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Auction Description for Dreweatts: Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures
Viewing Notes:
Saturday 3rd December 2016 11.00 am - 4.00 pm Sunday 4th December 2016 11.00 am - 4.00 pm Monday 5th December 2016 9.30 am - 5.30 pm Tuesday 6th December 2016 9.30 am - 5.30 pm Day of Sale from 9.30 am

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures (123 Lots)

by Dreweatts & Bloomsbury


123 lots | 122 with images

December 7, 2016

Live Auction

Newbury, United Kingdom

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Exodus, in Latin, large cutting from a monolithic Carolingian Bible...

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Description: Exodus, in Latin, large cutting from a monolithic Carolingian Bible manuscript on parchment [north or central Italy (perhaps Bobbio), first few decades of ninth century] Large cutting reused as a limp vellum binding on a copy of Legge Dello Illustrissimo et Eccellentiss. S. il S. Duca di Firenze (Florence, 1517) still in situ, with top half of leaf and outer upright margins trimmed away, remains of two large columns, 21 lines ruled in drypoint, in a compressed early Carolingian minuscule with numerous earlier features (such as insular style F , a tall two-compartmented e and a t whose top-bar curls back and down on the left suggesting the shape of the pre-Carolingian letter) as well as a few features which point towards Insular influence (such as dotted y ), occasional later interlinear additions (perhaps eleventh century), darkened in places and discoloured on outside, and scuffed on inside, some later retouching of a few letters inside covers, else in good and legible condition, cutting overall: 200 by 290 mm. While the basic outlines of the evolution of the Carolingian Bible have been sketched out (see Bischoff in his Mittelalterliche Studien II, pp. 12-19, Ganz and McKitterick in The Early Medieval Bible , 1994, and the Schøyen sale at Sotheby s, 10 July 2012, lots 28-9), much still remains to be done, and each new early Carolingian fragment to emerge adds considerably to our knowledge. It is clear that while the standardised Carolingian Bible text produced by the abbeys of Tours came to dominate the Carolingian renaissance, they were not the only centre to respond to Charlemagne s call for a corrected Bible text. Others are witnessed in the Theodulf Bible and the single leaf from another produced at Lorsch c. 800 which was identified by McKitterick ( The Library , 6th series, 12, 1990, p. 31; sold in Sotheby s, 10 July 2012, lot 29, for £93,650). Another fragmentary witness to a copy of Isaiah of the same date, but from an unidentified centre, was sold in our rooms, 8 July 2015, lot 10, for £18,600. This fragment may be the sole surviving witness to an Italian Carolingian Biblical text. The script of this cutting appears Italian, but with strong Insular influence. Such features point towards the cultural hub of Bobbio (founded by St. Columbanus in 612, with one of the finest medieval libraries in Europe, and finally suppressed in 1789), but do not exclude a number of other houses throughout northern and central Italy. In addition, its readings are not those of traditional Italian codices which commonly include Vetus Latina readings, and instead they adhere to the Vulgate, with only minor transcription errors. However, one physical fact suggests direct influence from the Carolingian heartlands of northern Europe, and opens the possibility that the parent codex may have been a very early attempt to adapt and domesticate the new Tours Bible. Strangely, the cutting here is from a leaf of near-identical proportions to that of the Tours Bibles, and yet is not in the rolling and rotund Tours script. The second leaf here wants only two characters or so from its upright margin, as well as some 29 or 30 lines from the top of the leaf. Thus its written space alone had original measurements of approximately 434 by 293 mm., with 50 or 51 lines in each column. Ganz records that Tours Bibles have a consistent size of 480 by 375mm (including margins as well as text) and text set in columns of 50-52 lines. As the production of our codex must have been within decades, if not years, of the initial arrival of the first Tours Bibles in Italy, it cannot have been made to replace a worn out copy, and we are left to suppose that an Italian centre recopied some Biblical books from a Tours exemplar on the same vast scale.

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Bede, Homilies on the Gospels, in Latin, manuscript on parchment [Germany

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Description: Bede, Homilies on the Gospels, in Latin, manuscript on parchment [Germany (perhaps Fulda), second or third quarter of the ninth century] A cutting, reused to reinforce the spine of a later book, with remains of single column, 27 lines in an erect and angular Carolingian minuscule with parts of Homily 57 on Luke 34, with distinctively German wedges at the end of some ascenders and numerous Insular features, significant breaks marked with large rustic capitals, cuts with indents on one upright side, and with some small scuffs, stains and traces of resin, trimmed at top removing a single line of text, 280 by 110 mm. This is a sister-cutting of a near-complete leaf sold in Sotheby s, 6 July 2010, lot 1, to Durham University Library. That was attributed there to Fulda on the basis of paleographical forms as well as the probable path of the principal exemplar. General parallels for the script can be found in other Fulda examples, including a copy of Gaudentius, Tractatus , from the mid-ninth-century (reproduced in Broszinski, Fuldische Handschriften aus Hessen , 1994, no. 33), and a Fulgentius, Mitologiae , third quarter of ninth century (Broszinski no. 34), but the Insular features of the script here are pronounced enough (including an overall angularity to letter forms, as well as q s with descenders that curve to the left, and g s which seem to take their zigzag-shaped tails from Insular forms), to suggest that the scribe here was copying from an Insular exemplar (as in Broszinski nos. 29 and 39). This would accord well with the known history of the text. Laistner ( Handlist of Bede Manuscripts , 1943, pp. 114-18) records some 21 manuscripts, all of which are in institutional ownership; and to these should be added the 5 fragments in Quaritch: Bookhands of the Middle Ages III (cat.1088), items 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 ( c .800 to twelfth century). As no copies survive from England before the twelfth century, our earliest witnesses are Continental. In a letter written in 747-751, St. Boniface requested from one of Bede s students and followers, Archbishop Egbert of York, some of the works which Bede, the inspired priest and student of Sacred Scripture, has composed including his book of homilies for the year, because it would be a very handy and useful manual for us in our preaching (Tangl, Die briefe des heiligen Bonifatius , 1916, no. 91), sending back in exchange for this two small casks of wine for a merry day with the brethren . Boniface was instrumental in the foundation of Fulda, and retired and was buried there. His copy of the text most probably remained in the monastery, and may well be item 170 in their library catalogue of c .1550: liber omeliarum Bede presbiteri numero XXV (Palat.Vat. lat. Latinus 1928; K.Christ, Die Bibliothek des Klosters Fulda , 1933). The readings of the Sotheby s leaf , the readings here are consistent with those of the St.Gallen manuscript (Zurich, Zentralbibl. C42, second half of ninth century), which as the library there was expanded in the ninth century and received numerous copies of books from Fulda, may also bear witness to Boniface s lost copy. If this is correct, all German copies to descend from this lost early exemplar from the scriptorium in which Bede had worked only decades before, are of significant textual value.

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Priscian, Institutiones Grammaticae, in Latin

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Description: Priscian, Institutiones Grammaticae, in Latin, manuscript on parchment [probably northern France, first half of the ninth century) Large rectangular cutting, once cut into two pieces and reused to support the boards in the binding of an early printed book, together 225 by 84 mm., remains of single column with 11 lines in a good early Carolingian minuscule, three rubrics in large ornamental red capitals, three large simple initials , one with a tri-lobed foot, slight oxidisation to some red capitals, some small spots, stains and cuts to edges, else in good and presentable condition and on good quality parchment, the two parts joined with strips of paper This cutting is from a notably large and early manuscript of the work of Priscian (lived c. 500 AD.). He was born in the North African city of Caesarea and taught Latin at Constantinople. This work was the result of those years spent teaching, and despite the author s intention that it should be used by those in the Eastern Empire to learn Latin, it became the mainstay of the Western medieval world from the Dark Ages through to the sixteenth century to relearn the language of Ancient Rome. It was used by Cassiodorus in Italy, and Aldhelm and Bede in England. It had a substantial following in the Insular world (and indeed the oldest substantial manuscript may have been copied in Ireland in the mid-ninth century: St Gallen, Stiftsbibliothek MS. 904). Alcuin records its presence among the library of York, and became its champion once he took up a position in the court of Charlemagne. Thereafter, no monastery, cathedral or secular-school could be without a copy, and 527 medieval manuscripts are recorded today (see Gibson in Scriptorium 26, 1972). For modern scholarship, the work is the foundation of all grammars, as well as a storehouse of lost Roman works in the author s frequent citation of the texts available to him in the sixth century.

