MISSAL

The Missal of the Chapel of Saint-Pierre in Saint-Germain-Laval, near Lyon, Use of diocese of Lyon, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum

[France (Lyon), 1401]

£45,000

285 by 200 mm., 262 leaves (plus 2 original endleaves at each end), complete, collation: i10, ii-xxxii8, xxxiii4, catchwords (many with line drawn human faces and animals), contemporary foliation and modern pencil foliation (the latter followed here). Double column, 28 lines in the angular gothic bookhand of Geraldus Lombardus (see below), capitals touched in yellow or red (crucial capitals following decorated initials enclosing human faces, and one on fol. 141v topped with a squirrel), red rubrics, red and dark blue initials with ornate penwork in red and purple, 3-line initials in gold on red and burgundy grounds heightened with white penwork, larger initials in blue or pink heightened with white penwork, enclosing sprays of coloured foliage or tessellated shapes, on coloured and burnished gold grounds, terminating in coloured and gold foliage bars in margin (that on fol. 195v with a coloured dragon biting a bezant), initials on fol. 130r enclosing a coat-of-arms (those of Pierre Vernin: gueles with three trefoil crosses, on a chef argent charged with an onde azur) and an agnus dei, frontispiece with very large initial in same with full border of simple foliage with a dragon in upper outer corner, enclosing a coat-of-arms in bas-de-page (as before), eighteenth-century devotional print of Crucifixion pasted by modern owner to fol. 129v, trimming to edges of leaves with losses to edges of borders of frontispiece, some wear to edges of leaves with occasional damage to edges of borders, some small areas of text overwritten later, minor spots and stains, but overall in good and solid condition, modern binding of leather over wooden boards tooled in faux-medieval style.

This is a large and imposing codex, and a crucially important record of the liturgy and life of the towns of Saint-Germain-Laval and Lyon. While the quality of its decoration is not that of the very greatest artistic centres such as Paris or Rouen, it has significant charm, and without doubt this codex was the focal point of worship for the town of Saint-Germain-Laval throughout the late Middle Ages. It will have acted as one of the key symbols of Christianity and local identity to the worshippers there, and is almost certainly the sole surviving record of the liturgy of the community. Sachet had only room to print a brief codicological description and the contents of its calendar, much remains to be studied by specialists here.

Saint-Germain-Laval lay in the hinterland of Lyon in the late Middle Ages, and the latter was of equal importance and wealth to Paris. The position of Lyon at the hub of several overland routes leading out of northern Italy into mainland Europe ensured that the town would become the focal point for the trade of various luxury goods entering the main European market, such as silk, and Italian merchants had regular and permanent trade fairs there throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. These trades placed a substantial amount of moveable wealth into the economy of the region, and created the need for a sophisticated banking system. Thus, Lyon became not only wealthy, but also the banking capital of France. The facts that the colophon records about this particular volume accord well with this: perhaps only in the hinterland of such a prosperous site as Lyon could a local lawyer and judge acquire enough wealth to found such a substantial expression of his devotion as an entire chapel, apparently also donning it out with the vestments and books needed for its use as place of worship. Moreover, the name of the scribe (and perhaps artist) of this volume, Geraldus Lombardus, points at a northern Italian origin and the source of this wealth. He was probably a member of one of the region’s prominent immigrant mercantile families.

The contents comprise: prayers and readings from Church Fathers; a Calendar; and Masses for the entire year, with lists of saints crucial for certain Masses and a Litany.

Provenance

1. This manuscript stands among the tiny handful of surviving books from the Middle Ages which make explicit almost all parts of their creation through the addition of lengthy descriptive colophons. On fol. 262r, an inscription in red ink in the main hand at the end of the text records that it follows the Use of Lyon, and was made on the order of the nobleman Petrus Verninus, a practitioner of law and serving judge for the comte de Forez, for a chapel he had founded in honour of St Peter in the town of Saint-Germain-Laval (of which the tower still stands), and which was completed by the hand of Geraldus Lombardus on 16th day of June in the year 1401. A truncated version of the same has been added in the space left for the incipit at the beginning of the Missal text proper on fol. 13r, with an overspill of 4 lines onto blank space at the end of the calendar on the preceding leaf. A later hand has added “1401” at the head of the Calendar. As noted by Sachet it follows the Use of Lyon, in which diocese Saint-Germain-Laval lay, with numerous local saints such as St. Aubrin, the patron saint of nearby Montbrison.

Notes on fols. 129r and at the front and end of the volume of devotional tracts and sayings, prayers and offices in sixteenth- and perhaps seventeenth-century hands, as well as the pasting in of the devotional printed image of the eighteenth-century, show its continual use by the community during those centuries.

During the Revolution, Lyon and the inhabitants of its surrounding towns rose up against the National Convention, and in 1793 the region was invaded by the French Revolutionary Armies. The city of Lyon was besieged for two months, during which its hinterland was ravaged, with religious buildings destroyed and their contents looted. In Lyon itself some 2000 inhabitants were executed and most of the buildings around the Place Bellecour levelled following their surrender. The present Missal most probably passed into private ownership at this time.

