Bloomsbury Auctions

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are a UK 'top 5' auctioneer of fine art and collectibles. As part of The Stanley Gibbons Group plc they are the only UK stock-exchange listed firm of auctioneers and occupy the same stable as coin specialists Baldwin’s and Fraser's Autographs.
Established in 1759, they have the broadest and most regular calendar of specialist catalogued sales in the industry numbering over 150 per annum. They provide vendors and buyers alike market-leading specialist advice in any number of collecting fields. They operate from salerooms in London’s Mayfair, Donnington Priory (near Newbury), Bristol and Godalming. They also operate a franchise in Rome (Italy).

Dreweatts's & Bloomsbury are members of Association of Accredited Auctioneers - AAA combines 20 UK auction houses, with a combined annual turnover of over £200m. Each member auction house has built a reputation for quality and integrity, many over a period of hundreds of years. AAA members are committed to the highest standards of creditability and services to buyers and sellers.

 

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Objects "Bloomsbury Auctions"

Leaf from an early Romanesque Missal , in Latin

Leaf from an early Romanesque Missal, Leaf from an early Romanesque Missal , in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment [Germany, twelfth century] Single leaf, with single column of 23 lines in a good early gothic bookhand, capitals touched in red, red rubrics, initials in red (the larger ones with looping penwork), one large initial in white-vine foliage picked out with red penwork on yellow, green and faint-purple grounds, enclosing a detailed spray of foliage, one lost section of the foot of the leaf replaced with newer parchment and with a single line added to foot of column on reverse in angular fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century hand, repairs to splits in the new section, small hole in one border from natural flaw in parchment, damp stain at head with some discolouration there, else excellent condition, 287 by 210mm. Single leaf, with single column of 23 lines in a good early gothic bookhand, capitals touched in red, red rubrics, initials in red (the larger ones with looping penwork), one large initial in white-vine foliage picked out with red penwork on yellow, green and faint-purple grounds, enclosing a detailed spray of foliage, one lost section of the foot of the leaf replaced with newer parchment and with a single line added to foot of column on reverse in angular fourteenth- or early fifteenth-century hand, repairs to splits in the new section, small hole in one border from natural flaw in parchment, damp stain at head with some discolouration there, else excellent condition, 287 by 210mmRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
700 GBP

Leaf from a mathematical text on the properties of circles

Leaf from a mathematical text on the properties of circles, Leaf from a mathematical text on the properties of circles , with discussion of various Greek authorities’ methods of calculating the area of a circle, with simple mathematical diagrams in upper border, in Latin, illustrated manuscript on parchment [France (probably Paris), thirteenth century] Single leaf, with double column of 68 lines in a tiny and much abbreviated script, quotations underlined in red, paragraph marks in red, simple red and dark blue initials, two small diagrams in upper margin of (i) a circle within a square, and (ii) a circle within a square, with another smaller square within its body, trimmed down outer upright edge removing blank margin there, inner edge torn with damage to edge of one text column, scuffs and stains, all from reuse as a pastedown in a later book, overall fair and presentable condition, 265 by 180 mm. Any witness to a scientific or mathematical text from the Middle Ages is of the greatest rarity. The text here opens beneath the diagrams with paraphrased discussions of how to calculate the area of a circle, naming its sources as “Ypocrete” (Hippocrates of Chios, c . 470-410 BC., his work on this subject is the only part of his writings to survive, buried within those of Simplicius; he favoured the division of the square into a number of crescent-shaped parts, and the calculation of their total volume) and “Brisso” (Bryson of Heraclea, late fifth century BC., who is now known primarily from Aristotle’s criticism of his method for calculating the area of a circle, by drawing a polygon within a circle, deducing the area of that, doubling its sides and repeating until the polygon and circle are indistinguishable; he and Aristotle also fell out over Bryson’s assertion that there was no such thing as bad language). The text goes on to note the work of one “Zenone” (most probably Zenodorus, c. 200-140 BC.), who considered in his now mostly lost treatise ‘On isometric figures’ , the proposition that “ A circle is greater than any regular polygon of equal contour”. Single leaf, with double column of 68 lines in a tiny and much abbreviated script, quotations underlined in red, paragraph marks in red, simple red and dark blue initials, two small diagrams in upper margin of (i) a circle within a square, and (ii) a circle within a square, with another smaller square within its body, trimmed down outer upright edge removing blank margin there, inner edge torn with damage to edge of one text column, scuffs and stains, all from reuse as a pastedown in a later book, overall fair and presentable condition, 265 by 180 mm. c, On isometric figuresRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
1 000 GBP

