon of Cassia, Angelo of Clareno, or Catherine of Siena.

Paper with parchment inner and outer bifolia (watermarks: ff. 1-139 similar to Briquet Huchet 7666, ff. 140-159 unidentified mountain, no watermarks in final quire), ff. iii (modern paper, ff. i and ii bifolium printed on recto with a floral pattern, i=front pastedown) + 187 + i (contemporary parchment) + iii (modern paper, ii and iii printed bifolium, iii=back pastedown), 148 x 100 (97 x 73) mm., modern foliation; written in 21 lines, ruled in hardpoint and lead, with horizontal and vertical bounding lines in ink, vertical lines full length (Derolez 13.11). Remains of pricking in top and bottom margin.

I-IX20, X8. Horizontal catchwords framed on both sides and the bottom with a single ink line with modest penwork extensions on each side (Derolez 12.1).

The final page of the table of contents (f. 5v) and articles 2 and 3 written by a single scribe in a fere-humanistic hand. The preface and most of the table of contents written by a different hand. Extensive corrections throughout the text of article 2 may be the work of this latter hand.

2- to 3-line red initials begin the text in each chapter, initials in early chapters ornamented with decorative red penwork becoming less ornate as the chapters continue with the last initials completely free of ornamentation. Paragraph and sentence strokes, headings in red. Guide letters for decorator visible.

Binding: 20th c. parchment. Brown leather label on spine stamped in gold: "SPECCHIO/ DELLA/ CROCE/ COD. CART./ ET MEMB." Paper label taped to lower spine contains Goodhart's manuscript number: "Ms. # 109".

Written in Italy in the middle of the fifteenth century. Probably the scribe's colophon appears at end of MS (or possibly the author of article 3): " pregate dio per l'anima de fra alfonsso peccatore." Early provenance unknown. In the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps (Phillipps number 9547 on ff. ir and 1r) who obtained it from Thorpe in 1836 (Catalogus Librorum Manuscriptorum). Undated or numbered Sotheby's and Quaritch catalogue entries taped inside back cover. Obtained from Quaritch in 1952 (catalogue entry inside front cover) by Howard L. Goodhart (bookplate), and given by him to Phyllis Goodhart Gordan (bookplate) and John Dozier Gordan, Jr.

secundo folio: aggio

Bibliography: Faye & Bond, p. 404, no. 109.

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts
Abbreviations Used in Decriptions of Medieval Manuscripts
Full List of Guides to the Collections

Last Update: June 6, 2003