A catalogue of Western manuscripts at the Bodleian Libraries and selected Oxford colleges

MS. Canon. Ital. 78

Summary Catalogue no.: 20130


Petrarch, Il Canzoniere
Language(s): Italian
Petrarch, Trionfi
Language(s): Italian

Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: parchment


Humanistic script. (Pächt and Alexander ii. 298)


Fine historiated border.

Fine initial. (Pächt and Alexander ii. 298, pl. XXVII)


15th century, Ottoman, ?Constantinople: thin pasteboards, flush with textblock; polished olive-brown leather, pressure-moulded and elaborately painted in gold and silver in Turkish style; inside covers (doublures) in full pale brown leather with plainer oriental patterns in gold, ?silver, blue and blind; flap lost from lower cover; gilt edges; two fly-leaves at each end of European paper, stained purple; spine lost. Gilt red-leather spine-label added, 18th century, Italian; reback, preserving only that label, 19th/20th century, Bodleian. 215–217 × 136–8 × c. 42 mm. (book closed).


Origin: 15th century, third quarter ; Italian, Florence

Provenance and Acquisition

Matteo Luigi Canonici, 1727–1805

Giuseppe Canonici , -1807

Purchased by the Bodleian in 1817

Record Sources

Summary description abbreviated from the Quarto Catalogue (A. Mortara, Catalogo dei manoscritti italiani che sotto la denominazione di Codici Canoniciani Italici si conservano nella Biblioteca Bodleiana a Oxford, Quarto Catalogues XI, 1864). Decoration, localization and date follow Pächt and Alexander (1970). Binding: B. C. Barker-Benfield, Bookbindings of Canonici manuscripts : a survey of early and non-standard bindings, mostly Italian, in the Canonici collection of the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford (Oxford, privately printed, 2020).

Digital Images

Digital Bodleian (3 images of binding from 35mm slides)


    Tammaro de Marinis, La legatura artistica in Italia nei secoli XV e XVI, 3 vols., Florence 1960, II no. 1648 bis (under Venice)
    Anthony Hobson, Humanists and bookbinders: the origins and diffusion of the humanistic bookbinding 1459–1559 …, Cambridge 1989, pp. 23–4, 32, 52, 57; figs. 15, 16 (? bound for a Florentine merchant at Istanbul).

Last Substantive Revision

2020-07-21: Binding description added.