Miniature painting signed by Zainat Imami

Miniature painting signed by Zainat Imami, Miniature painting signed by Zainat Imami , depicting a noble couple seated in a courtyard with musicians and dancers, on ivory panel [Isfahan, c. 1920] Single free-standing ivory panel, in ink and gouache, scene depicting noble couple seated on a takht in a courtyard whilst being entertained by Persian dancing girls with musicians and other guests eating fruit and drinking wine, blossom trees and grasslands in the background, two birds with a nest in the trees, image heightened in gold, a few faint surface scratches to varnish, small ink inscription to upper left-hand side of verso (probably 'H'), 243 by 110 mm. Provenance: Acquired as a collection of miniatures on ivory directly from the Imami workshop in Isfahan in the 1950s, by a friend of the Imami family, and thence by descent to the present owner. Artist: Produced in the Imami workshop in Isfahan, by the daughter of the celebrated artist Haj' Mirza Aqa Imami. Miniature paintings by women are breathtakingly rare, and indeed female Persian artists of high social rank were extremely rare. No other comparables by Zainat are recorded on the market. It was most probably the close relationship between her and her father that granted her privileged access to his workshop and training there as an artist in her own right. In comparison to her father and brother's painting techniques, her style is notably more delicate if a little less refined than her relatives. The technique does not have the same crispness, but the romanticised subject matter and soft colour palette give her work great charm and appeal. Single free-standing ivory panel, in ink and gouache, scene depicting noble couple seated on a takht in a courtyard whilst being entertained by Persian dancing girls with musicians and other guests eating fruit and drinking wine, blossom trees and grasslands in the background, two birds with a nest in the trees, image heightened in gold, a few faint surface scratches to varnish, small ink inscription to upper left-hand side of verso (probably 'H'), 243 by 110 mmRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
800 GBP

Osbern of Gloucester, Panormia , in Latin

Osbern of Gloucester, Panormia (on derivations of words), Osbern of Gloucester, Panormia (on derivations of words) , in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment [England (perhaps south west), c. 1200] Single leaf, trimmed at top with loss of a line or so of text, and on other sides with losses only to borders, remains of double column of 41 lines of a tiny and delicate early gothic bookhand, with descenders in lower margin extended and ending in coils of penwork and what resembles swords or spearheads, simple red initials (all ‘A’) in ornamental and angular penstrokes, splits to edges and discolouration from reuse in a binding, small holes from erosion by binding clasps, overall fair and presentable condition, 190mm. by 148mm. From the collection of Bernhard Bischoff (1906-1991), and thence to Bernard Rosenthal, purchased after Bischoff’s death, thereafter Quaritch and then the Schøyen collection, their MS. 1818; sold immediately after their sale in Sotheby’s, 10 July 2012, part of lot 27. Osbern Pinnock (1123-1200) was a member of the Benedictine community of St. Peter’s Abbey, Gloucester, and a noted lexicographer. His work has the distinction of being one of the few Romanesque English contributions to make significant inroads into contemporary European scholarship, being found as far away as Bavaria and Austria by the end of the twelfth century, and influencing Huguccio of Pisa. He dedicated the work to Abbot Hamelinus of Gloucester (held office 1148-79), and explains that he compiled a version of the work when he was a young man, but it was stolen from him, and returned to rewrite it only in his extreme old age. As R.W. Hunt notes, very few English witnesses survive, and in fact only two complete manuscripts and two fragments were traced by that author (History of Grammar in the Middle Ages , 1980, pp. 151-166; not including the present example). These are: (i) Hereford Cathedral MSP.V.5 (early thirteenth century); (ii) Oxford, Bodleian, MS. Auct.F.6.8 (late thirteenth century, which notes the author’s name ‘Pinnock’, after the Glos. town of same name, most probably his birthplace); (iii) Oxford, Christ Church, MS. 91 (a thirteenth-century quire only); and (iv) Worcester Cathedral, MS. Q.37 (thirteenth century). The antiquary Leland saw another at Gloucester. Thus, the present manuscript may well be the earliest witness to the text, written within the author’s lifetime and perhaps his own circle. Single leaf, trimmed at top with loss of a line or so of text, and on other sides with losses only to borders, remains of double column of 41 lines of a tiny and delicate early gothic bookhand, with descenders in lower margin extended and ending in coils of penwork and what resembles swords or spearheads, simple red initials (all ‘A’) in ornamental and angular penstrokes, splits to edges and discolouration from reuse in a binding, small holes from erosion by binding clasps, overall fair and presentable condition, 190mm. by 148mm. History of Grammar in the Middle AgesRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
3 000 GBP

Large Tudor arbitration settlement, resolving the “stryffe & debate …...