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Augustine, Commentary on Psalm 113, cutting from a Romanesque manuscript in...

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Description: Augustine, Commentary on Psalm 113, cutting from a Romanesque manuscript in Latin on parchment, with a large collection of fragments from other manuscripts on parchment [late eleventh or early twelfth century to eighteenth century] Collection of sixty-five fragments and cuttings: (i) Augustine s commentary, rectangular cutting, with remains of double column, 10 lines in an accomplished script, recovered from a binding and hence with some folds, scuffs (predominantly to the reverse), and tiny holes, overall good to fair, 110 by 160 mm., Germany, late eleventh or early twelfth century; (ii) three small cuttings from a manuscript of the Gospel of Luke, up to 7 lines from a single column remaining, each approximately 70 by 45 mm., Italy, late twelfth century; (iii) two near-complete leaves from an early gradual without musical notation, both double column, 26 lines, large initials in red or blue with contrasting penwork, losses to one upright side through water damage, other scuffs and stains, each 300 by 190 mm., fourteenth century; plus 59 others predominantly from medieval books and two medieval documents, but including two strips in Hebrew from a Biblical text, many of these fragments only a few 10s of mm. in height and width, and all recovered from bindings

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Peter Lombard, Sentences, in Latin, on parchment [England , c

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Description: Peter Lombard, Sentences, in Latin, on parchment [England (Canterbury, or perhaps Rochester), c. 1175] Strip reused in a later binding, with remains of 17 lines in Canterbury prickly script from a single column (ruled in plummet), single red rubric, slightly discoloured in places and torn at edges, contemporary or near-contemporary interlinear additions, modern penmark zk and pencil 1625 (the last perhaps the date of the book the fragment was used to bind), else in good and presentable condition, 131 by 32 mm. From a collection of fragments sold by Sotheby s, 9 December 1963, lot 118, to A.H. Philpot (d. 1966), thence gifted to Spurgeon s College, London; de-accessioned by them and sold Sotheby s, 23 June 1992, as part of lot 3. After 1066 the two monasteries of Anglo-Saxon Canterbury were restocked with Norman monks, those in St. Augustine s mainly from Mont St-Michel in the south, and those in Christ Church from Bec and perhaps Jumièges in the north. They brought with them individual scribal practises, with Christ Church developing this prickly script , as it was named by N.R. Ker ( English Manuscripts , pp. 26-8 and Webber in Canterbury and the Norman Conquest , 1995). It is characterised by its forked ascenders, pronounced serifs and sharp angles of normally rounded strokes, and is also found in manuscripts of St. Andrew s, Rochester. Peter Lombard s Sentences is a systematic compilation of theology, and one of the fundamental works of medieval theology. The text was completed in 1150, perhaps only two decades before the present manuscript was written. The text here is that of book 2, distinctio 21 (Migne, Pat. Lat. , 192, 694-5).

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Large and ornate white vine initial on a bifolium from a decorated...

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Description: Large and ornate white vine initial on a bifolium from a decorated Romanesque Psalter, manuscript on parchment [Germany, late twelfth century] Bifolium (apparently untrimmed, with lower border folded up), one large initial C (opening Cantate domino canticum ... Psalm 96[95]) in a mass of scrolling white vine tendrils shooting from angular split bands of blank parchment, all terminating in stylised acanthus leaves and on brick-red, dark green and marine-blue grounds, 5 smaller initials in same green or red, with penwork picking out similar acanthus leaves, rubrics in red or blue ornamental capitals, small initials in red, single column, 28 lines in a tiny late Romanesque bookhand, small number of medieval marginalia, scuffed and darkened in places with some small holes in margins, folded over section split in places, but initial and reverse in good condition, each leaf approximately 210 by 142 mm.

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Leaf from a copy of Gregory the Great, Cura Pastoralis , in Latin

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Description: Leaf from a copy of Gregory the Great, Cura Pastoralis , in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment [France (probably the north), mid-twelfth century] Single leaf, double column, 30 lines in a strong professional early gothic bookhand with angular capital I s sitting atop sickle-like tail, similar abbreviations for per , rubrics and nota marks in red, one initial on each side in pale blue with sprays of acanthus leaf foliage touched in green and red, roughly cut down innermost edge, small spots and smudges, else good condition with wide and clean margins, 307 by 205 mm.; in card mount Despite the importance of this work on the duties of the clergy by Gregory the Great (c. 540-604) and the vast number of manuscripts which must have been produced throughout the Middle Ages, it is uncommon on the market, and perhaps like the Benedictine Rule the majority of medieval copies were used to pieces . It was written in 590, immediately after Gregory became pope, and is perhaps the most influential work on the topic ever written. The Byzantine emperor Maurice ordered its translation and dissemination throughout the Eastern Empire, Charlemagne commended the text to the Carolingian clergy in 813, and King Alfred the Great is credited with its translation into English, noting that St. Augustine himself had brought the book to England in 597. This is from a handsome early medieval witness to the text, and contains parts of chapters V-VII, on the need for those in power to lead with virtuous example and humility, and the need for good preachers.

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Cutting from a leaf from a monumental Lectionary, in Latin

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Description: Cutting from a leaf from a monumental Lectionary, in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment [France (perhaps the south), first half of the twelfth century] Substantial part of a single leaf (with upper margin and part of second column wanting), with double column, 31 lines in a handsome and distinctive Romanesque bookhand without biting curves, capitals touched in lemon-yellow, red rubrics, two large elegant red initials, some stains, small holes and later scribbles from reuse in the binding of Sommario delle Riforme leggi e ordini dell usito de Cinque Conservadori del contado & distretto di Firenze (Florence, 1553), overall in fair and legible condition, overall 335 by 218 mm. Despite its survival on the binding of an Italian book, the script and decoration here is distinctively French and of a notably high quality.

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Two leaves from a Romanesque Noted Breviary, in Latin

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Description: Two leaves from a Romanesque Noted Breviary, in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment [France (perhaps Normandy or north-east), late eleventh or early twelfth century] Two near-complete leaves, with losses at foot and upright edges, with single column, up to 19 lines in two sizes of an early gothic bookhand, music in neumes arranged around a red C-clef line, capitals touched in green (in simple style seen in manuscripts from northern coastline of France), rubrics and small initials in red, larger initials in split compartments of same shaded in green, small stains and cockling, folds to some edges, else in fair and legible condition on heavy parchment, each leaf approximately 172 by 129 mm.

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Two leaves from two monumental Breviaries, in Latin

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Description: Two leaves from two monumental Breviaries, in Latin, decorated manuscripts on parchment [France, first half of twelfth century (probably second quarter)] Two vast leaves, both double column, up to 38 lines in two good early gothic bookhands, music in neumes arranged around a red C-clef line, rubrics and simple initials in red, larger initials in elaborate blue and red strokes, with stylised penwork acanthus leaves in contrasting colour, perhaps from the same volume or set of volumes (approximately same size, and with the column with music on one matching in width with those of the other leaf, but foliated in different places by two different medieval hands), one leaf with part of inner border torn away, the other darkened and folded from use in a later binding, both approximately 370 by 265 mm.

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Bifolium from a Romanesque Psalter, in Latin

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Description: Bifolium from a Romanesque Psalter, in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment [probably Spain or adjacent southern France, twelfth century] Bifolium, each leaf with single column, 26 lines in a rounded early gothic bookhand, paragraph marks like 90º angles, line-fillers of thick red lines, small red initials set in margin, larger red initials with angular penwork strokes and loops or pendulous red drops at their tips, scuffs and cockling, small slits in first leaf (without text loss), torn corners at base and traces of old repair with tape, overall fair and legible, each leaf 270 by 186 mm. The script and decoration here appear French, but do not find parallels there, and seem closest to those of Spain and the nearby regions under its influence. Romanesque manuscripts from this region are far from common.

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Two leaves from the Interpretation of Hebrew Names from the Chudleigh Bible

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Description: Two leaves from the Interpretation of Hebrew Names from the Chudleigh Bible, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment [north east France (perhaps Arras), c. 1220-30] Two leaves, with three columns of 53 lines of a delicate French university bookhand, small initials in red or blue with undulating lines in same forming linefillers, larger initials in same with contrasting penwork, running titles a or b in red with blue penwork twirls at their sides, slight cockling and discolouration at edges from use, small holes in corner of one leaf, else excellent condition, 285 by 190 mm. (written space: 187 by 125 mm.) From the Bible sold by Lord Clifford of Chudleigh in Sotheby s, 7 December 1953, lot 51, reappearing 8 July 1970, lot 104. Thereafter dispersed with leaves appearing in Quaritch cat. 1147 (1991), no. 15; Maggs cat. 1167 (1993), no. 2; and Sotheby s, 6 December 2005, lot 16, and 8 July 2014, lots 13-14, and Christie s first online sale of leaves earlier this year (lot 9). The parent codex was published in R. Branner, Manuscript Painting in Paris , 1977, p. 30, no. 17 (as of northern French origin related to Parisian work); see also L.M.C. Randell, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts , I, 1989, p. 43.

