SIL’s Dibner Library manuscripts collection includes this intriguing volume (MSS 000253 B), the Discorso di Leontio Artefice sopra la Sfera di Arato et Fabbrica di Quella, a late 16th or early 17th century Italian astronomical text by Bernardino Baldi, bound in an old vellum manuscript. The volume previously belonged to the collections of Baldassarre Boncompagni (d. 1894) and the Albani family (probably Annibale Albani, d. 1751). The large printed paper label on the front cover bears the catalog number cited in Narducci’s 1892 edition of the Catalogo di Manoscritti da Boncompagni.
The text, date, and geographical origin of the vellum manuscript used for the bookbinding is currently unidentified, and is thought to date from the 13th century. We present this as a challenge to the community of Latin paleographers: can anyone identify the text, author, and likely date and place of origin for this manuscript?