130 leaves : paper ; 270 x 210 (165 x 125) mm bound to 280 x 215 mm 1 microfilm reel : negative (MN 02-74) and positive (Robbins MS 91)
This work by Honoré Bonet is an important discussion of the right to arms, and was composed at the end of the 14th century, and possibly between 1386 and 1389. The first folio of this manuscript is missing, and was therefore replaced in the 18th century. The text is sometimes attributed to Christine de Pisan (ca. 1364-ca. 1431; see fol. iv, viv for seller's manuscript description); in fact, only books III and IV of Christine's "The book of fayttes of armes and of Chyualrye" are based on "L'Arbre de bataille". A contemporary hand underlined many passages in the text and made some marginal notes and additions in a cursiva currens hand.
Ms. codex. Title from fol. 1r (the whole fol. 1rv has been copied by a later hand). Collation: Paper, fol. i (marbled paper) + ii (modern paper) + 130 + ii (modern paper) + i (marbled paper); 1-5¹² 6¹⁶ 7-9¹⁴ 10¹⁰. Contemporary foliation in Roman numerals, red ink, in the upper margins in the right corner (ii to ccxxvii). Catchwords in the right side of the lower margins, on verso, sometimes decorated with grotesques. Watermarks: a "raisin" which is a variant of those in Briquet 11992-13007; an "arc" not in Briquet (the closest seems to be Briquet 809). Layout: Written in 30 long lines. Wide margins. Contemporary foliation using Roman numerals in the upper margins, in the right corner. Script: Written in a cursiva libraria script close to the "littera bastarda", apparently by one scribe. Decoration: Red initials, sometimes penworked, throughout the text, mostly on 2 lines. Red rubrics and red paragraph marks. Many "grotesques" showing animals, human heads and "droleries." Binding: Red morocco over pasteboards; gilt spine; gilt edges. Title on spine: "Bonor Arbre des Bataille Manuscr. 1425." Marbled paper used for the flyleaves (red, yellow, blue and green). Origin: Written in Limoges, France, in 1425. The colophon appearing on fol. 127r states that the manuscript was copied by one Johannes de Quadrinno, diocesan clerk in Limoges: "Anno domini millesimo quadrincentesimo vicesimo quinto presens liber fuit scriptus per Johannes de Quadrinno clericum diocesis Lemovicensis. Quem Dominus in eternum benedicat amen. Finito libro sit laus Domino Ihesu Christo amen. Benedicamus Domino deo gratias." Shelfmark: Berkeley, CA, The Robbins Collection, UC Berkeley School of Law, Robbins MS 91.
Formatted Contents Note
1. Fol. 1r-127r: "[rubr.] L'arbre des batailles composé par Honoré Bonet prieur de Salon. Dedié au roy Charles VI. [text] La sainte couronne de France en laquelle auiourdhuy per l'ordonnance de Dieu regne Charles Le Sixieme, en celuy nom tre bien ... et produise a la sienne saincte gloire de paradis, amen."; 2. Fol. 127v-130v: table of contents.
RESTRICTED ORIGINAL. USE POSITIVE MICROFILM COPY ONLY: Use of original only by permission. Inquiries concerning this item should be directed, in writing, to the reference librarian for The Robbins Collection.
Honoré de Bonet, L'Arbre des batailles, ed. Ernest Nys (Brussels: C. Muquardt, 1883.
At one time, the manuscript was part of the library of the Abbot of Mersan, no. 1150 in his catalogue (note on flyleaf iii v, in the hand of one of the later owners (late 18th century?): "Ce manuscrit provient de la biblioth[èque] de l'Abbé de Mersan, no. 1150 de son catalogue. Il a été fait pour Charles VI, excepté la pr[emiè]re page qui a été recopiée"). Further down the page, a note, in all probability in the same hand, with a reference to a text published in the Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions establishing the name Bonnet for the author of the work, as opposed to the (erroneously) corrected "Bonnor" appearing on fol. 1r. Another note, in the same hand, refers to Monseigneur de Roquefort's "Glossaire de la langue romaine"; according to this work, there were 18 known manuscripts of the "L'arbre des batalles" in the Royal Library at the time. This manuscript used to belong to Henry J.B. Clements: on the inside front cover there is his bookplate showing an eagle, the motto "Patris virtutibus" and the name "Henry J.B. Clements."