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Petrus Riga, Aurora , single leaf in Latin from an early decorated...

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Description: Petrus Riga, Aurora (the Bible in verse paraphrase), single leaf in Latin from an early decorated manuscript of the text on parchment [England (probably Oxford), first half of thirteenth century] Single leaf, single column, 50 lines in a small English gothic bookhand, rubrics in darker brown ink in a different hand, initial letters set in margin in medieval fashion for verse, small and elegantly tall initials in red or blue with looping penwork in contrasting colours, two large initials in simple red with blue penwork or red and blue variegated panels with penwork in both, quire signature at foot of verso: vii and occasional glossing words in near-contemporary hand (such as allegorica ), tiny modern pencil folio number 51 in upper outer corner, outer edges preserved, overall excellent condition, 235 by 118 mm. (written space 200 by 65 mm.) This is a handsome leaf from a notably early copy of the second recension of the text, broken by the self-proclaimed biblioclast Otto Ege (1888-1951; see S. Gwara, Otto Ege s Manuscripts , 2013, handlist no. 7). The largest single surviving section is the 12 leaves in the Schøyen collection. The Aurora of Petrus Riga (canon of Reims, d. 1209) is a poem in 15,050 lines paraphrasing the Bible in Latin verse, which became a standard university textbook. The text here is from the opening of Ruth, and is a remarkably early witness to the second of three original versions of the text, with only contemporaries or later copies recorded by Stegmüller ( Repertorium , IV, 1954, pp. 380-2) or Beichner ( Aurora Petri Rigae , 1965). It was written in the tall and thin format associated with scholarly books, and was almost certainly commissioned for use in a university setting.

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Collection of leaves from medieval manuscripts on parchment [eleventh to...

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Description: Collection of leaves from medieval manuscripts on parchment [eleventh to fifteenth century] A cutting and four near-complete leaves: (i) Bible commentary mentioning Genesis, long thin strip with remains of 26 lines in an early Romanesque bookhand with use of et-ligature as integral parts of other words, rubric in orange-red ornamental capitals, cut to lower half, France, eleventh century, 285 by 48 mm.; (b) leaf from a Lectionary, single column, 19 lines in a large and monumental early gothic bookhand, capitals touched in red, red rubrics, two coloured initials in bars of red and blue with penwork, one half-page illuminated initial terminating in simple ivy leaf on blue and burgundy grounds, some scuffs and holes, but quite legible, France, thirteenth century, 295 by 209 mm.; (c) Leaf from another Lectionary, double column, 20 lines in angular high grade bookhand, red rubrics, four illuminated initials in pink or blue heightened with white penwork with ivy leaf foliage on coloured and brilliantly burnished gold grounds (two smudged), irregularly cut at top of leaf, slightly discoloured on one side, overall fair and presentable condition, northern France (probably Paris), fourteenth century, 340 by 230 mm.; (d) Leaf from a Breviary, with remains of two columns and 31 lines, red rubrics, trimmed at top and inner side, scrubbed blank on reverse, stains and small holes, fair condition, Italy, fourteenth century, 240 by 185 mm.; (e) leaf from a choirbook, with 5 lines of text with music on a 4-line stave, three large initials, one with a detailed portrait of a bishop s head, another human face and a bird picked out in penwork, France, fifteenth century, 440 by 320 mm.

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Four leaves from three medieval manuscripts

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Description: Four leaves from three medieval manuscripts, all in Latin and on parchment [thirteenth to fifteenth century] Four leaves: (a) leaf from a Breviary (perhaps from an index at the end of the volume, listing names and words beginning with s alphabetically, with short explanations, double column, 32 lines in an angular hand beginning above top line, red rubrics, capitals in red and set in margin, initials in red or blue, England, c. 1200 (certainly before c. 1230), 202 by 150 mm. (written space: 145 by 105 mm.), in card mount of Folio Fine Art Society of London, and with their label on reverse noting that this is from their MS 3376 , and was their cat.50 [1967], no. 157, sold for £19-0-0; (b & c) two leaves from a Breviary, Use of Cologne, each with double column, 31 lines in two sizes of early gothic bookhand, red and blue initials, larger initials with ornate contrasting penwork, Cologne, fourteenth century, 170 by 120 mm. (written space: 126 by 90 mm.), again in separate Folio Fine Art Society mounts, variously (and perhaps erroneously) noting that these were from their MS 3069 and MS 3095 and cost £11-10-0 and £8-8-0; (d) leaf from a Benedictine Breviary, double column, 24 lines, red rubrics, eight small illuminated initials in gold on tri-coloured grounds (green, burgundy and blue, heightened with white penwork), northern Italy (probably Florence), late fifteenth century, ??? by ??? mm. (written space: ??? by ??? mm.), again in Folio Fine Art Society mount, noting source as their MS 2234 corrected in pencil to 2250 , and price £7-7-6; small spots in places, else all in excellent condition Items (b) and (c) here are from a manuscript sold in Sotheby s, 10 July 1967, lot 79, and dispersed soon after by Folio Fine Art, with single leaves in their cats. 54 (1968), no. 265, and 67 (1969), no. 250.

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Collection of leaves from medieval manuscripts on parchment [thirteenth to...

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Description: Collection of leaves from medieval manuscripts on parchment [thirteenth to fifteenth century] Ten pieces, comprising: (a) leaf from a fine copy of the Vitae Sanctorum (with readings for St. Helen), loss of few lines at top, remains of double column, 48 lines, capitals touched in yellow, 8 small initials in red or blue with penwork, one very large initial F (opening Fuit et alius vir sanctus, Helenus nomine ... ) in split red bands with ornate swirling blue penwork enclosing red dots and filling entire border, France, late thirteenth century or early fourteenth, 290 by 22 mm.; (b) bifolium from a Gradual, with a 4-line initial in orange enclosing blue and white acanthus leaves on a blue ground heightened with white penwork, numerous other tall and thin initials in red or blue with scrolling penwork in contrasting colours, red rubrics, double column, 26 lines in a somewhat shaky formal bookhand, part of second leaf cut away, Italy (Bologna), fourteenth century, 280 by 245mm.; plus 10 leaves (including a bifolium and another leaf attached to this) from Italian liturgical books, many with fine coloured initials and in notably high grade script, a bifolium from a thirteenth-century liturgical volume, a large fifteenth-century Choirbook leaf, a document issued by an imperial scribe dated 7 June 1428 in civitate Austriae Aqlegien , most probably Aelen in modern Switzerland or Aalen in southern Germany; some recovered from bindings and hence with some damage, but overall good to fine condition

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Cutting with a copy of the French poem Sénéchal, in octosyllabic verse

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Description: Cutting with a copy of the French poem Sénéchal, in octosyllabic verse, from La Vie des Anciens Peres cycle, manuscript on parchment [French, thirteenth century] Strip, cut vertically from a leaf, with remains of two columns of 33 lines in a good early gothic vernacular hand, remnants of rubrics and large simple initials in red, one side legible but parchment thin in places and translucent, reverse with losses of ink to about half of the surface, recovered from a binding and hence with scuffs, folds and small tears at edges, 160 by 65 mm. La Vie des Anciens Peres is a collection of edifying verses, composed 1215-1230 in the north of France, measuring all together 30,251 lines. They draw material from the Ten Commandments and, as in the case here, from the Seven Deadly Sins. The present verse, named Sénéchal , focuses on the themes of lust, envy and ultimately justice (see Koehler in Romania , 11, 1882, p. 581-584, and A. Tudor, Tales of Vice and Virtue , 2005, pp. 300-15). In it, the king of Egypt is hunting when he becomes separated from his followers in a storm. Arriving finally at a castle of one of his knights, he falls in love with his subject s daughter and requests a secret night-time meeting with her. His seneschal, in whom he has confided, organises the meeting, but opportunistically takes the place of the king. When the girl realises her mistake she stabs him with his own sword. She is later condemned to death, but saved by divine intervention. The Arlima website lists nearly 60 exempla, including several fragments.However, the fragmentary text on the reverse does not appear to be from the same collection, and the parent manuscript evidently contained other verses.