Large Tudor arbitration settlement, resolving the “stryffe & debate … stirred between Thomas Stubbes of Thorpe in the Contye of Derbye yoman … and Wyllium Stubbes of the same twn & contye … abowte the ryght tytle of a lytle parcelle of lande”, Large Tudor arbitration settlement, resolving the “stryffe & debate … stirred between Thomas Stubbes of Thorpe in the Contye of Derbye yoman … and Wyllium Stubbes of the same twn & contye … abowte the ryght tytle of a lytle parcelle of lande”, manuscript document in Tudor English, on parchment [England (Derbyshire), dated 4 August 1550] Single sheet, with 31 long lines in a good and calligraphic vernacular English secretarial hand with curling descenders, significant phrases in larger script, cut at top to form indenture, 3 seal tags at foot (but seals absent) each seal tag signed at foot of document by the 2 parties involved and the principal judge, some folds and slight rubbing causing a few small areas of illegibility, but overall in fair and presentable condition, 210 by 307mm. This feud over a “lytle parcelle of lande”, perhaps between the representatives of warring factions within a single family, had clearly raged for many years and perhaps generations before they sought the arbitration of the noblemen, Robert Fitzherbert, Thomas Okayn and John Flackett. This document is notably thorough, and awards Thomas Stubbs 3 shillings damages, but bans him from “at any tyme herafter cleame any right interest or tytle of the seyd parcell of lande”. More mysteriously it also aims in rather grand tones to also settle other unspecified matters of variance “from the begynnynge of the world untyll the daye of making”. Single sheet, with 31 long lines in a good and calligraphic vernacular English secretarial hand with curling descenders, significant phrases in larger script, cut at top to form indenture, 3 seal tags at foot (but seals absent) each seal tag signed at foot of document by the 2 parties involved and the principal judge, some folds and slight rubbing causing a few small areas of illegibility, but overall in fair and presentable condition, 210 by 307mmRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
400 GBP

Four illuminated initials from the Murano Gradual

Four illuminated initials from the Murano Gradual, Four illuminated initials from the Murano Gradual , on parchment [north east Italy (Venice), c .1440] 4 initials on cuttings (all initial ‘G’), each trimmed to edge of initial, and formed of soft pink-brown bands, heightened with fine white brushwork, enclosing sprays of coloured foliage with fleshy curling leaves, the outer edges of the initials sprouting distinctive fleshy green leaves, all on irregularly shaped burnished gold grounds with small semi-circular notches cut out of their edges, remains of red staves and text at edges and on backs, small scuffs and flaking to gold on 2 initials, else excellent condition, each approximately 65mm. by 70mm., each initial in individual gilt frames Only in 1994 was it recognised that these initials were from the sublime Murano Gradual (see Sotheby’s, 5 December 1994, lot 3, and our sale 8 July 2015, lots 78 and 79, and for comparison to other surviving cuttings certainly from that book, see C. Nordenfalk et al., Medieval and Renaissance Miniatures , 1975, p.70, fig.21b, and S. Hindman, Medieval and Renaissance Miniature Painting , Ferrini & Fogg, 1988, p.110). The parent manuscript was one of the most exquisitely illuminated liturgical manuscripts of fifteenth-century Italy. It was made for one of the two Camaldolese convents on the island of Murano in the Venetian lagoon, by Belbello da Pavia or a close associate now known as the Master of the Murano Gradual (the Sanctorale volume is now Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, MS. 78F.1). Its miniatures appeared on the market as early as the W.Y. Ottley sale on 11 May 1838, and are now dispersed widely (examples in Getty Museum, Los Angeles, National Gallery in Washington, Cleveland Museum of Art, Musee Marmottan in Paris and others). The present cuttings are, perhaps, some of the most affordable examples of grand medieval art still available. 4 initials on cuttings (all initial ‘G’), each trimmed to edge of initial, and formed of soft pink-brown bands, heightened with fine white brushwork, enclosing sprays of coloured foliage with fleshy curling leaves, the outer edges of the initials sprouting distinctive fleshy green leaves, all on irregularly shaped burnished gold grounds with small semi-circular notches cut out of their edges, remains of red staves and text at edges and on backs, small scuffs and flaking to gold on 2 initials, else excellent condition, each approximately 65mm. by 70mm., each initial in individual gilt frames, Medieval and Renaissance Miniatures, Medieval and Renaissance Miniature PaintingRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
1 500 GBP