2. Ch. De Visser: his perhaps late eighteenth-century ex libris twice at the head of fol. 262v.

3. By 1895 it had passed to the local Lyon historian and prolific antiquarian author, the Abbé Alphonse Sachet (1848-1924), who served as the Licencié ès-lettres Professeur de Philosophie au Petit-Séminaire de Saint-Jean and was awarded the Prix Thérouanne in 1919. The volume was the subject of a short publication by him for the Lyon historical journal, Bulletin de la Diana VIII, pp. 3-24 (copy enclosed in volume), and the scholarly pen notes in the margin of fols. 3r, 111r and 131r et passim are probably in his hand.

K35

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BOOK OF HOURS

Use of Autun

[France, c. 1480]

£19,500

130mm x 88mm, 208 leaves, some catchwords but collation impractical, wanting 2 leaves after fol. 24, another after fols. 85 and 152 and one at end, single column of 15 lines of lettre bâtarde, red rubrics, one- and 2-line initials in blue and liquid gold with contrasting penwork, larger initials in dark blue on burgundy grounds enclosing liquid gold scrollwork, some leaves with decorated borders of coloured and acanthus leaves and more realistic foliage on liquid gold or blank vellum shapes, 5-line historiated initial opening the Office of the Dead, with a young woman (perhaps the original owner) being struck down by Death, here as a spear wielding skeleton, some slight cockling and small spots and stains, else excellent condition; contemporary binding of brown calf over wooden boards, blind-stamped in rectangles filled with fleur-de-lys, a monkey, a bird, and a foliate scroll, small scuffs and ink stains, rebacked and restored.

Provenance:

Written and illuminated c. 1480, most probably for a patron in Autun: Calendar with local saints, Nazarus and Celsus (28 July, with octave, to whom the original cathedral of Autun was dedicated), St Lazare (1 September, with “Hic fit de sancto Lazaro” on 2 and 3 September), the revelatio of St Lazare (20 October, with octave), Proculus (4 November), the adventus reliquiarum of Nazarius and Celsus (6 November), Amator (26 November), and the dedication of the church of St Lazare (20 December), with these and further local saints in the Litany (SS. Martial, Trophine, and Saturnine).

Text:

The volume comprises: a Calendar (fol. 1r); the Obsecro te (fol. 13r) and O intemerata (fol. 17v); the Gospel extracts (fol. 21r); the Hours of the Virgin (fol. 25r); the Seven Penitential Psalms (fol. 86r) with a Litany; the Office of the Dead (fol. 106r); seasonal variants for the hours (fol. 153r, wanting last leaf).

K141

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KOREAN MAP, Capital Province

JEONG CHEOK MAP OF KOREA’S CAPITAL PROVINCE

Map of the capital province, Joseon Korea.

Korea, first half of 18th century.

£2,750

Hand-drawn map, first half of the 18th century, depicting the capital (gyeonggi 京畿) province of Joseon Korea. It is fourth of the eight provinces of Joseon Korea (Joseon paldo 朝鮮八道, which were reorganised into the 13 modern provinces in 1896.) It states the administrative classification of each district or outpost, as well as how many days of overland travel are required to reach it from the capital. It was intended to aid scholar-officials holding government civil service positions in planning their journeys. This map was produced by an unknown Joseon Korean cartographer in the celebrated and highly distinctive “Jeong Cheok” style, and it is a superb example of this quintessential pre-19th century cartographical tradition.

Mounted within thin oriental wood, framed and glazed, on bamboo paper, measuring 45cm x 39.3cm, including fabric border of 6.1-6.7cm. The map itself is 32.2cm x 27.1cm. Text border on all sides, however all but the outer border have been cropped. The border that remains is 0.9-1.2cm deep, with a slither remaining along the top. The paper has occasional faint darker areas, however none diminish the legibility or artistry. The map was folded into twelve parts, leaving two horizontal and three vertical creases, with very slight wear, including a small hole in the lower centre of the map at the intersection of two creases. Small tear in the far lower left, however the area affected is only ocean. There is also a small black smudge in the ocean just off the tip of the north-western peninsula.

The map has been produced in the style of Jeong Cheok (정척/鄭陟, 1390– 1475), a successful 15th century cartographer, himself a scholar-retainer who served several Joseon kings. The modern concepts of latitude and longitude were not understood in Korea until the early 19th century, and the flatness and distortion of the land in Jeong Cheok-style representations reflect this. Nonetheless, the shape, layout, and topographical properties of the provinces are depicted with impressive accuracy, enabling an overland traveller to plan the most direct route avoiding natural barriers. “Jeong Cheok” maps bear a number of distinct stylistic characteristics. First, further information is added in a text border surrounding the map. Second, natural topographical features are highly simplified; mountains are indicated symbolically as a jagged row of uniform peaks, and coasts and waterways are low-detail. Third, districts – always with two-syllable names – and military bases are represented by uniformly sized bubbles. In this map, these bubbles are pink; the district name is written down the centre of the bubble; to the right is the number of days of overland travel required to reach it from the capital, and to the left is its administrative classification. The capital city (gyeong ) bubble is circled twice. The Joseon administrative classification system includes, from largest to smallest, the bu (provincial capital city), mok (mid-level city), gun or su (county or prefecture), and finally lyeong or gam (small town).

The lines and text of the map are drawn in black ink. Land is uncoloured, while water is depicted in a light blue wash. Strikingly, water is coloured darker blue where it meets land. Mountains are coloured brown and labelled. Islands, also named, are depicted as white ovals in the ocean. Land-based outposts (yeogdo 驛道) and offshore ocean settlements are marked in white boxes. There is a title box with “Capital – [province] four” (gyeonggi sa 京畿四) in the top right corner. Within the text border running along the top, left, and right sides, there are remarks about what lies beyond the map in these directions.