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Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum historiale , on Emperor Nero's disastrous reign

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Description: Vincent of Beauvais, Speculum historiale , on Emperor Nero s disastrous reign, top half of a bifolium from an illuminated manuscript on parchment [Low Countries, or perhaps France, c. 1300] Upper half of a bifolium, each remaining leaf 215 by 155 mm., with remains of two columns of 26 lines in a squat professional early gothic hand (with parts of book 10, chs. 13-14 and 34-35, and thus probably the outermost bifolium in a gathering), capitals touched in red, rubrics and running titles in red, small initials in red with blue penwork, two small initials in liquid gold on blue grounds, some folds, small holes and damaged areas from use to cover spine of a large book, with some scuffing to illuminated initials, else good and presentable condition The Speculum historiale is a world chronicle from the Creation to the 1240s in 31 books and a staggering 3,793 chapters. It was the third part of Vincent s grand Speculum maius , formed of the Speculum natural (on nature) and Speculum doctrinale (on scholarship). Its production was overseen by Vincent of Beauvais ( c . 1190-1264), a friar attached to the Dominican houses in Paris, Beauvais, and later Royaumont on the Oise, who seems to have had French royal patronage. It was the principal encyclopedia of the Middle Ages, with the present work more widely circulated than the other two parts. Every monastery, cathedral school and educated nobleman of influence had a copy, and the Arlima website, while far from comprehensive, lists over 90 surviving manuscripts.

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Alexander of Villa Die, Doctrinale Puerorum

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Description: Alexander of Villa Die, Doctrinale Puerorum (a Latin grammar in verse), decorated manuscript on parchment [Low Countries, fourteenth century] Near-complete bifolium, reused as a binding (trimmed at base), each leaf with remains of single column, 29 lines in a good and legible late gothic hand in leonine hexameters, capitals touched in red and set off in margin in medieval fashion for verse, two larger red initials with crude foliate infill in black pen, some early marginalia in Flemish or Dutch, small holes and stains from reuse in binding, outer side darkened and with penmarks and a spine label, but overall fair and legible, 210 by 163 mm. (written space: 180 by 100 mm.) From the collection of Johan Arnold Dortmund (1912-88), founder of the Schriftsmuseum, University of Amsterdam; his sale Sotheby s, 7 December 1992, part of lot 5. Alexander of Villedieu ( c . 1170-1240) was a Norman, who rose to prominence in the University of Paris. The present work was his magnum opus , a grammar of Latin, drawing on Priscian and Donatus, entirely set in verse. It was written in 1199 while he was a private tutor to the young relatives of the bishop of Dol.

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Gratian's Decretum, in Latin, leaves from a notably early manuscript of the...

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Description: Gratian s Decretum, in Latin, leaves from a notably early manuscript of the text, decorated manuscript on parchment [northern coastline of France, second half of the twelfth century (probably pre-1180)] At least two leaves reused on a binding of Urbani Bellunensis Institutionum Linguae Graecae, Libro Duo (1543) and still in situ, either on the outside of the binding (with a single leaf covering both boards and spine, folded over at corners and probably also trimmed with loss of margins) and as pastedowns (these mostly hidden under paper pasted there), another smaller piece apparently from same manuscript used to patch a hole on spine, the largest visible piece revealing the parent codex to have had double column, 55 lines in a good early gothic bookhand with lateral compression but no biting curves, red rubrics and small initial, larger initials in blue or red with penwork picking out acanthus leaves, extensive commentary around text in smaller script, some splits, holes and slight darkening to leaves on outside of boards, but quite legible, up to 350 by 225 mm. visible This text, a crucial cornerstone for Western law, was composed in Bologna in an initial version in 1139, and this revised in the 1150s. Within decades it was being cited in legal cases, and remained the fundamental textbook of ecclesiastical law until the nineteenth century. A citation of it in 1143 in Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, and the fact that the other equally early leaves sold in our rooms, 9 December 2015, lot 23, and 6 July 2016, lot 22, are all localisable to northern France or the Low Countries, is suggestive that an important centre for the production and dissemination of the earliest manuscripts of the text once existed in the region.

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Corpus Iuris Canonici, and Bernard of Botone

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Description: Corpus Iuris Canonici, and Bernard of Botone, Glossa Ordinaria on Gregory s Decretals, in Latin, single leaves from manuscripts on parchment [thirteenth and fourteenth century] Two leaves: (a) leaf from Corpus Iuris Canonici, double column, 44 lines in a fine and rounded university bookhand, red rubrics, paragraph marks and small initials in dark blue, running titles in red and blue, 16 larger initials in red or blue with scrolling penwork in contrasting colour filling margins, outer edge of leaf cut quickly with stepped notches, some later scribbles from reuse in a binding, some scuffs (with losses to ink in places) and small holes, slight discolouration at edges, else overall in fair and legible condition, France (probably Paris), thirteenth century, 313 by 238 mm.; (b) very large leaf from Bernard of Botone, Glossa Ordinaria, with double column, 83 lines, with smaller gloss in margin, recovered from a binding and with many holes and stains, Italy (perhaps Bologna), fourteenth century, 425 by 310 mm. Item (a) is from a fine university copy of the fundamental collection of church law in the Middle Ages and after.

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Perpetual Calendar from 1490, most probably for a late medieval public notary

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Description: Perpetual Calendar from 1490, most probably for a late medieval public notary, with titles and explanations in Latin, on a paper leaf [Italy, c. 1490] Single leaf, with the actual Calendar set in a large circle (diameter: 105 mm.) with an outer column of years enclosing the Roman numerals i-xv indicating the ruota sine fine in the 15-year cycle of the cyclus indictionis used to date some documents in the late Roman world and Middle Ages, and the title and date in Roman numerals on the cross bars, two short passages above and below the diagram explaining its use, these in late humanist hands with secretarial influence, chain marks in paper but no watermark, some ink faded, and torn edges to paper, overall in good condition, 220 by 148 mm. There is no evidence that this leaf was ever in a book, and it may be a very rare survival of a practical tool prepared for pinning to a wall for easy reference. Unlike our current method of dating from the birth of Christ, the idea of using a 15-year cycle to trace date is a civil and secular one, and first occurs in a periodic land or agricultural tax in Roman Egypt. It became popular in the dating of documents elsewhere in the Mediterranean in the mid-fourth century AD. It was commonly used in the Byzantine world until 1087, when the chancery reforms of Emperor Alexander III swept it away. In the West it only became widespread after the work of Bede on the subject, but fell into decline in the fourteenth century, surviving only in the practises of public notaries up to the end of the sixteenth century.

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Bernardinus de Gordonius, Liber pronosticorum , in Latin

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Description: Bernardinus de Gordonius, Liber pronosticorum (on medical prognostics), in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment [France (perhaps Montpellier), last years of thirteenth century or c. 1300] Substantial fragment of a leaf, preserved in situ on the boards of a printed copy of Ovid (Lyon, B. Vincentium, 1567), remains of double column, 33 lines in an angular early gothic bookhand, red rubric (naming berth de gordonio with text which was too long to fit in space flowing at right angle down side of text column), single red initial, last flyleaf of printed book with seventeenth-century ex libris of Guilielmo Sigismundo Schwarze , the inside of leaves folded over boards and text there obscured by pastedowns (but probably liftable by a conservator), small scuffs, rubbed around spine and back lower corner bumped, else good condition, total visible: 175 by 120 mm. Despite his importance in his field, little is known about the medieval physician Bernadinus de Gordonius (1283- c .1320). He worked as a professor of medicine in the University of Montpellier, and was the author of a tract commonly referred to as Lilium medicinae appellatum (printed Naples in 1480). The present leaf opens one of his lesser known works on prognostications, and as this is thought to have been composed in 1295, the present manuscript may have been among the earliest copies produced, and is certainly within the life of the author.