Certification of lineage of Don Antonio Miguel alias Ferrer of Hecho in Aragon

Certification of lineage of Don Antonio Miguel alias Ferrer of Hecho in Aragon, issued by Juan Fernandez de Heredia, governor of Aragon, Certification of lineage of Don Antonio Miguel alias Ferrer of Hecho in Aragon, issued by Juan Fernandez de Heredia, governor of Aragon , in Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment [Spain (Aragon), dated 8 October 1619] 7 leaves (single gathering of 6 leaves, with another smaller leaf bound in at end with further details of family history up to early eighteenth century in a second and less formal hand, this perhaps once part of a bifolium and with first leaf cut away), single column of 23 lines in a fine Spanish calligraphic hand, each page of text set within double gold lines, frontispiece with 2 lines in gold capitals, gold capitals, an illuminated initial on pink grounds with brightly coloured foliage, two line fillers of similar foliage, last leaf of main text with further family details added up to 1644, within a three quarter border of line drawn foliage and birds all above a coat of arms with 4 portcullises azure on vert, and a helm, first and last leaves protected with silk covers, small spots, else excellent condition, 280 by 189mm.; marbled endleaves, and modern watered silk over pasteboards, 7 leaves (single gathering of 6 leaves, with another smaller leaf bound in at end with further details of family history up to early eighteenth century in a second and less formal hand, this perhaps once part of a bifolium and with first leaf cut away), single column of 23 lines in a fine Spanish calligraphic hand, each page of text set within double gold lines, frontispiece with 2 lines in gold capitals, gold capitals, an illuminated initial on pink grounds with brightly coloured foliage, two line fillers of similar foliage, last leaf of main text with further family details added up to 1644, within a three quarter border of line drawn foliage and birds all above a coat of arms with 4 portcullises azure on vert, and a helm, first and last leaves protected with silk covers, small spots, else excellent condition, 280 by 189mm.; marbled endleaves, and modern watered silk over pasteboardsRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
400 GBP

Jaúr bin Ishaq al-Kashfi, Tuhfat al-Muluk , in Persian

Jaúr bin Ishaq al-Kashfi, Tuhfat al-Muluk (Gift for Sovereigns), Tuhfat al-Muluk, Jaúr bin Ishaq al-Kashfi, Tuhfat al-Muluk (Gift for Sovereigns) , in Persian, decorated manuscript on paper [Qajar Persia, dated 2 Dhu al-QaÚ 1261 AH (November 1845 AD)] 256 leaves, single column, 20/21 lines in black nasta'liq, key words and overlining in red, diagrams throughout in red, catch-words, leaves ruled in red, modern book-label ink-stamped on upper pastedown, occasional contemporary marginal annotations, 310 by 210 mm.; contemporary tan morocco, blind-stamped with central medallions to covers, also ruled in blind, lightly scuffed at extremities From the Mohamed Makiya collection, their 47/300; and previously part of the Hagop Kevorkian Collection (833). This is a treatise on the knowledge of the world and state philosophy, completed in 1817 AD by the royal commission of Prince Muhammad Taqi Mirza, son of the second Qajar Kind of the Persian dynasty Fath Ali Shah. The author was born in the Fars region in Iran and became a highly regarded and eminent philosopher during his lifetime. The present manuscript was copied within the lifetime of the author, some six years before Kashfi's death in 1851 AD. 256 leaves, single column, 20/21 lines in black nasta'liq, key words and overlining in red, diagrams throughout in red, catch-words, leaves ruled in red, modern book-label ink-stamped on upper pastedown, occasional contemporary marginal annotations, 310 by 210 mm.; contemporary tan morocco, blind-stamped with central medallions to covers, also ruled in blind, lightly scuffed at extremitiesRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
400 GBP

