Codex Ashburnham

Codex Ashburnham Facsimile Edition

Italy — 1489–1492

Coveted and owned by numerous bibliophiles, taken to Paris as war booty, stolen and returned to Italy, bought by an English earl, and returned to Paris once more

  1. These two manuscripts contain sketches by the famous polymath Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)

  2. They were taken to France as war plunder after Napoleon (1769–1821) entered Milan in 1792

  3. In 1891, folios stolen from the manuscript earlier in the century were returned to France

Codex Ashburnham

MS Ashburnham 2037 + 2038 Institut de France (Paris, France)
  1. Description
  2. Facsimile Editions (2)
Description
Codex Ashburnham

These two manuscripts containing sketches by the famous polymath Leonardo da Vinci have had a tumultuous history: coveted and owned by numerous bibliophiles, taken to Paris as war booty, stolen and returned to Italy, bought by an English earl, and returned to Paris once more. After Napoleon entered Milan in 1796, he seized the entirety of the Ambrosian collection of Vinciana and had it hauled back to France, which included twelve da Vinci manuscripts. An enterprising thief eponymously named Count Guglielmo Libri stole folios from two manuscripts in the Institut de France, selling some of them to the British bibliophile Bertram Ashburnham, 4th Earl of Ashburnham. His son and heir, also named Bertram, returned them to France in 1891 where they are still stored in the Institut de France under the shelf marks Ashburnham 2037 and Ashburnham 2038. These sketches, mostly architectural in nature, originated from between 1489 and 1492.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Il Codice A (2173)
Il Codice B (2173)
Size / Format
Vol. I: 34 folios Vol. II: 10 folios / Vol. I: 15.0 × 22.0 cm Vol. II: 16.0 × 23.0 cm
Origin
Italy
Date
1489–1492
Language
Artist / School

Available facsimile editions:
Facsimile Editions

#1 Il Codice A (2173)

ARS – Perugia, 2003

Publisher: ARS – Perugia, 2003
Commentary: 1 volume
Language: Italian
1 volume: This facsimile is not complete. Reproduction of the entire original document (MS. Ashburnham 2038) as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.

#2 Il Codice B (2173)

Commentary: 1 volume
Language: Italian
1 volume: This facsimile is not complete. Reproduction of the entire original document (MS. Ashburnham 2037) as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
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