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Collection of leaves from musical manuscripts

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Description: Collection of leaves from musical manuscripts, in Latin on parchment [twelfth to thirteenth century] Two leaves and a large cutting: (a) leaf from an early choirbook (reused in a later binding and with losses at top and right hand side, but the wide margin on the left showing that this was once a book of substantial size and grandeur, one half-page initial I in red with scalloping blue penwork and white penwork (small losses to top of initial), and 9 lines of text with music in neumes arranged around a red C-clef line, three red initials with blue penwork on reverse, and Biblical directions where readings taken from in genesi ibidem and in exodo in margin, small holes and penmarks from later reuse, probably France (perhaps south), second half of twelfth century, 303 by 265 mm.; (b) Leaf from another choirbook, with 11 lines of text with cadels in lowermost line, with music on a 4-line red stave, capitals touched in red, red rubrics, initials in complex penwork with red infill, seventeenth-century title Sti Joann at head of pages and folio nos. 70 and 71 , slight discolouration and small loss to lower corner, else good, last decades of the twelfth century, 255 by 190 mm.; (c) top half of a leaf from another choirbook, with remains of double and triple column, 6 lines, red and blue initials with contrasting penwork, red rubrics, readings for 16 different saints feasts on reverse, small holes and spots from reuse in binding, France, early thirteenth century, 198 by 258 mm.

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Four cuttings from a large musical manuscript with apparent polyphony

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Description: Four cuttings from a large musical manuscript with apparent polyphony, text in Latin and German, manuscript on paper [Germany, early sixteenth century] Four rectangular fragments, each approximately 178 by 112 mm. and all evidently reused to support book boards, with text of religious music in both languages in an angular late medieval bookhand with initials in tall sweeping strokes, mostly accompanied by music on a 5-line stave (rastrum: 15 mm.) in tall diamond-headed or golf-club -like musical notes, on heavy paper (one indistinct tete de boeuf watermark), some scuffs, stains and torn edges, overall fair condition In response to the growing secular interest in the artistic merit of polyphonic music in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Oswald von Wolkenstein (1376-1455; a one-eyed diplomat, poet and composer) and a number of anonymous German composers turned to French polyphony to fill the gaps in their musical traditions. They borrowed melodies, but substituted the texts with new ones in Latin or German, creating a crucial milestone in the development of modern music in the German-speaking world. The present fragments are most probably a witness to the first century of this process.

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Covers of account books of a Bolognese official

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Description: Covers of account books of a Bolognese official, manuscripts on parchment [Italy (Bologna), thirteenth century] A bifolium and a single large sheet, covered with numerous inscriptions, interlocking geometric circular diagrams, the date mccxxx (ie. 1230), another date 1243 in Arabic numerals, as well as notes recording that the book once enclosed was that owned by Lord Aymericus, text in either short inscriptions or up to 4 lines in a block, all somewhat faded and scuffed, but in fair condition and on good quality parchment, bifolium with each leaf 329 by 250 mm., single sheet 550 by 320 mm. Among others, the additions here name an official, Aymericus de Ayandris , and associate him in 4 lines of text with the titles knight of the city of Bologna and defender of the people . He was doubtless an important figure in thirteenth-century Bologna, but we have been unable to trace further notices of him, and these leaves here may well be the sole extant record of his life and role there.

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Claudian, De Consulatu Stilichonis , in Latin

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Description: Claudian, De Consulatu Stilichonis ( on the consulship of Stilicho ), in Latin, bifolium from a decorated manuscript on parchment [France, last decades of the twelfth century] Bifolium, each leaf approximately 195 by 147 mm., and near-complete, with losses of only the lowermost border and a single line of text there, single column with remains of 47 lines in a professional and angular early gothic bookhand with occasional biting curves, and written above topline, initials set in margin in medieval fashion for verse, one line skipped in error added in by contemporary hand, some nota marks, two red initials with simple foliate infill opening the preface and book III of Claudian s text, pricking visible at upright edges of each leaf, some areas discoloured and parchment slightly cockled, torn lower edge, else in good condition and easily legible Claudian s panegyrics for Stilicho (359-408) are the primary source for the life of this half-Vandal half-Roman military commander. He protected two ineffectual child-emperors, Theodosius and later his son Honorius, and became himself the de facto ruler of the Empire. Claudian was a court-poet to the second of these emperors from his arrival in Italy in 395 to his probable death c. 404. He recited this work in Rome early in 400. This manuscript is perhaps the oldest or joint-oldest witness to this crucial text, as well as the only copy to be recorded on the open market in the last 40 years (the last two were both from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps: his MS.9155 (thirteenth century), sold in Sotheby s, 30 November 1976, and MS. 8775 (fourteenth century), sold 28 November 1968). No witness older than the twelfth century is recorded (see Texts and Transmissions , pp. 144-146, and the introduction to Birt s edition in 1892 for the Monumenta Germaniae Historica series). The text here is from book I, lines 243-344 (the wars in Gaul and Germania to repel the invasion of the Vandals, Alans, and Suevi in 406, and in Africa against the revolt of Gildo), book II, lines 471-508 (the gods favouring of Stilicho), and the opening of Book III, with its complete preface and opening 24 lines (with the speeches of the gods in his favour).

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Aristotle, Metaphysica, in the Latin translation of William Moerbeke

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Description: Aristotle, Metaphysica, in the Latin translation of William Moerbeke, leaf from a monumental codex on parchment [probably France, second quarter of the thirteenth century] Single large leaf, with single column, 25 lines in a professional early gothic university hand, paragraph marks and running titles ( L.V / META ) in red or blue, larger initials in same with scrolling penwork in alternate colours, some contemporary interlinear notes and marginalia, some thick parchment tags glued to inner side of verso (perhaps from attachment to a book as a pastedown), numerous scribbles of names and numbers (predominantly Italian) and a crudely drawn man s head of late sixteenth to seventeenth century in blank margins on both sides, perhaps added while in reuse as a pastedown, smudge on verso, small holes at corners, else in good condition on strong parchment, 329 by 225 mm. (written space: 160 by 110 mm.) The works of Aristotle (384-322 BC.), student of Plato, tutor to Alexander the Great and founder of the Lyceum, were described by Cicero as a river of gold , and have shaped over two millennia of philosophy and science. That said, with the fall of a unified Roman Empire knowledge of them was lost to the West until their rediscovery in Greek and Arabic translations in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. William of Moerbeke was a Flemish Dominican (from Moerbeke near Geraardsbergen), and among the foremost translators from Greek in the thirteenth century. His work on Aristotle may have been at the behest of Thomas Aquinas, and certainly Aquinas use of it popularised the work among the universities of Europe, and set in motion a wave of interest in Aristotle which foreshadowed the Renaissance. The leaf here is from a notably large and fine university copy of the text, and contains parts of Metaphysica V, 20-24.

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Aristotle, De animalibus, with extensive commentary

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Description: Aristotle, De animalibus, with extensive commentary, in Latin with single word in Greek, manuscript on paper [Italy, fifteenth century] Single leaf, double column, 51 lines in a tiny secretarial hand, quotes from Aristotle s work in larger rounded script, a few wormholes, some paper stuck to surface, water damage to outer edge leading to staining and tear at midpoint (affecting 3 lines for about half a line), overall fair and legible, 325 by 225 mm. (written space: 235 by 160 mm.) See previous item. The commentary here is as yet unidentified.

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Commentary on Euclid, referring to his discussion of man as a bipedal animal...

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Description: Commentary on Euclid, referring to his discussion of man as a bipedal animal to illustrate his ideas on definitions, and his geometric works on the isosceles triangles and cones, as well as the work of Democritus, in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment [Italy (perhaps Bologna), fourteenth century] Two near-complete leaves (both recovered from use on book boards and hence trimmed at edges, one with little affect to text, the other with losses to second column and with small strip of a third leaf pasted to it), from a manuscript with double column, 52 lines in a small university hand with many abbreviations, quotations underlined in red, paragraph marks in red or blue, two pointing finger symbols marking readings of interest, one large simple initial C with linefiller in undulating red pen, numerous scuff marks, tears, folds and small holes, reverse of both leaves scrubbed blank, overall in fair and legible condition, 330 by 242 mm. and 297 by 198 mm. Euclid ( fl . 300 BC.), the father of geometry , needs little introduction, and his magnum opus , Elements , served as the fundamental textbook of mathematics from the time of its writing to the eighteenth or nineteenth century. Many of his works survived without naming him as their author, and the writer here refers to them by their content rather than authorship. It is the bringing together of his famous discussion of man as a bipedal animal (responding to Plato s inadequate definition of man as a featherless biped, which was resoundly defeated by one of his students producing a plucked chicken) alongside his works on cones and isosceles triangles that ensure that what lay before the author of this commentary was a copy of Euclid s works in Latin translation. The work on cones here is most probably drawn from the Elements , but serves as a reminder of the fragility of the transmission of knowledge from the Ancient World, as the little that is included in that text is all that survives of Euclid s Conics (and was probably so by the end of the third century AD.). Democritus ( c . 460-370 BC.) was an influential Ancient Greek philosopher of reportedly light and happy temperament. His work survives only now in fragments, but he is remembered as formulating an atomic theory of the universe, and as a pioneer of mathematics and geometry. His works were known to Aristotle, but so loathed by Plato that he tried to have them burnt. Both writers in any form are of great rarity on the market, and the Schoenberg database lists no manuscript of Euclid in a Western language on the open market since those in the Honeyman sale at Sotheby s, 2 May 1979 (part III, lot 1085 and 1086), and another offered last by H.P. Kraus, cat. 155 (1980), no. 5. The same database lists only one manuscript to include any part of Democritus works on the open market, that obtained by Sir Thomas Phillipps in the Meerman sale in 1824; later his MS. 1540, and unrecorded since his death in 1872.