L1755

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MING CHINESE MAP

MING CHINA’S LAND, ISLANDS, AND RIVERS

L1756 Ming China

Overview of the Realm (Tianxia tu lüe 天下圖略).

China, between 1625-1650.

£12,500

Fascinating hand-drawn map depicting Ming明 dynasty (1368 – 1644) China and surrounding lands produced by an unknown Chinese cartographer between 1625 and 1650. The map aids long distance journeys by water. It makes prominent the inland waterway networks and oceans of Ming China and beyond. It also depicts those locations – cities, countries, and islands – that can be accessed by navigating expanses of water, including distant locations. Other unusual features include the notation of corresponding constellations for each province and the names of local tribes. Stylistically, the map is clear and minimal, using a simple palette of red, brown, and blue wash. Overall, with its culturally rich and eclectic content and its portable size, this map would have been a valued personal possession of an enthusiastic and well-travelled scholar, learned merchant, or even Jesuit. It is highly likely that the map was unique to its original owner.

Mounted within thin oriental dark wood, framed and glazed, measuring 39cm x 30.5cm, on bamboo paper. The paper is slightly yellowed and there are occasional darker marks, however none of this diminishes the legibility or artistry. Previously folded into six parts, the creases are dark and worn, so writing and imagery is occasionally partially obscured. Small tear on character “略” of the title. The map is bordered with a thin black line, set within a further black-lined border, 3.5cm deep at foot, 1-1.3cm at left, 0.3-0.6cm at right, and 5.3-5.5cm deep at head. The map measures 28.5cm (head) x 28.7cm (foot) x 29.7cm (left) x 29.4cm (right); it does not form a perfect square. In the top right hand corner is a box bearing the title “天下圖略” (and the final character is a variant.) Text and lines are in black ink. Land is not coloured, water is indicated with a pale blue wash, and mountains are dark brown. Province boundaries not obvious from natural topological barriers are lined red. Ringed in red are cities of political, cultural, and historical significance. Names of the provinces are ringed in black, and of towns and cities in black boxes.

Within the map, the fourteen administrative provinces of Ming China are disproportionately expanded relative to surrounding areas. They account for approximately 80% of the surface. The layout of the inland waterway network is the most prominent feature. Minor rivers are rendered as large as major ones, and named. Lakes and even the sources of some rivers are named. Also privileged are the relative positions of major waterside settlements. The map depicts them as similarly sized and spaced, illustrating at a glance the order in which one would arrive if travelling by boat. This depiction of the waterway network and its cities is distorted to fill the area of Ming China, and water-poor areas in the far west and north are dramatically shrunk or dispensed with entirely. Compensating for the distortion, the true distance between major Ming Chinese cities is stated in miles (li ) at several points.

Cities and districts of greatest political, cultural, and historical significance are ringed in red: the northern and southern capitals of Beijing 北京 and Nanjing 南京, the cultural centre and ancient capital of Luoyang 洛陽, and Xianyang 咸陽. Xianyang was important to the Western Zhou (1046 – 771 BC, remembered as a halcyon period of pre-imperial China) and as well as the capital of the first dynasty, the Qin (221 – 206 BC), and these dynasties are noted on the map. Also drawn and named are several mountain ranges, which would serve as markers for navigation by water. Interestingly, the name markers of many of the fourteen provinces and Joseon Korea (Chaoxian 朝鮮) are accompanied by the name of corresponding constellations from among the twenty-eight lunar lodges (ershiba su 二十八宿). The Great Wall (chang cheng 長城) is marked, but its shape is distorted. For example, Ming extensions of the Wall into the east, which reach to the modern border of North Korea, are depicted as a stub. Similarly, the western extremities of the Wall extending through modern Gansu and Xinjiang are shrunk and simplified.

Water features are also the focus in the depiction of territories beyond the border. Interestingly, foreign water features are rendered as large and as clearly as those within Ming China, even if unconnected. These include Lake Baikal (Hanhai 瀚海) and, in the southwest, what appears to be the Indus river. Mountains that are near to or form the source include the Khentii mountains (Langjushan 狼居山) and of greatest cultural importance, the Kunlun 崑崙 mountains in the west. One of the most intriguing features is the depiction of the mythical underground river linking the Yellow River back to its imagined source in the Kunluns, drawn in faint yellow and running below the Great Wall. Many non-Han tribes, settlements, and ethnic groups are indicated in their proper locales.

In addition to these natural features, also depicted are outlying foreign regions and nations, bordering China or accessible by water. These are rendered comparatively small in contrast to the provinces of Ming China itself. These include modern Tibet and Xinjiang (Xifan 西蕃), Joseon Korea, Japan (Ribenguo 日本国), what is now Vietnam (indicated both as Annan 安南 and Jiaozhi 交趾), Thailand (“Siam”, Xianluoguo 暹羅国), the Chenla kingdom (Zhenlaguo 真臘国), and modern-day Hainan (Qiongzhou 瓊州). (It is noteworthy that the character used for “country”, guo , is a pre-modern simplified form.) Also included is the Xiaoliuqiu 小琉球 island, just off the southern coast of Taiwan. However, Taiwan is not depicted, even though it was well-known to and settled by the Ming Chinese. This is also the case in other maps of the period.

