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TEXT FROM THE END OF THE LITANY AND THE FIRST FIVE COLLECTS THAT FOLLOW by  FROM A PSALTER-HOURS IN LATIN MADE FOR A NUN A VERY UNUSUAL ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAF WITH FIVE HISTORIATED INITIALS - ca. 1260 - from Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts (SKU: ST12987)

TEXT FROM THE END OF THE LITANY AND THE FIRST FIVE COLLECTS THAT FOLLOW

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TEXT FROM THE END OF THE LITANY AND THE FIRST FIVE COLLECTS THAT FOLLOW

by A VERY UNUSUAL ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAF WITH FIVE HISTORIATED INITIALS, FROM A PSALTER-HOURS IN LATIN MADE FOR A NUN

  • Used
Condition
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Seller
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
McMinnville, Oregon
Item Price:
$11,440.00
$14.00 shipping to USA
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About This Item

Rhineland or England[?], ca. 1260. 176 x 129 mm. (7 x 5"). Double column on recto, single column on verso, 20 lines in a bold gothic book hand. With 11 line fillers in red and blue penwork, five of them heightened with burnished gold, 20 one-line initials in red, blue, or burnished gold with contrasting penwork and WITH FIVE THREE- TO FIVE-LINE HISTORIATED INITIALS DEPICTING A QUEEN, A LAYMAN, A PRIEST, AND TWO MONKS, in shades of blue, pink, red, brown, yellow, and white, ALL ON A GROUND OF THICK BURNISHED GOLD, two of the initials with marginal extensions in colors and gold. Residue of glue (from mounting) along one vertical edge, some slight erosion in the white paint of two of the faces, otherwise a very desirable leaf in fine condition, the vellum bright and smooth, and the glistening gold with a memorable patina. From a manuscript with considerable ongoing scholarly interest, this highly desirable and unusual leaf contains a total of five large historiated initials, the burnished gold as bright as one can hope to find. This item was previously sold at Sotheby's in 2015, and the catalogue entry notes that both the present leaf and its parent manuscript are extraordinary in a number of ways: "It is exceptionally rare for a Psalter to have an historiated initial to every psalm and prayer, and in this case they are exceptionally large: the almost invariable format is to have one-line initials for each verse, two-line initials for each psalm, and larger initials only for the eight major divisions at Pss.1, 26, 38, etc. This was therefore a commission of remarkable lavishness, made for a woman of great wealth, perhaps even royalty." It seems appropriate, then, that "the first initial on the present leaf shows a woman wearing a crown and a vair[fur]-lined robe, holding a book." Thanks to previous academic research, we know that "the parent volume was made for a nun, as indicated by a collect mentioning 'our abbess.' The place of origin has never been settled, previous attributions include England, Flanders, Eastern France, Lower Lorraine, and the Rhineland." Although Sotheby's experts believe it more likely to be the last of these locations, other scholars have argued for English provenance based on the historiated initial on the leaf opening Psalm 51, which certainly appears to contain the most English of subject matter: the murder of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket.

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Details

Bookseller
Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts US (US)
Bookseller Inventory #
ST12987
Title
TEXT FROM THE END OF THE LITANY AND THE FIRST FIVE COLLECTS THAT FOLLOW
Author
A VERY UNUSUAL ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAF WITH FIVE HISTORIATED INITIALS, FROM A PSALTER-HOURS IN LATIN MADE FOR A NUN
Book condition
Used
Quantity available
1
Place of Publication
Rhineland or England[?]
Date published
ca. 1260
Keywords
Psalter

Terms of Sale

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts

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About the Seller

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio.com member since: 2006
McMinnville, Oregon
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About Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books and Medieval Manuscripts

Phillip J. Pirages Fine Books an Manuscripts was established in 1978 on a ping pong table in a basement in Kalamazoo, Michigan. From the beginning, its founder was willing to sell a range of material (both because this approach made the work more educational than otherwise and because it gave him a good excuse for not being an expert in any particular specialty). Over the years, the business has gravitated toward historical artifacts that are physically attractive in some way--illuminated material, fine bindings, books printed on vellum, fore-edge paintings, beautiful typography and paper, impressive illustration. Today, the company still sells a wide range of things, from (scruffy) ninth century leaves to biblical material from all periods to Wing and STC imprints to modern private press books to artists' bindings. While we are forgiving about condition when something is of considerable rarity, we always try to obtain the most attractive copies possible of whatever we offer for sale.

Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

verso
The page bound on the left side of a book, opposite to the recto page.
vellum
Vellum is a sheet of specialty prepared skin of lamb, calf, or goat kid used for binding a book or for printing and writing. ...[more]
fine
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...[more]
recto
The page on the right side of a book, with the term Verso used to describe the page on the left side.
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