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Ovid, Metamorphoses, in Latin verse, bifolium from a decorated manuscript on...

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Description: Ovid, Metamorphoses, in Latin verse, bifolium from a decorated manuscript on palimpsest parchment [Italy, fifteenth century] Bifolium reused on a binding of Legge Generale Dell Armi (Florence, 1640), single column, 33 lines (from book IX, the section of the text on Ancient Troy) in a humanist hand with secretarial influence, many interlinear and marginal additions (one in margin noting the nature of the Centaur as semi homo et semi aequs ), initial letters set off in margin in medieval fashion for verse and touched in red, on parchment reclaimed from a fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century document, reused at right angles to avoid the earlier (and mostly erased) script distracting the later reader, some stains and torn edges from reuse in binding, else fair and presentable condition, each leaf 200 by 140 mm. This is from an appealing scholar s copy of Ovid s work, on parchment inexpensively recovered from documents, and with many textual variants recorded. Its survival on a Florentine printed pamphlet most probably suggests an origin in that city, among the vibrant humanist milieu which surrounded the Medici court there. The Metamorphoses (or transformations ) by the Classical Roman poet Ovid (or Publius Ovidius Naso, 43 BC.-17/18 AD.) stands as one of the seminal works of Western literature. It recounts the time from the Creation to the death of Julius Caesar (the year before the poet s birth), and draws together two hundred and fifty myths into fifteen books of Latin verse. It was composed in dactylic hexameter, the metre of the Iliad and the Odyssey , as well as the Aenied . While many other Classical works all but died away during the Middle Ages, this one did not. Despite condemnation by the Church as a dangerously pagan work and censure by Augustine and Jerome, it was the sole source for most of the writers of the West of their knowledge of Greek and Roman myth.

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Lucian, Timon sive misanthropes, in Latin translation

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Description: Lucian, Timon sive misanthropes, in Latin translation, two fragments from a manuscript on paper [probably Germany, last decades of fifteenth or first few decades of sixteenth century] Two rectangular cuttings, one from a leaf and another from a bifolium, single column, up to 19 lines in an angular half-humanist half-secretarial hand, the names of speakers such as Timon , Philiades and Demeas in larger script, numerous interlinear additions in main hand suggesting alternative words for Latin translation, others in margins glossing individual Greek authors cited in the text, no watermark, stains, scuffs, small holes and offset in places, but in fair and legible condition, 145 by 137 mm. and 132 by 298 mm. Lucian of Samosata (125-after 180 AD.) was by training a rhetorician, but turned his brilliant literary talents to provocative satire, forging a career on witty public speaking and travel. He was ethnically Assyrian, and noted of himself that he spoke a barbarian tongue , but composed in Attic Greek. Over eighty works survive, and he has been credited by modern scholarship as the earliest novelist (for his prose fiction, A True Story ) and the oldest science fiction writer (in his anticipation of voyages to the Moon and Venus, and proposal of wars between planets). The present work is his Timon the Misanthrope , about a fifth-century Athenian recluse. His works enjoyed tremendous vogue in the Renaissance, with his Greek prose being one of the first texts used in Florentine classrooms, and arousing as much interest as Plato. The present translation agrees most closely with that of Erasmus, written in the opening years of the sixteenth century, but not exactly, and the additional words point also to earlier translations such as that of Bertholdus which is dated 1403. It is perhaps a scholar s attempt to resolve several versions.

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Theon of Alexandria, Extracts from his chronological tables of Eastern kings...

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Description: Theon of Alexandria, Extracts from his chronological tables of Eastern kings and Emperors of Rome, with scholarly notes, in Greek, Latin and in one place Dutch, manuscript on paper [Florence, c. 1700] 15 leaves (plus 8 paper leaves at each end), each filled with line-drawn tables containing Greek names, and with scholarly comment in margins in Greek and Latin describing the references within the tables, drawing the reader s attention to the work of Dodson (Dissertationes Cyprianicae, 1684) and that of Isaac Voss (the latter with quotes added in Dutch in one place), with note of provenance of exemplar at head of first leaf and short description of it at foot of last, frayed outer edges to leaves, slight stains and spots, else fair and presentable condition, 220 by 165 mm.; bound in parchment over pasteboards (slightly bowed) Provenance: 1. Text extracted from Florence, Laurenziana, Plut. 28,12, and with a Greek and Latin description of that manuscript at the foot of the last leaf. 2. Richard Heber (1773-1833), the greatest bibliophile of his generation and described by Campbell as the fiercest and strongest of all bibliomaniacs , founder member of the Roxburghe Club, who proclaimed that No gentleman can be without three copies of a book, one for show, one for use, and one for borrowers . At his death, his vast collection numbered 105,000 volumes in London, with another 33,632 in storage in France and Holland, and was sold at auction by Evans, in a staggering 216 day sale, with this volume, 10 February 1836, lot 1562 (paper label with lot number on front board). 3. Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872), the greatest private book collector recorded in history; this his MS. 8364, acquired at the Heber sale, and with his pencil notes Heber and Tabula inside front board and paper label on spine; sold in Phillipps sale at Sotheby s, 5 June 1970, lot 1236. 4. Nicholas Reed Herbert: his early twentieth-century bookplate inside front pastedown. Text: This slim volume contains extracts from the works of Theon of Alexandria (335-405), a mathematician and astronomer who lived in Alexandria during the reign of Emperor Theodosius, and who edited Euclid s Elements and commentaries on Euclid and Ptolemy, as well as a lost treatise on the astrolabe.

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Description: Please note: this lot has been withdrawn

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Baruch as a scribe, seated writing his Biblical book

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Description: Baruch as a scribe, seated writing his Biblical book, in an initial on a leaf from an illuminated manuscript Bible, on parchment [northern France (Paris), mid-thirteenth century] Single leaf, with initial E (opening Et hec verba ... , the opening of Baruch), in soft pink bars heightened with white penwork, on pink and blue grounds, with the central figure of the prophet with a blue halo edged with white, seated at his writing desk, wrapped in his cloak, pen in hand as he prepares to write his text on a blank sheet of parchment before him, his other hand partly concealed by the first and holding down the surface of the parchment in the medieval fashion with a small knife (that also to be used for sharpening his pen), one smaller initial in leafy fronds in same colours, rubrics in red, one 2-line blue initial with trailing tail and red penwork filling margin, small initials, paragraph marks and running titles in red or blue, double column of 50 lines, tips of small initials and writing desk perhaps once gold or silver but now oxidised, slight losses to areas of ink, else excellent condition on high quality parchment with wide and clean margins, 186 by 125 mm. (written space: 122 by 80 mm.)

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Ulpian, as a seated Roman judge, a miniature on a leaf from a legal codex

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Description: Ulpian, as a seated Roman judge, a miniature on a leaf from a legal codex, in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment [Italy (probably Bologna), late thirteenth or early fourteenth century] A large leaf still in situ on the binding of an account book (with entries in German from 1660s to 1690s), the leaf with a column-wide miniature (47 by 60 mm.) enclosing Ulpianus in a scholar s headdress and orange and blue robes, seated in Classical fashion on a cushion between two pillars and curtains suggested by white penwork, in one hand holding a long and thin sceptre, the other pointing with thin elongated fingers to his name spelt out in white capitals on blue and red grounds in the right-hand part of the miniature, red rubrics, initials in red and blue, double column and 41 lines of main text, enclosed within commentary, areas of leaves folded within binding hidden by paper pastedowns, trade notes in German in pencil on flyleaves, somewhat scuffed and darkened with several areas of text no longer legible, and some small losses to miniature, overall fair condition, total visible 220 by 307 mm. This miniature is remarkable for a number of reasons. It is notably early, is of a figure from the Ancient World, and is entirely secular in subject. Ulpian lived in the early part of the third century AD., serving as public assessor in the auditorium of the jurist Papinian and as a member of the council of Septimius Severus. Under Emperor Caracalla he became magister libellorum , before a brief period of exile, from which he returned in 222 as the chief advisor and praefectus praetorio to Emperor Severus Alexander. He died in the imperial palace during a conflict between his soldiers and a rioting mob. His writings on Roman law supply about a third of the readings in Justinian s Digest , and are a fundamental base to much of the laws of Western society.