Far off islands in the southern and eastern seas or circled regions in the west and north are marked in minimal detail. The Liuqiu kingdom (Liuqiuguo 琉球国), for example, refers to unspecified islands in the East China Sea, though the name is currently used for the Ryukyu Islands. The “Kingdom of pierced stomachs” (Chuanweiguo 穿胃国), “Kingdom of large men” (Darenguo 大人国), and “Kingdom of little men” (Xiaorenguo 小人国) belong to this category. Most interesting among these, perhaps, is the country is the far southeast, Nürenguo 女人国, “Kingdom of women”. Some scholars believe this refers to the uncharted but rumoured areas of Northern Australia, which many Ming Chinese presumed to operate a matriarchal society. Interestingly, in the territories to the west there are circled spaces that have been left blank, anticipating unknown lands there whose names might be added.

L1756

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KOREAN MAP, Jeolla Province

JEONG CHEOK MAP OF KOREAN PROVINCEL1755 Korean Map 1

Map of Jeolla province, Joseon Korea.

Korea, first half of 18th century.

£2,250

Hand-drawn map, first half of the 18th century, depicting Jeolla 全羅, sixth of the eight provinces of Joseon Korea (Joseon paldo 朝鮮八道, which were reorganised into the 13 modern provinces in 1896.) It states the administrative classification of each district or outpost, as well as how many days of overland travel are required to reach it from the capital. It was intended to aid scholar-officials holding government civil service positions in planning their journeys. This map was produced by an unknown Joseon Korean cartographer in the celebrated and highly distinctive “Jeong Cheok” style, and is a superb example of this quintessential pre-19th century cartographical tradition.

Mounted within thin oriental wood, framed and glazed, the map, on bamboo paper, is set within a fabric border 5.9cm deep, measuring 45cm x 39.3cm. The map itself is 33cm x 27.3cm. Text border on all sides, however the lower border has been cropped. The borders that remain are 1.4cm deep. The paper has occasional faint darker areas, however none diminish the legibility or artistry. The map was folded into twelve parts, leaving two horizontal and three vertical creases, with very slight wear. Small hole in the lower centre of the map at the intersection of two creases; tear at lower edge (6.5cm x 3cm at its worst) affecting the depiction of the southernmost peninsula.

The map has been produced in the style of Jeong Cheok (정척/鄭陟, 1390 – 1475), a successful 15th century cartographer, himself a scholar-retainer who served several Joseon kings. The modern concepts of latitude and longitude were not understood in Korea until the early 19th century, and the flatness and distortion of the land in Jeong Cheok-style representations reflect this. Nonetheless, the shape, layout, and topographical properties of the provinces are depicted with impressive accuracy, enabling an overland traveller to plan the most direct route avoiding natural barriers.

“Jeong Cheok” maps bear a number of distinct stylistic characteristics. First, further information is added in a text border surrounding the map. Second, natural topographical features are highly simplified; mountains are indicated symbolically as a jagged row of uniform peaks, and coasts and waterways are low-detail. Third, districts (always with two-syllable names) and military bases are represented by uniformly sized bubbles. In this map, these bubbles are pink; the district name is written down the centre of the bubble; to the right is the number of days of overland travel required to reach it from the capital, and to the left is its administrative classification. The Joseon administrative classification system includes, from largest to smallest, the bu (provincial capital city), mok (mid-level city), gun or su (county or prefecture), and finally lyeong or gam (small town).

The lines and text of the map are drawn in black ink. Land is uncoloured, while water is depicted in a light blue wash. Strikingly, water is coloured darker blue where it meets land. Mountains are coloured brown and labelled. Islands, also named, are depicted as white ovals in the ocean. There are one military base (byeongyeong 兵營) and two naval bases (suyeong 水營), left and right, in pink bubbles. Land-based outposts (yeogdo 驛道) and offshore ocean settlements are marked in white boxes. There is a title box with “Jeolla province – six” (Jeolla do lyuk 全羅道六) in the top right corner. Within the text border running along the top, left, and right sides, there are remarks about what lies beyond the map in these directions.

L1754

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BIBLE, Cistercian

A MONUMENTAL 12TH-CENTURY CALLIGRAPHIC MASTERPIECE

BOOKS OF ISAIAH, JEREMIAH, EZEKIEL, DANIEL, EPISTLES, ACTS, APOCALYPSE AND GOSPELS. Illuminated manuscript on vellum.

Italy, Lombardy, circa 1170-1190.

£250,000

460 x 310 mm, 251 leaves on parchment, substantially complete: I8-1 (i excised, probably blank), II-XIII8, XIV8+2 (bifolium added between vi and vii), XV-XVII8 (iii and vi as singletons), XVIII-XXXI8), wanting a quire after VIII (fol. 63), two after XXIV (fol. 194), and quire XXXII but for fol. 251, Catchwords at lower margin of last verso of quires; paper flyleaf and conjoint pastedown at beginning and end. 325 x 204 (93, 21, 90) mm; ruled for two columns and 34 lines of text in lead point, pricking at upper and lower margins and fore-edge (from recto), additional vertical line between the bounders dividing the two columns. North-Italian transitional caroline script (Littera carolina) in brown, corrections and additions in black throughout and text on additional leaves 110-111 provided by a second contemporary North-Italian Cistercian hand (Littera protogothica textualis); marginal notes referring to readings in the refectory in the Gospels: “Hic dimittatur legere in refectorio” (fols 201r,  215r, 239r) and “Hic incipiatur legere” (fols 217v, 242r); marginal chapter references in an Italian hand in grey ink throughout, c.1400. Rubrics, often with notes in small hand (littera glossularis), in lower (occasionally upper) margin as on fol. 109v, providing guidance to the rubricator, chapter numbers and marginal numbering of the biblical readings (Lc .I. , Lc .II. etc) in red throughout; running titles by rubricator in red at beginning and end of gatherings up to fol. 103r, otherwise in dark brown or grey ink by different hands to the end of the Epistles (fol. 166v).

