The Squarcialupi Codex is the vastest and most refined of all ancient manuscripts of the Italian music copied in Florence during the first twenty years of the fifteenth century. The over 300 pieces it contains – to almost half of which only this source bears witness – are the work of nearly all the most-renowned composers of the fourteenth century, from the generation active during the first half of the century to those still active during the first decades of the fifteenth century.
The manuscript is richly illuminated in gold and precious colours which place it among the most magnificent works in the history of Italian illumination. Recent iconographic research confirms that the miniatures and splendid illuminations had their origins in the Florentine scriptorium of Santa Maria degli Angeli between 1410 and 1415. At one time the codex was a possession of the celebrated Florentine organist Antonio Squarcialupi (1417-1480), as is stated by the inscription on the first sheet: 'This book belongs to Antonio di Bartolomeo Squarcialupi, organist in Santa Maria del Fiore'.
Later it was owned by Giuliano de' Medici and subsequently passed to the Palatine Library; at the end of the eighteenth century it was transferred together with other volumes to the Laurentian Library where it is preserved to this day, marked Palatino 87, and still has its same elegant binding.
Brown leather binding on wooden boards, dating from the end of the fifteenth century.