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First leaf from a copy of Nicholas of Goram, Commentary on St

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Description: First leaf from a copy of Nicholas of Goram, Commentary on St. Paul s epistles to the Romans, Corinthians and Hebrews, from the Beguinage of Aarschot, Flemish Brabant, in Latin, manuscript on parchment [Low Countries (probably Aarschot), early fifteenth century] Single leaf, once the first leaf of a book, then reused the wrong way around as a pastedown at the end of another book, with clover leaf symbol then inscription Postille fr[atr]is nycholai de gorra[m] sup[er] Ep[isto]las pauli ad Romanos ad Corinthios et ad Hebreos , above a single column of 21 lines in a squat secretarial hand, ending Explicit prolog[us] , ex libris at head of page (see below), some tears, holes, scuffs and stains on three edges from brown leather once folded around leaf there, blank on reverse except for a few pencil marks, overall in fair and presentable condition, 300 by 210 mm. The presence of the ex libris liber curie beghinarum in a[r]scot reveals this to be from the library of the Beguinage/Begijnhof of Aarschot (founded 1259, remodelled in the seventeenth century, restored in the last century and now the site of a local museum; see Het Begijnhof van Aarschot , 1976). Beguinages were reclusive communities of religious women, found only in the Low Countries and adjacent France. They were initially founded by Dominicans who reached the Low Countries in 1224, and as the confessors and religious advisors to Joan and Margaret of Flanders and Hainaut, the Dominicans must have had a hand in securing constant support for the beguinages from these noblewomen. This leaf later in the collection of Harry and Virginia Walton of New York, but not listed by de Ricci. The use of very similar clover marks to open the ex libris as well as the rubric here, and the similarities of the hand, opens the possibility that the parent manuscript of this leaf was written at the beguinage itself, and perhaps by a female scribe. Evidence of women taking part in any part of book-production is rare.

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Leaf from a Book of Hours with a Litany of the choirs of the dead, in Latin

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Description: Leaf from a Book of Hours with a Litany of the choirs of the dead, in Latin, manuscript on parchment [France or French Flanders, second half of fifteenth century] Single leaf, with single column, 14 lines in a rounded late gothic bookhand, initials for each line in alternate red and blue (one such initial having burnt through parchment), small additional seventeenth-century addition Sancte chorus innocentae , slight discolouration at edges, overall in good condition, 120 by 90 mm. The appeals for prayers from the various heavenly choirs on this leaf encompass in a few lines almost all of Christian religious society, listing after the historical evangelists, disciples, martyrs and doctors of the Church, the medieval professions of confessor, deacon, monk, hermit and anchorite, as well as the medieval holy states of widow, virgin, the chaste and the married.

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Leaf from an early Book of Hours, of Dominican Use

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Description: Leaf from an early Book of Hours, of Dominican Use, with an ape brandishing his bottom at a teacher with a cane, a lion and a dog, another man holding a golden book and a hound chasing a rabbit, from an illuminated manuscript in Latin on parchment [France (perhaps Tournai), mid-fourteenth century] Single leaf, with single column, 16 lines in a squat and rounded early gothic hand (opening Matins for Hours of the Virgin), rubric in red, small initials in red or liquid gold with contrasting penwork, two 2-line initials in blue or beige on burnished gold grounds, one very large initial in coloured interlacing bands enclosing swirling tendrils of ivy leaf foliage on gold and blue grounds, extending at its corners into decorative coloured foliate borders on spiky edged gold grounds and bezants, these enclosing entire text and supporting the figures named above as well as two small birds above and below a crowned king s head, similar border without figures and animals on three sides on verso, some small scuffs and spots, outer edges trimmed with significant losses only to outer upright border, 118 by 88 mm. (written space: 80 by 55 mm.), set in card mount The parent volume was commissioned for a wealthy Dominican preacher: and has the rubric Officium beate virginis maria secundum ordinem fratrum predicatorum . Amongst the whimsy here in the hound chasing the rabbit and the ape exposing his bottom, there are echoes of the bookish environment the parent manuscript was created in. The delicately painted figure holds aloft a book perhaps bound as the original manuscript was, and the bearded scholar holds up a whip to strike the ape s rear, closely following and mocking representations of an important role in all ecclesiastical communities - the teacher whipping an errant pupil.

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Leaf from an early Book of Hours, of Dominican Use

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Description: Leaf from an early Book of Hours, of Dominican Use, with an ape seated on a stool in discourse with a white bird, beside a two-bodied lion-like drollery creature, from an illuminated manuscript in Latin on parchment [France (perhaps Tournai), mid-fourteenth century] Single leaf, with single column, 17 lines in a squat and rounded early gothic hand (opening the Hours of the Holy Cross), capitals touched in red, rubrics in red, small initials in red or liquid gold with contrasting penwork, one 2-line initials in pale pink on burnished gold ground, one very large initial in coloured interlacing bands enclosing four swirls of ivy leaf foliage on gold and blue grounds, extending at its corners into decorative coloured foliate borders on spiky edged gold grounds and bezants, these enclosing entire text and supporting the figures named above as well as two small birds, similar border without figures and animals on three sides on verso, some small scuffs and spots, outer edges trimmed with significant losses only to lower border, 117 by 90 mm. (written space: 80 by 55 mm.), set in card mount From the same parent manuscript as the previous lot. Here the ape seated on a low wooden stool, gesturing to his white bird companion, embodies one of the central concepts of medieval art - the subversion of authority figures in the art on the edge of the sacred space. Here the image of the ape appears to echo (or ape ) scholars and written authorities, who are commonly portrayed in this pose.

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Leaf from a Bible with an historiated initial enclosing Cyrus the Great...

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Description: Leaf from a Bible with an historiated initial enclosing Cyrus the Great directing masons and builders in the construction of the Temple of Zerubbabel, from an illuminated manuscript in Latin on parchment [northern France (Paris), mid thirteenth century] Single leaf, with double column, 46 lines in a tiny and precise early gothic bookhand, uppermost lines with ascenders extended into ornamental cadels, red rubrics, border decorations of blue and red leaf shapes with serrated edges and penwork, one large blue initial with elaborate blue penwork, another historiated initial I in shape of cross with King Cyrus as a standing monarch in a gold crown, directing work on the temple, as a craftsman at the base hews wood with an adze, another lifts a dressed stone up a ladder to one in the middle who is laying a wall, while the final artisan works on the gabled roof high above, some oxidising of white in figures (now silver-grey) and trimming to uppermost and lowermost edges (with losses to lowest mason s legs, else in good and presentable condition, 123 by 81 mm. (written space: 95 by 65 mm.) Here the builders of the temple were reimagined by the medieval artist as the masons who built the great architectural wonders of his age, gothic cathedrals and abbeys. Such glimpses of medieval life are far from common.

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Dante Alighieri in an initial, modern illumination on the cover of an album

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Description: Dante Alighieri in an initial, modern illumination on the cover of an album, painting on parchment [Italy, late nineteenth or early twentieth century] Large initial D in green, pink, yellow and blue acanthus leaves, set on brightly burnished gold grounds, pounced with concentric circles, enclosing a portrait of Dante, stern faced with a pronounced roman nose and lower lip, dressed in red scholar s robes, a red hood with white earpieces and a circle of laurel leaves, after Sandro Botticelli s portrait of the author executed in 1495, extensions of initial in acanthus leaves, flowers, bezants with delicate penwork filling much of rest of front board of album, close to style of the copyist Ernesto Sprega (1829-1911) but an original composition rather than a copy as preferred by him, album bound in parchment, and containing 8 leaves of thickly woven paper, silk doublures and pockets inside front and back boards (that at back separated at base), slight spotting to leaves, else in outstanding condition, the whole 375 by 285 mm. Dante, the father of the Italian language and arguably the most important author of the Renaissance, continued to epitomise all that was artistic and refined from the close of the Middle Ages to the present day, and thus his image was chosen to occupy this neo-medieval illumination. There are no indications as to the original purpose of the album, but its large size would make it excellent for housing illuminations cut from books or manuscript leaves (albeit set within inert plastic sleeves).