Cutting from the outer edge of a choirbook

Cutting from the outer edge of a choirbook, with a bearded singing human face in an initial, Cutting from the outer edge of a choirbook, with a bearded singing human face in an initial , decorated manuscript on parchment [northern Germany (most probably Rhineland), thirteenth century] Long thin strip, cut vertically from the outer edge of a choirbook leaf, with remains of 9 lines of tall angular text with music on 4-line red staves (rastrum: 24mm.) with square notation, capitals touched in red, red rubrics, remains of one large simple red initial with blue penwork, one penwork initial in split bars enclosing foliage picked out on blank parchment and with a man’s face in its left-hand compartment (bearded but without moustache, red cheek picked out with a dot of red paint, mouth open as if singing, thus echoing the action of the viewer of the original volume), remains of simple purple and green-blue swirls of foliage in borders of recto, slight cockling else excellent condition, 465 by 108mm. Long thin strip, cut vertically from the outer edge of a choirbook leaf, with remains of 9 lines of tall angular text with music on 4-line red staves (rastrum: 24mm.) with square notation, capitals touched in red, red rubrics, remains of one large simple red initial with blue penwork, one penwork initial in split bars enclosing foliage picked out on blank parchment and with a man’s face in its left-hand compartment (bearded but without moustache, red cheek picked out with a dot of red paint, mouth open as if singing, thus echoing the action of the viewer of the original volume), remains of simple purple and green-blue swirls of foliage in borders of recto, slight cockling else excellent condition, 465 by 108mmRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
100 GBP

St. Genèvieve before Attila the Hun and his armies

St. Genèvieve before Attila the Hun and his armies, and Bathsheba bathing with King David looking on, St. Genèvieve before Attila the Hun and his armies, and Bathsheba bathing with King David looking on , miniature on a bifolium from an illuminated Book of Hours, on parchment [northern France (Paris), c. 1520] Bifolium, one leaf with a full-page miniature, showing in the upper and larger compartment (i) St. Genèvieve in sumptuous gold embroidered robes kneeling in prayer in the middle of a stony road before the mounted armies of Attila the Hun (here as a French Renaissance nobleman in gilded armour and on a splendid white steed with blue and gold livery; details such as these and the foliage in the scene behind suggesting the influence of the sought-after Parisian artist, Jean Pichore, fl. c. 1490-1521), the saint standing before the women of Paris, and all set within a richly painted natural scene; in the lower compartment (ii) Bathsheba, naked and standing in her bath as King David and attendants look on from a nearby castle, all before a wide landscape of rolling hills; both scenes set within realistic carved wooden frame with human figures and architectural features picked out in gold on the upright columns, the two scenes separated by a realistic banderole containing 3 lines of text in an excellent late gothic bookhand, one 2-line initial ‘D’ in white acanthus scrolls on dull gold grounds, and a line filler, reverse with one-line initials in liquid gold blue or burgundy grounds with line fillers in same, capitals touched in yellow, 23 lines of text (written space: 120 by 75mm.), second leaf with same and two 2-line illuminated initials enclosing a spray of realistic foliage, stitch-holes at top of first leaf from a cloth curtain having once been stitched there to protect the miniature, tiny scratches to paint of rider’s face and slight discolouration to edges, else in outstanding condition, 204 by 145mm. The main miniature here is a rare one in medieval art. It depicts St. Genèvieve in the action of leaving the terrified inhabitants (predominantly men) of Paris, to lead the women of the city out to meet the invading armies of the Huns face to face. This act is meant to have happened in 451, and Attila and his followers were reportedly so startled by the act that they diverted their course around Paris and went on to raze Orleans instead, securing St. Genèvieve’s status as protectress and patron of the city. Bifolium, one leaf with a full-page miniature, showing in the upper and larger compartment (i) St. Genèvieve in sumptuous gold embroidered robes kneeling in prayer in the middle of a stony road before the mounted armies of Attila the Hun (here as a French Renaissance nobleman in gilded armour and on a splendid white steed with blue and gold livery; details such as these and the foliage in the scene behind suggesting the influence of the sought-after Parisian artist, Jean Pichore, fl. c. 1490-1521), the saint standing before the women of Paris, and all set within a richly painted natural scene; in the lower compartment (ii) Bathsheba, naked and standing in her bath as King David and attendants look on from a nearby castle, all before a wide landscape of rolling hills; both scenes set within realistic carved wooden frame with human figures and architectural features picked out in gold on the upright columns, the two scenes separated by a realistic banderole containing 3 lines of text in an excellent late gothic bookhand, one 2-line initial ‘D’ in white acanthus scrolls on dull gold grounds, and a line filler, reverse with one-line initials in liquid gold blue or burgundy grounds with line fillers in same, capitals touched in yellow, 23 lines of text (written space: 120 by 75mm.), second leaf with same and two 2-line illuminated initials enclosing a spray of realistic foliage, stitch-holes at top of first leaf from a cloth curtain having once been stitched there to protect the miniature, tiny scratches to paint of rider’s face and slight discolouration to edges, else in outstanding condition, 204 by 145mmRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
2 000 GBP