Two large initials (9-15 lines), the first in blue, the second blue and red, both with penwork decoration in red, blue and green and followed by first words of text in red capitals touched in blue (fols 2r and 35v); one large 7 line initial in blue with reserved blank and penwork decoration in red and yellow (fol. 95v); similar large initials (6-13 lines) in red, occasionally extending into the margin, at beginning of texts (fols 119v-242v); minor initials (2-4 lines) in red, green and red (fol. 15v) or blue and red (fol. 107v) throughout. Three large initials (16-25 lines) in red with reserved red and black penwork decoration supplied to the additional text on fols 110r, 111r and 111v.

Strong Italian parchment, with a number of natural flaws and some cuts with medieval repairs (see fol. 20); fol. 119 with a long horizontal cut, but complete; lower margin of fols 232-233 and 237 and fore-edge of fol. 238 cut away; overall in good condition. In later brown sheepskin over unbevelled wooden boards, some scuffmarks, sewn on four double-split spine bands of alum-tawed skin, two endbands on parchment core with yellow sewing thread, now loose, and title “Quat. [?] Proph. mai / et / Plus [?].Lib.N.Test.” on spine, shelfmark “229” in black ink on upper pastedown; shelfmarks “35” and “67” on spine, all 17th/18th century.

This large splendid volume was produced in Northern Italy in the second half of the twelfth century for the use of a monastery of the Cistercian order, established in 1098 by Robert of Molesme at Cîteaux. The unusual order of the biblical texts (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel; Epistles, Acts and Apocalypse; the Gospels), reflects a programme of reading in the Night Office carried out in Cistercian communities from Advent to Epiphany, Lent, and Easter to Pentecost (ordo librorum ad legendum; Reilly 2005, pp. 169-170). The Cistercians included the reading of the four Gospels into the refectory element of their annual cycle, but excluded the Passion narratives as highlighted in the manuscript by the marginal notes “Hic dimittatur legere in refectorio” (fols 201r,  215r, 239r) (Webber 2010, pp. 20 n. 47, 32). The large size of the volume, the two-column layout, well-spaced lettering and use of red minor initials throughout were designed to assure legibility for reading aloud. The additional punctuation supplied by the second hand in a darker ink in accordance with the Cistercian practice of indicating short, medium and long pauses in the reading, supplied further helpful guidance (Parkes 1992, pp. 195, 197). The textual corrections by this second hand testify to the attention paid to the correctness of biblical texts in accordance with St Bernard of Clairvaux’s wishes.

The sober yet elegant decoration of the initials also follows the Cistercian practice of austerity, including restrained decoration in their manuscripts. The initials to Isaiah, Jeremiah and Daniel are similar in style to those found in a 12th-century manuscript Bible now in the Biblioteca Civica “Angelo Mai” at Bergamo, MA 600 (olim Alpha V 17; see Zizzo), with an almost certain Cistercian origin. The three initials in red with reserved and red and black penwork decoration on leaves 110r-111v are consistent with the decoration of Cistercian manuscripts produced in Italy, as in two 12th-century codices; an Office lectionary at Harvard, Houghton Library, Typ 223 online at http://hcl.harvard.edu/libraries/houghton/collections/early_manuscripts/bibliographies/Typ.cfm, from the Abbey of Morimondo (Ferrari 1993, p. 299) and from Acquafredda Abbey (see Ferrari 1993, p. 295) a 12th century Commentary on The Old Testament-Pentateuch by Isidore of Seville and Hugh of St Victor’s Rex Salomon, now at Berkeley, Bancroft Library, MS UCB 16.

Both these manuscripts have covers almost identical to the present, and bear similar titles on the second spine compartment, also found on Jerome’s Commentary on the Minor Prophets, now Milan, Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense, Gerli MS 12, identified by Ferrari (Ferrari 1999, pp. 36, 41-42, 44) as one of the manuscripts mentioned in the twelfth-century book list from the Abbey of Morimondo found on the last verso of the Abbey’s Office lectionary mentioned above (Houghton Library, Typ 223).

The present manuscript shares the same 18th-century provenance, if not origin, as those three manuscripts now at Milan, Berkeley and Cambridge. From the beginning of the eighteenth century many manuscripts from Cistercian abbeys in Lombardy were collected at the monastery of S. Ambrogio in Milan to support the programme of cultural reform promoted by the Congregation of St Bernard in Italy and the Austrian government. On arrival at S. Ambrogio, they may have been supplied with new covers and a manuscript title on the spine. The present manuscript must have arrived about the same time, when the influx increased exponentially with the suppressions of the monasteries in the last quarter of the century; many of these codices were then dispersed onto the open market. A good number were acquired by the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, but many entered private collections, such as those of the marchesi Trivulzio of Milan, Count Francesco Giovio (1796 – 1873) of Como, and Matteo Luigi Canonici (1727 – 1805), Jesuit and antiquarian of Venice, further dispersed through later sales.

