Festive Collectarium of Abbot Sigismund
(sometimes referred to locally as the Cistercian Order and Service Book)
Manuscript of 60 leaves (208 x 140 mm) on a fine vellum with 2 added leaves, one at front, one at back. Assembled in 6 quires of 6 bifolia. Skin sides and flesh sides facing.
Written in an Italian script used since the mid-14th century (Gothic Rotunda), 19 long lines (7 x 82 mm each) per page. Rubricated throughout: headings in red ink, text in black ink. 15 x 20 mm initials are alternated in blue paint and red paint, each with pen flourishes in red ink (for the blue initials) and brown ink (for the red initials) which extend into the left margins usually over the length of the page. Some flourishes contain faces.
Folios are numbered in red roman numerals at top of each recto until fol. 58. Two original unnumbered pages appear after the colophon. The back page has a later inscription in brown ink (written area 142 x 120 mm) in a cursive with ascenders and descenders. All leaves, including front and back additions, are gold edged.
Bound in brown calfskin with blind tooled decorations on boards (220 x 147 mm). Three clasps are missing on the front board, present on the back. Bosses at the four corners and in the center are probably later additions. The leather spine is a restoration of recent date.
The colophon (fol. 53r) indicates the book’s relationship to the monastery of Santa Maria Vallis Serena, diocese of Parma, in Northern Italy, also called St. Martin at Valserena, founded in 1298, of the Cistercian order, and to its 10th abbot, Sigismund de Fulchinis who was seated in 1457. This places the manuscript in the second half of the 15th century. (The colophon in a choir book made by Lodovico Raimondiin 1493 for the same abbot and monastery supports such a date.)
Currently in the Ohio Wesleyan University Archives, Special Collections - (T&D) Archives BX 2049.C5 O73 1400z. Gift from the Rev. Frank W. Gunsaulus coll. - Sale of a Boston collector, by Libbie (Boston, 17 Nov. 1891, n.2021).
Capelli, Gianni. L'Abbazia di S. Martino dei Bocci <Valserena>, un insediamento cistercense nel territorio di Parma. 1973.
Ricci, Seymour de, William Jerome Wilson, C. U. Faye, and W. H. Bond. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada. New York: The H. W. Wilson Company, 1935.