MS. Hamilton 55
Summary Catalogue no.: 24485
Composite theological collection; A, B Germany, 15th century (partly 1420–1 at Erfurt)
Medieval chained binding. Sewn on three bands, with wood boards covered in brown leather, parchment pastedowns, the chain attached at the middle of the upper edge of the 'front' board, with the remains of two clasps at the fore-edge for strap-and-pin fastenings (lost) fastening to the 'back' board; the spine renewed, re-using the 19th-century leather title-piece lettered in gilt ‘55.’
The pastedowns are made from a 15th century document, turned sideways, mentioning various personal and place-names, including [...]esa, wife of John of Alde of Pforzheim(?) (pforczhei’), doctor, and John of Eikendorf(?), priest.
Provenance and Acquisition
Three early stages are evident: (i) parts A and B were presumably written separately, (ii) they were put together and given a continuous foliation, (iii) two groups of quires were lost before binding.
Erfurt (Francisans) (?): Erfurt is mentioned on fols. 147r and 165v. The volume was accepted as an Erfurt Carthusian book by Lehmann, Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge, II, pp. 231, 239, but it lacks the usual ownership inscription, shelfmark, etc., and is not identifiable in the late 15th-century catalogue, and was rejected by Kraemer. The added Franciscan letters on fols. 54v-55r perhaps suggest that it belonged to the Erfurt Fransicans (dedicated to St John the Baptist: cf. fols. 153r-158v); there was also a Franciscan convent at Gelnhausen (fol. 158v).
Not identifiable in the catalogue of the 1836 sale of Friedrich Gottlieb Julius von Bülow, 1760-?1831.
Presented to the Bodleian Library by his sons and received in 1857.
Digital Bodleian (full digital facsimile)
Last Substantive Revision
2021-02-10: Revised description for Polonsky German digitization project.