AUCTION: Valuable Books and Manuscripts, Christie’s (8 King Street, St. Jame’s, London), 8 June 2011, 2:30 PM, 81 lots.
The following entries are of particular interest:
ST JEROME IN THE DESERT, full-page miniature on a leaf from a prayerbook in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [northern Italy, third quarter 15th century]150 x 120mm. The saint shown kneeling and looking up at an apparition of the Crucifix; verso with 13-line suffrage to St Sebastian in a gothic bookhand, a two-line illuminated initial with gold sprays (the white or silver of the sea oxidized, small hole to lower left corner, upper left edge with a small rust-stained loss). Window-mounted, framed and glazed, etc. …
SAINT JAMES AND SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST, two cuttings from an ILLUMINATED CHOIRBOOK ON VELLUM [Lombardy, c.1470-80]89 x 68mm and 90 x 71mm. Both the Evangelist, reading his Gospel, and St James, holding a pilgrim’s staff and book, are shown standing before a pink wall on a marble ground, with trees and a starry sky beyond, traces of initial staves at the upper edges; versos with remains of text and music of square notation (each with small pinhole at upper corner and remnants of glue at upper edge, the latter affecting James’s halo and surrounding sky). Each window-mounted, framed and glazed, etc. ….
GOSPELS, in Greek, with Eusebian Canon Tables and Ammonian Sections, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [southern Italy, late 10th century]180 x 138mm. 222 leaves: 18, 27 (of 8, v a cancelled blank), 37 (of 8, i a cancelled blank), 48, 54, 6-158, 166, 17-238, 246, 25-298, COMPLETE, modern foliation followed here, 27 lines in two columns written in Greek minuscule in several hands in red and black ink, each column between two verticals (with two further verticals to the left and right for versal initials and canon table references) and 28 horizontals ruled in blind, with the chapter lists of each Gospel and the epistle of Eusebius to Karpianos in uncial letters, kephalaia and titloi in red, TEN CANON TABLES WITHIN ARCADED FRAMING of columns, capitals and pedestals composed of intertwined ribbons of red, blue, yellow and white, FOUR INTERLACE, etc. …
BIBLE with Prologues and the Interpretation of Hebrew Names, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [Italy, Tuscany?, mid or third quarter 13th century] 170 x 125mm. 415 leaves, collation uncertain but apparently complete except for a quire lacking at end, not foliated, 54 lines in two columns written in a minute gothic bookhand in brown ink between four verticals and 55 horizontals ruled in brown ink, justification: 115 x 80mm, three further verticals between the columns and a further pair of rulings in each of the outer three margins, capitals touched red, rubrics in red, OPENING AND GENESIS WITH ILLUMINATED INITIALS ALMOST THE FULL HEIGHT OF THE PAGE, each biblical book and division of the Psalms opening with large flourished puzzle initial in red and blue, from five lines hight to almost the full height of the page, some with penwork animal- or bird-heads, two- and three-line initials alternately red with blue flourishing or vice versa, marginalia in 13th-century hands (some running-titles and extremities of decoration cropped, water-damage and staining at Ezekiel 12-14 and adjacent leaves). Late-19th century green morocco gilt (extremities worn, some scuffing), etc. …