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A Saint-Bishop slaying a dragon, perhaps St

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Description: A Saint-Bishop slaying a dragon, perhaps St. Donatus of Arezzo, cutting from a choir book, illuminated manuscript on parchment [Italy (perhaps Arezzo), second half of thirteenth century] Cutting, with an initial D formed of slender coloured bars and acanthus leaves, enclosing full-length portrait of bearded saint dressed in bishop s robes and mitre, holding an orb and spear, and spearing a blue dragon with a coiling tail through its mouth, all on blue grounds heightened with white penwork, and burnished gold grounds, traces of text and music on 4-line red stave on reverse, gold crackled with some losses, small paint losses in area of fold across middle, trimmed to edges of initial with losses at inner corners, laid down on modern parchment, 102 by 83 mm. St. Donatus of Arezzo lived in the first half of the fourth century AD., and in the medieval period was thought to have been a bishop of the city. He escaped imperial persecution, and is credited with giving back sight to the blind (including the son of the prefect of the city), as well as killing a dragon who haunted a local well.

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Christ in Gethsemane with hands raised in prayer

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Description: Christ in Gethsemane with hands raised in prayer, on a leaf from an illuminated choirbook, in Latin, on parchment [northern Italy or perhaps southern France, last decades of thirteenth century] Single large leaf, with an initial I (opening In monte oliveti ... , a responsory for the first nocturn on Maundy Thursday) in pink and blue, enclosing Christ with a detailed white face, wearing orange robes and kneeling in a hilly landscape with foliage, lifting his hands up to the sky, all before a dark blue sky, the top of the initial with an arch, large initials in red or blue with contrasting penwork, rubrics in red, penwork flower heads touched in red used as linefillers, 8 lines of text with music on a 4-line red stave, scuffed and with worm damage in places, trimmed to edges of text on inner upright (and with losses to foliate extensions in border there), overall fair condition

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Single leaf from a decorated manuscript Bible

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Description: Single leaf from a decorated manuscript Bible, with a historiated initial showing St. Paul holding a sword and his epistle in the form of a scroll, in Latin on parchment [northern France (Paris), second half of thirteenth century] Single leaf, with an initial P (opening Paulus apostolus Christi ... the opening of III Timothy) formed of soft pink bars heightened with white penwork, enclosing St. Paul in orange and blue robes holding aloft a sword and a scroll, on a large panel of blue with tiles picked out in red ink with white dots, with extensions up and down border formed from coloured bars, bezants and drollery creatures, the upper tendril with a two-legged creature with a tiny and detailed bearded human face, the lower with a lacertine creature with an animal s mask, 3 small initials in red or blue with long scrolling penwork in contrasting colours, rubrics in red, capitals touched in red, double column, 55 lines in a tiny university bookhand, marginal comments set within red ink boxes, some small marginalia including several clover symbols , trimmed at top with loss of most of coloured running titles, excellent condition, 242 by 153mm., in card mount

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Large initial on a leaf from an illuminated manuscript Gradual

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Description: Large initial on a leaf from an illuminated manuscript Gradual, in Latin on parchment [Italy (probably Bologna), thirteenth century] Single leaf, with a large initial S (opening Salve sancta parens ... , the introit of the Common of the Feasts of the Virgin), in soft grey-blue bands heightened with white penwork and terminating in crisply folded acanthus leaves, compartments of initial with sprays of orange and blue acanthus and interstitial areas in crystalline gold, all on blue grounds and within pale brown frame, 4 large initials in red or blue with elaborate contrasting penwork reaching up and down from their bodies in a way reminiscent of the spires of a gothic cathedral, red rubrics, 6 lines of text in a fine gothic bookhand with music on a 4-line red stave (rastrum: 34mm.), some rust marks to lower border (perhaps from being in contact with a binding), small spots and cockled areas, else good and presentable condition, 529 by 405mm.

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Large initial on a bifolium from a decorated manuscript antiphoner

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Description: Large initial on a bifolium from a decorated manuscript antiphoner, in Latin on parchment [Italy (probably Bologna), thirteenth century] Bifolium, with large initial S (opening Sicut ovis ad ... , the responsory for the 1st lesson for Matins of Holy Saturday), in warm orange acanthus leaf fronds, enclosing others in orange, white and blue in its compartments, all heightened with white penwork and all on blue grounds, red rubrics, initial in red or blue with contrasting penwork, 7 lines of text with music on a 4-line red stave (rastrum: 25mm.), seventeenth-century folio numbers 256 and 257 in border of versos, some spots, stains and slight cockling, but overall good condition, 440 by 330mm.

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Large illuminated initial on a leaf from a manuscript Gradual

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Description: Large illuminated initial on a leaf from a manuscript Gradual, in Latin on parchment [northern Italy, early sixteenth century] Single leaf, with a large initial S (80 by 80mm., opening Spiritus domini replevit ... , the introit for Whitsunday) in soft pink with fine acanthus leaves picked out in penwork and edged in dull gold, a knot with green leafy sprays at head and foot and terminating in crisp coloured swirls of acanthus leaves, the upper and lower compartments with single flower heads with pink petals enclosing a bulbous yellow stamen radiating white penwork lines, on dark blue and brightly burnished gold grounds, followed by a single calligraphic letter enclosed in colour wash leaves, 2 initials in red or blue on reverse with similar colour wash initials, rubrics in red, 5 lines of text with music on a 4-line red stave (rastrum 45mm.), cracks to gold and small chips to edge of initial, else excellent condition, 620 by 459mm., in card mount Another leaf from this attractive manuscript was Maggs, European Miniatures and Illuminations , Bulletin 5 (1967), no. 20 (illustrated there). Yet another is Houston, TX., Rice University, MS. 510-6: Sacra et Profana, Music in Medieval Manuscripts, 2012, p.67.

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St. Clare of Assisi and a smiling snail, on a leaf from an illuminated Book...

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Description: St. Clare of Assisi and a smiling snail, on a leaf from an illuminated Book of Hours, on parchment [northern France (probably Rouen), c. 1470] Single leaf, with a three-quarter page miniature (55 mm. high) enclosing a full-length portrait of St. Clare dressed in the robes and wimple of a Poor Clare nun (an order which she founded in 1212), holding a gold crosier and an ornate monstrance half her height which holds the Sacrament at its centre, all within a gothic interior with a view to a courtyard through a doorway, all within a liquid gold frame with a serrated top, above a liquid gold initial O (opening O clara mater respice ... ) with two berries and a sprig of leaves at its centre, on a blue ground, and 4 lines of lettre bâtarde, full border of foliage and fruit on triangular grounds in burgundy, blue, gold or blank parchment, enclosing a smiling snail with a detailed shell and striped horns, reverse with 14 lines, red rubric and a foliate decorated border, some small spots and slight smudge to outer edge of frame, small chips in paint, but overall in good and presentable condition, 122 by 85 mm. St. Clare (1194-1253) was one of the first followers of St. Francis and an important promoter of the Franciscans after the death of its founder. She also founded the Order of Poor Clares, a female monastic order in the Franciscan tradition and focussed on an enclosed life of manual labour and prayer, and she wrote their rule - the first one written by a woman. The imagery here alludes to her part in the saving of Assisi when she was abbess of San Damiano there. She carried the Blessed Sacrament out of the city to meet the armies of Emperor Frederick II when they came to plunder the city, and they were inspired by a divine fear and fled.

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Moses on two historiated initials from a choirbook

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Description: Moses on two historiated initials from a choirbook, illuminated manuscript on parchment [France (perhaps the south west), c. 1500] Two cuttings: (i) historiated initial L in blue heightened with white penwork, enclosing the busts of Moses as an elderly bearded man with horns talking to a younger bearded man, on orange grounds, and with remains of text and music on a 4 line stave (rastrum 32 mm.), 90 by 116 mm.; (ii) historiated initial M (opening Moy[ses] ... ) in brown heightened with liquid gold on blue and orange grounds with white penwork, enclosing the head of Moses with an elaborately detailed beard, rosy cheeks and a red-tipped nose, and wearing a green brown tunic, remains of text and music as previous, 88 by 124 mm.; both with small strip of blank parchment added at top, probably from same parent manuscript, slight scuffing, but overall fair and presentable condition, framed separately Depictions of this Old Testament prophet in choirbooks are of great rarity.

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