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

MS. Canon. Misc. 176

Summary Catalogue no.: 19652


Physical Description

Form: codex
Support: paper



Good penwork borders. (Pächt and Alexander ii. 797)


A composite binding, with part of an early wrapper preserved inside the 18th-century binding:

15th century, by or before 1451, Italian, Venice?: fol. 76, a thick parchment leaf now serving an end flyleaf, was very likely the lower cover of a medieval wrapper – the top, fore-edge and bottom edges with any folds now trimmed away, but retaining a vertical fold from a former spine-edge. Positioned at what might have been approx. the centre of this outside back cover, fol. 76v, is an inscription in neat humanistic capitals, ‘.FORT.RED.’ ( ‘Fortuna redux’ or ‘Fortunae reduci’), a standard classical motto for Fortune bringing a happy return. Fol. 76r has a note by Bernardo Bembo with date recording the book’s purchase for three gold ducats on 18 Dec. 1450/51. 279–80 × c. 215 × c. 16–18 mm. (thickness of text-block without covers).

(current binding) 18th century, Italian, Venice, a standard style of Jacopo Soranzo’s collection: pasteboards; parchment, here without turn-in flaps; covers undecorated; two gilt red-leather title-labels on spine; no ties or clasps; edges plain, discoloured; paste-downs and flyleaves of carta bassanese, designed with a background grid or trellis of broad red horizontal lines, overlaid with a bold pattern of flowers and large acanthus-like leaves in blue, red and ochre-yellow. 289–90 × 221–5 × c. 24–26 mm. (book closed).


Origin: 15th century, first half ; Italian, North

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 (1854). 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).

Last Substantive Revision

2020-09-14: Binding description added.