Leaf from the Beauvais Missal, with a very large initial , in Latin

Leaf from the Beauvais Missal, with a very large initial, Leaf from the Beauvais Missal, with a very large initial , in Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment [northern France (perhaps Beauvais or Amiens), early fourteenth century (probably c. 1310)] Single leaf, with double column of 21 lines of a high grade of early gothic bookhand (written space: 195 by 138mm.), capitals with hairline penstrokes and touched with a stripe of pale yellow, pale red rubrics (some with ornamental penwork), reverse with 10 lines of text with music on a 4-line red stave (rastrum: 11mm.), five 2-line initials in blue or dark pink with delicate white penwork, on coloured grounds with gold baubels set at their corners, each initial with long curving foliate extensions into margins and borders (one initial on reverse formed from the body of a long necked bird, whose head reaches up from the lower corner of the initial to grasp a gold bauble in his beak, one large initial ‘D’ (opening the Oratio “Da quesumus omnipotens deus …”, 67 by 75mm.) in blue with swirling intricate white penwork, on pink grounds, enclosing curling vinework forming a geometric interlace of circles and a central diamond shape in blue and burnished gold grounds, floral extensions from corners of initials, that at lower forming a coloured and gold bar border running the vertical length of the whole column, pencil folio no. ‘71’ in lower outer corner, crackles to gold in large initial, small mark from tape in corner, two areas of tape adhesive in margin on reverse from mounting, else fresh and bright condition, 290 by 199mm.; in Otto Ege’s card mount with his printed description taped to front and his pencil notes Of all books dispersed by the biblioclast Otto Ege (1888-1951), the Beauvais Missal is perhaps the most famous as well as the most visually striking. It was owned by Robert de Hangest, canon of Beaucais Cathedral. He gifted the book to the Cathedral in 1356, and it was still there in the seventeenth century. By the nineteenth century it had passed to Didier Petit de Meurville (1793-1873) of Lyon; his sale in 1843, lot 354. It passed to Henri Auguste Brölemann (1775-1854) of Lyon, and by descent to his great-grand daughter, who sold it in Sotheby’s, 4 May 1926, lot 161, to William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951). It was then sold by the Gimbel Bros., New York, to Philip C. Duschnes (1897-1970), who presumably broke the volume and sold a number of leaves to Otto Ege in 1942 or 1943 (see S. Gwara, Otto Ege’s Manuscripts , 2013, p. 45) . It was no. 15 of Ege’s Handlist, and the known leaves are now widely dispersed (see Gwara, Otto Ege’s Manuscripts , pp. 122-3 for lists of these). The present leaf is hitherto unrecorded. Single leaf, with double column of 21 lines of a high grade of early gothic bookhand (written space: 195 by 138mm.), capitals with hairline penstrokes and touched with a stripe of pale yellow, pale red rubrics (some with ornamental penwork), reverse with 10 lines of text with music on a 4-line red stave (rastrum: 11mm.), five 2-line initials in blue or dark pink with delicate white penwork, on coloured grounds with gold baubels set at their corners, each initial with long curving foliate extensions into margins and borders (one initial on reverse formed from the body of a long necked bird, whose head reaches up from the lower corner of the initial to grasp a gold bauble in his beak, one large initial ‘D’ (opening the Oratio “Da quesumus omnipotens deus …”, 67 by 75mm.) in blue with swirling intricate white penwork, on pink grounds, enclosing curling vinework forming a geometric interlace of circles and a central diamond shape in blue and burnished gold grounds, floral extensions from corners of initials, that at lower forming a coloured and gold bar border running the vertical length of the whole column, pencil folio no. ‘71’ in lower outer corner, crackles to gold in large initial, small mark from tape in corner, two areas of tape adhesive in margin on reverse from mounting, else fresh and bright condition, 290 by 199mm.; in Otto Ege’s card mount with his printed description taped to front and his pencil notes, Otto Ege’s ManuscriptsRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
2 000 GBP