A twentieth-century note in English pencilled on the upper flyleaf suggests that this manuscript may have passed through the hands of the bookseller Giuseppe (Joseph) Martini of Lugano between 1913 and 1942, though it is not mentioned by Ferrari in her list of Cistercian manuscripts described in Martini’s catalogues (Ferrari 1999, pp. 34-35). It was Martini who probably invented the myth of provenance from the library of the celebrated humanist Paolo Giovio (1483 – 1552) still recorded in the literature of some Italian Cistercian manuscripts (see Berkeley, University of California, Bancroft Library, MS UCB 16, in Digital Scriptorium).

K56

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MANUSCRIPT VELLUM LEAF. ILLUMINATED E

Leaf from a Book of Hours.

Northern France, probably Paris, c. 1510-20.

£650

Illuminated E letter on vellum, ‘Ego dixi in dimidio dierum…’. 24 lines of text with blank spaces filled by dark blue and gold bars. The same colours are used to decorate smaller initials at the beginning of each row. Both sides displayable. On its verso, an illuminated E at the bottom of the page starts Canticum (in red) ’Exultauit cor meum in domino.’

The parent book of Hours of this leaf was one of a small number produced at the height of the French Renaissance, probably in and around Paris, which have been named the ‘1520s workshop’ by Myra Ortha. For other examples see the Doheny Hours (Jaime Ortiz-Patino collection, sold Sotheby’s, 21 April 1998, lot 39), and another Book of Hours illuminated by the Doheny Master also sold in Sotheby’s, 20 June 1995, lot 121. Thin ropework borders on some of these have been taken to indicate that some of the original owners were members of the Cordelières, the order of Franciscan Tertiaries to which the women of the French royal family belonged (see Sotheby’s, 2 December 2003, lot 28d).  

CJS 6b

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LUTTRELL, Narcissus. Seal.

Desk Seal.

£4,950

Elegant bone and silver-mounted desk seal, c. 1682, the handle in the form of a sphere unscrewing at its equator with a compartment for wafers, the intaglio quartz matrix (1 cm) with the arms of Narcissus Luttrell and his wife Sarah, dexter: Luttrell and Mapowder (his mother, heiress with her sister of the Mapowder estate) and, sinister: Baker for his wife Sarah, 7 cm long, small chip to matrix edge.

A rare 17th century example of a fine desk seal with an important book collecting association. Narcissus Luttrell (1657 – 1732) was a member of Parliament, annalist and book collector, whose chronicles of contemporary events and parliamentary diary are particularly valuable. His very extensive library of books and manuscripts, especially political and poetical works, was dispersed piecemeal by Luttrell’s descendants and many items are no longer traceable. A substantial number of the printed works were eventually acquired by the British Library, and a large number of manuscripts found their way to the Codrington Library in 1786, while more recently many items were donated to the Beinecke Library of Yale University. Luttrell married Sarah, daughter of Daniel Baker (a prosperous London merchant), in February 1682 and this seal is likely to have been made close after that date. Luttrell’s silver penner with the same arms on the top is held by the Victoria & Albert Museum (Ref. M. 298 – 1975).

L1758

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BOOK OF HOURS

EXCEPTIONAL MINIATURE BOOK OF HOURS IN THE STYLE OF THE MILDMAY MASTER

Book of Hours, Use of Rome, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum.

Flanders, 3rd quarter of the 15th-century.

£95,000

Small 8vo., 96 x 68 mm, 223 leaves on parchment, including 13 added leaves (fols 1, 10, 24, 48, 64, 71, 78, 85, 92, 103, 112, 124, 151), without the calendar, two leaves after fol. 17, the first added to the original collation, and some additions to the text at end; collation: I8+1, II8+2 (viii and leaf added after vii excised at the end), III6, IV8+1, V8, VI8+1, VII8, VIII8+1, IX-X8, XI8+2, XII8, XIII-XV8+1, XVI-XVII8, XVIII6, XIX8+1, XX-XXV8, XXVI8+2, XXVII4, XXVIII4-2 (iii-iv excised), traces of catchwords in lower margin of last verso of quires (see fols 49v, 94v, 102v, 145v, 167v, 175v and 183v). Justification 50 x 33 mm, ruled in purple for single vertical bounding lines and 16 horizontal lines for 15 written lines below top ruled line. Regular Gothic bookhand (Textualis Rotunda Formata) in brown and red, possibly by an Italian scribe. Rubrics in red; versal initials (1-line high) in blue or gold with red or black pen-work decoration throughout; psalm and prayers initials (2-line high) in burnished gold-leaf set against a square ground of blue and red with white tracery throughout; 13 large illuminated book-initials and full decorated borders on fols 2r, 11r, 25r, 49r, 65r, 72r, 79r, 86r, 93r, 104r, 113r, 125r and 152r: initials (5-line high) in blue or red with white tracery decoration set against burnished gold-leaf grounds infilled with ivy-leaves decoration in blue, red, purple and green highlighted with white tracery, borders decorated with acanthus and other leaves, strawberries and flowers in gold, blue, red, pink and green, gold bar framing text on left, right and lower border, reserved white ground of the borders on fols 2r and 25r with added shell-gold; 13 full-page miniatures in the style of the Mildmay Master, with double-bar and arch-topped frames in burnished gold and purple set within full decorated borders on fols 1v, 10v, 24v, 48v, 64v, 71v, 78v, 85v, 92v, 103v, 112v, 124v, 151v: borders decorated as above, with reserved white ground of borders on fols 1v and 24v with added shell-gold, miniatures illustrating the Crucifixion, Pentecost, Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Annunciation to the Shepherds, Adoration of the Magi, Presentation in the Temple, Massacre of the Innocents, Flight to Egypt, Coronation of the Virgin, King David in prayer and Raising of Lazarus. Good quality parchment, well preserved, margins slightly trimmed, little sign of thumbing in lower right corners. Sewn on three spine bands of double-split alum-tawed skin and with bookblock edges gilt and gauffered, late fifteenth or early sixteenth century; in brown morocco with blind-fillet decoration on thin wooden boards, re-cased probably in 16th century, newer parchment flyleaf and conjoint pastedown at the beginning and the end. In modern brown cloth box. Some worming on boards and flyleaves only.

