Lawrence J. Schoenberg Collection -- Manuscript Number: ljs473              Version:
L'Arte del Navegare (A treatise on ships and ship-building)    Northeastern Italy (Venice), 1464-65

Physical Description: 84 leaves (last 4 blank), lacking single leaves after fols.48 and 55, else apparently complete, collation: i-iv10, v9 [of 10, lacking ix, fols.41 and 42 now misbound in reverse order], vi9 [of 10, lacking vii], vii-viii10, ix6, with traces of catchwords, in each of quires i-v the outermost and innermost bifolia are of vellum, in each of quires vi-ix only the outermost bifolia are of vellum, all other leaves are of paper, 30 lines, ruled in blind (perhaps with a string ruling-frame), written-space 152mm. by 70mm., written in dark brown ink in a slightly sloping humanistic cursive minuscule, headings and marginal notes in red, 2-line chapter initials throughout in red or blue, four illuminated initials, either (a) 9 lines high, fol.1r, in vine-stems in blue wrapped around a burnished gold initial on a gold ground supporting a three-quarter white-vine border infilled with red, blue and green, heightened with white dots, enclosing a roundel with a wreath around a monogram and terminating in gold bezants on penwork sprays, or (b) 4 to 6 lines high, fols.28r, 47r and 72v, in burnished gold with white-vine infill and surround extending more than half the height of the page, seven pages with diagrams, drawings or scientific tables, (i) fol.8r, circular colored diagram of the world set in a purple sea within spheres of blue air and red fire surrounded again by the twelve signs of the zodiac drawn in ink and delicately colored, 70mm. in diameter (ii) fol.12r, a diagram of the regions of the earth from the cold in the Arctic and Antarctic to the tropics, within spheres of air and fire between the two polar stars in burnished gold, 68mm. in diameter (iii) fol.30v, a small colored diagram of the benches for rowers in a classical ship, 28mm. by 66mm., (iv) fol.49v, a circular diagram of the points of the compass, 62mm. in diameter; (v) fol.66r, a half-page astronomical diagram for finding the position of the moon in relation to the zodiac, 75mm. square, (vi) fol.66v, a three-quarter page astronomical diagram of the moon made out for the years 1451-1465, 136mm. by 100mm., and (vii) fol.68v, a full-page astronomical diagram of the planets and the days of the week, 152mm. by 67mm., considerable signs of use, first page rather rubbed and battered, fol.3 defective (and repaired) with loss of text, initial on fol.47r smudged and partly defective, fols.17-18 rather soiled, some leaves (including fols.41, 43-4, 47, 51, 59 and 66-8) and many inner margins repaired without loss of text, other stains, generally sound and mostly complete and legible, nineteenth-century English blind-tooled dark brown morocco, spine-title gilt, marbled endleaves, in a green watered silk padded case, 210 mm. x 135mm.

Provenance:

    1) The text is dated on fol.19v, ?? alo presente Jorno de Mcccclxiiii??, 1464, and the tables on fol.66v and prepared for use in 1465. The manuscript is unique and it is probable that this is the author?s original copy, perhaps for presentation. It is dedicated to the doge and senate of Venice. The doge in 1464-5 was Cristoforo Moro, 1462-71.Frederick North (1766-1827), fifth Earl of Guilford, with his armorial bookplate; his sale, Evans, 13 December 1830, lot 563. 2) John Lee (1783-1866), F.S.A., with his armorial bookplate; his sale Sotheby?s, 8 November 1888, lot 266. 3) Sotheby?s, ?The Property of a Gentleman?, 10 July 1968, lot 283; subsequently described by Claudio de Polo Saibanti, `Arte del Navigare, manoscritto inedito datato 1464-1465?, Imago et mensura mundi, Atti del IX Congresso internazionale di Storia della Cartografia, ed. C.C. Marzoli, I, 1985, pp.71-79 (offprint sold with the lot). 4) Acquired at Sotheby?s, 7 December 2004, lot 40.

Arte del Navigare, manoscritto inedito datato 1464-1465, Imago et mensura mundi, Atti del IX Congresso internazionale di Storia della Cartografia, ed. C.C. Marzoli, I, 1985, pp.71-79; F.C. Lane, Navires et constructeurs a Venise pendant la renaissance, 1965 (esp. p.267); Kretschmer, Die italienische Portolane des Mittelalters, 1909; Evans, 13 December 1830, lot 563; Sotheby?s, 8 November 1888, lot 266; Sotheby?s, ?The Property of a Gentleman?, 10 July 1968, lot 283; Sotheby?s, 7 December 2004, lot 40.
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