Cutting from a leaf of the Pasionario hispánico

Cutting from a leaf of the Pasionario hispánico, in late and transitional Visigothic minuscule, Cutting from a leaf of the Pasionario hispánico, in late and transitional Visigothic minuscule , in Latin, manuscript on parchment [Spain (perhaps central), eleventh century] Rectangular fragment, ruled in drypoint for parts of two columns of 34 lines of a Romanesque script based on late Carolingian forms, but with aspect and individual letterforms influenced by Visigothic minuscule (see below), numerous textual variants and changes to word order setting this apart from published text, single line omitted from end of ch. 6 (perhaps due to eye-skip rather than textual variant), recovered from a binding and so with small holes, cuts to edges, folds and scuffs (the reverse somewhat damaged, but just legible), trimmed at base with loss of approximately 14 lines there, and to outer right hand edge with loss of half the column there, overall fair and presentable, 279 by 207mm. Script and Text: The script here is a strange amalgam of Carolingian and Visigothic letter forms, and a very early example of what has come to be called ‘transitional Visigothic minuscule’. What is most striking is the size of the individual letters within the written space. They have a large and square aspect to their compartments that shares the monumental quality of Visigothic formal hands (compare the leaf sold in our rooms, 6 July 2016, lot 4), and like those forms the capitals here swell far into the whole line given to them (note the large ‘&’ symbol), ending up with wide and open bodies. With individual characters the debt to the Visigothic past becomes even more clear, with an uncial ‘v’ used within words for the ‘u’ symbol (see “sepultvras” in line 6 of initial column, “tv” 2 lines below, and “fvtura” in line 17), the use of the abbreviation ‘q’ with a curling bar through its tail for “quid” (line 12 in first column) as well as that of the ‘q’ with the stroke that forms its bowl sweeping around and down and extending a quarter circle out the back of the letter for “quod”. The use of downward and backward sweep of the pen below the line at the end of ‘r’ to form ‘ri’ is another Dark Age feature (see “cordis nostri” in line 22). Carolingian influences crept in at the end of the eleventh century, and the majority of such late and transitional forms of Visigothic (such as those found in twelfth- or thirteenth-century Spanish charters) fall within a neatly defined group, that can be relatively easily recognised. Not so here, and this script appears to stand out as an early and perhaps experimental attempt at forging a unified transitional hand. The text is that of the Pasionario hispánico , the Passional containing saints’ lives arranged for liturgical reading throughout the ecclesiastical year, that was used throughout the Christian Iberian peninsula from the sixth to the late eleventh century. At the end of that period, in the decades immediately after the copying of the present manuscript, the text was forcibly replaced by the Roman rite in the form of the Acta Sanctorum (see next lot for same text in that version). The Pasionario hispánico was edited in 1955 by A.F. Grau, and there he lists only four codices: (1) London, British Library, Addit. MS. 25,600 (tenth century and from Cardeña); (2 & 3) Paris, BnF., latin nouv. acq. 2180 & 2179 (tenth and eleventh century respectively, from Silos), and (4) Escorial, MS. b-I-4 (eleventh century, from Cardeña); and two fragments in Madrid, Bib. Nacional, MSS. 494 and 822 (tenth century). He records no manuscript copy outside of institutional hands, and none outside of Europe. The present fragment would appear to be the only chance to acquire this breathtakingly rare text in manuscript. The text here is from the passions of SS. Valerian, Tibertius and Maximus, and includes parts of chs. 26-34 in Grau’s edition. Rectangular fragment, ruled in drypoint for parts of two columns of 34 lines of a Romanesque script based on late Carolingian forms, but with aspect and individual letterforms influenced by Visigothic minuscule (see below), numerous textual variants and changes to word order setting this apart from published text, single line omitted from end of ch. 6 (perhaps due to eye-skip rather than textual variant), recovered from a binding and so with small holes, cuts to edges, folds and scuffs (the reverse somewhat damaged, but just legible), trimmed at base with loss of approximately 14 lines there, and to outer right hand edge with loss of half the column there, overall fair and presentable, 279 by 207mm. Pasionario hispánico, Acta SanctorumRead more

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 16d 22h
Low estimate
5 000 GBP

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