The illuminations in two Italian manuscripts are still a mystery today. Both manuscripts were based fully or partly on the Florentine Squarcialupi Codex (Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Med. Pal. 87) dating from around 1410/15. With the help of a multi-analytical, non-destructive approach employing mobile instrumentation (XRF spectroscopy, visible reflectance spectroscopy and infrared reflectography), we examined the manuscripts Toronto, Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, MSS 09700 and Düsseldorf, Kunstpalast, Inv. K 1925-67 for the first time with regard to their production processes. The identification of modern pigments allows them to be contextualized in illumination practices of the 19 th century. Manuals of that time provide a wealth of information on specific illumination practices and the availability of writing and painting materials, which correlates with the actual artefacts.