This charming Book of Hours was produced in Bruges. It is a fine representative of the devotional manuscripts from the second half of the 15th century. These books were the result of the work of a number of different artisans and artists working separately on the different phases of production – the copying of the text, the decoration of minor initials and line fillers, and the illumination of initials, borders and miniatures. The devotional texts were usually copied on dedicated single or multiple quires according to their length, with the beginnings of the canonical hours copied on rectos; they were then assembled in volumes whose textual sequences corresponded to the requirements of the individual customers, with dedicated miniatures inserted to face the beginning of the canonical hours and other illumination and decoration added to the clients’ taste and means. All the illuminated miniatures of the present manuscript are on the verso of added singletons whose parchment is often heavier and thicker than the soft and beautiful parchment of the quires, which shows hardly any visible difference between the flesh and the hair side.

It is therefore unusual to find manuscripts made by the same scribe, rubricator, decorator and illuminator/s, but each of their components may find matches in different manuscripts. This manuscript shows the same textual and illustrative sequence as London, British Library, MSS Harley 1853 and Stowe 26, but for the absence of the Mass of the Virgin and perhaps of the Psalter of St Jerome at the end. The three manuscripts are also similarly diminutive. Its beautiful Italianate Gothic hand matches that of Baltimore, The Walters Art Museum MS. W. 179. The rubrication and decoration of minor initials and line-fillers is close to that of Les Enlumineures Book of Hours 61, BL Stowe MS 26, Walters MSS 190 and 196 (made for Queen Eleanor of Portugal), and the Derval Hours, Sotheby’s, 5 July 2005, lot 98 (made for Jean de Châteaugiron, seigneur de Derval and chamberlain of Brittany). The accomplished decoration of the borders finds correspondence in Les Enlumineures Book of Hours 61 and possibly Chicago, Newberry Library, Case MS. 35 (the Mildmay Hours).

The sequence of miniatures for the Hours of the Virgin corresponds to the cycle of the Infancy of Christ as was customary in Southern Flanders at the time (see B. Bousmanne, “Item a Guillaume Wyelant aussi enlumineur,” Bruxelles, 1997, p. 164).  The manuscript was undoubtedly illuminated in the circle of Wilhelm Vrelant (d. 1481; active in Bruges from 1454), the most successful illuminator in Bruges at that time. His patrons included the Dukes of Burgundy and members of their family and court as well as French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian royalty, diplomats, aristocrats, bankers and wealthy merchants. Judging from their surviving manuscripts, he and his collaborators produced devotional books in far greater numbers than any other text; it is therefore not surprising that at the time the so-called “Vrelant style” became very popular and had a strong impact on the production of Books of Hours.

The full-page miniatures are in the style of an anonymous illuminator singled out among Vrelant’s collaborators by Nicholas Rogers and given the name of the Mildmay Master after a Book of Hours in the Newberry Library in Chicago (Case MS. 35) that in the 16th century belonged to Sir Thomas Mildmay (b. in or before 1515, d. 1566), Auditor of the Court of Augmentations for Henry VIII. The master collaborated with Vrelant in the decoration of a four-volume copy of the Golden Legend in French translation for Jean d’Auxy, knight of the Golden Fleece (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MSS 672-675.

A direct comparison with the Book of Hours in the British Library (Harley MS 3000) suggests that the artist working on the present manuscript is not the Mildmay Master, even though he is seemingly the same artist of a Book of Hours attributed to him in S. Hindman and A. Bergeron-Foote, An intimate Art. 12 Books of Hours for 2012, London, 2012. He is also the same artist of another devotional manuscript (Walters MS. W. 177). The anonymous artist of these three manuscripts managed to avoid the sharp linearity and rarefied stillness that characterise the works of the Mildmay Master and used a different and warmer palette of deeper blues and reds. The iconography of his decorative cycles follows the models employed by Vrelant and his followers, but his miniatures display distinctive delicate features for the Virgin (see here the Annunciation, the Nativity and the Adoration of the Magi on fols 24v, 64v and 78v), elongated male faces (in particular of Christ on the Cross and David in prayer on fols 1v and 124v), landscapes of rolling green hills and mountains turning to dark blue in the distance, and interiors characterised by gilt-embroidered tapestries and pink and grey walls with white-stucco decoration that includes a very distinctive element. This element recalls the monograms in the trade-mark stamps imposed on the Bruges illuminators by the town administration to stop the import of illuminated single leaves by foreign artists who were not registered with the Guild. This decorative element is particularly similar to the stamp of Adriaen de Raedt, an apprentice of Vrelant in the years 1473-1475, who was occasionally named as Vrelant in the Guild’s documents.

Almost all miniatures in the present book are a simplified version of the standardized Flemish iconography for the cycle of the Infancy of Christ disseminated by Vrelant and his followers, and found, for instance, in two Books of Hours attributed to Wilhelm Vrelant and/or associates(Walters MSS W. 196 and 197), and in the Arenberg Hours attributed to the Mildmay Master (Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. Ludwig IX 8 (83.ML.104)). The fall of the idol from the column in the miniature of the Flight to Egypt (fol. 103v), in particular, is reminiscent of the Mildmay Master’s representations of the Apostle Bartolomew and Felix of Ostia destroying Idols or Mamertinus of Auxerre praying to Idols in the New York Golden Legend (PML, MS. M 675, fols 22r, 51r and 56v respectively).

The representation of the Crucifixion is the only exception. In the figures of the fore-ground and the landscape in the background our artist paraphrases the Crucifixion in Vrelant’s style as found in Walters MS. W. 197 (fol. 34v) and the Arenberg Hours (fol. 134r), but for the central scene of the Crucifixion with Christ flanked by the two thieves he seems to look elsewhere, possibly at the Crucifixion attributed to the so-called Vienna Master of Mary of Burgundy in the Hours of Mary of Burgundy (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, MS. 1857, fol. 99v) and the Trivulzio Hours (The Hague, Koninklijke Bibliotheek, Ms. SMCi, fol. 94v), executed about 1470-1475, which echo the Crucifixion in Joos van Ghent’s Calvary triptych of the late 1460s. A similar dating for the present manuscript is consistent with the style of the all its other features.

The volume provides no clue towards the identification of its original owner.  Like many famous Bruges manuscripts such as the Spinola Hours (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, MS. Ludwig IX 18) and the Grimani Breviary (Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, MS. Lat. I, 99) copied by scribes imitating Italian bookhands, or indeed by Italian scribes working in a Bruges, and decorated by Flemish artists, the present book was beautifully produced on smooth white parchment of the highest quality and copied in an elegant round Italianate Gothic hand. The litany is of Augustinian Use, with Paul the First Hermit and Nicholas of Tolentino (canonized in 1446) among the doctors and confessors and Monica among the Virgins; other saints added to an otherwise standard text for the Use of Rome are Alexis at the end of monks and hermits, and Saints Margaret, Barbara and Elisabeth among the Virgins.

The masculine forms used in most prayers, including “Obsecro te” and “Intemerata”, with the only exception of the last, suggest that the book belonged to a man; the inclusion of the prayer “Deus propicius esto mihi peccatori et custos mei sis omnibus diebus vite mee,” traditionally attributed to St. Augustine, may indicate that he was a man of some importance, possibly a member of the large Italian community of merchants and bankers in Bruges, or a major local patron.

K34

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PORTABLE BREVIARY AND PSALTER FOR ROMAN USE

FOR THE PRIVATE DEVOTION OF A POPE

THE CYBO BREVIARY

Illuminated manuscript in Latin on vellum

Northern Italy, probably Liguria (Genoa or Savona), 1447.

£45,950

134 x 94 mm, 272 leaves on parchment: I7 (of I8, first blank excised); II-XII10, XIII8, XIV-XX10 (XX.10 blank); XXI10, XXII8, XXIII-XXVIII10; XXIX2 (blanks), justification 81 x 58 [26-7-25] mm, ruled in lead point for two columns, 30 horizontal lines ruled in light brown ink for 29 lines of text, regular Italian Gothic script [Southern Textualis Rotunda] in red and black by two hands, first on fols 1v-190r, second, smaller, thinner, less compressed and more elegant, on fols 192r-268r, both hands occasionally employing the humanist “d” with straight ascender, catchwords in black or red ink in the lower margin of last verso of quires. Rubrics in red, paragraph marks in blue, and two-line initials in alternating red and blue with contrasting pen-flourishing in purple or red throughout. 19 illuminated initials (4-9 lines high) in pink or blue with white tracery set against a ground of gold with foliate and floral decoration in blue, pink and green with foliate extensions in blue and green, often with a gold bezant at the end. In the Psalter the initials mark the beginning of the eight psalms (ps. 1, 26, 38, 52, 68, 80, 97 and 109) to be recited at Sunday Vespers. One nine-line illuminated initial “B”[eatus] (fol. 192v) in pink with white tracery set against a gold-leaf ground and depicting David at prayer set against a blue ground with white tracery, foliate extension in blue and green with a gold-leaf bezant. 2 illuminated initials and full borders: 1 ten-line initial “F”[ratres] (fol. 8r) in pink with white tracery set against a gold-leaf ground, depicting St Paul with sword preaching to the people, written space outlined by a gold-leaf bar border, including the bas-de-page bearing the coat-of-arms of the Cybo of Genoa supported by two winged putti in a green landscape with trees, rabbits and birds, the outer borders with foliate decoration in blue and pink interspersed with two green parrots, a green peacock and gold-leaf bezants; 1 seven-line illuminated initial “P”[rimo] (fol. 192r) in blue with white tracery set against a gold-leaf ground with floral decoration in pink, blue and green and full-border extensions of foliate design in shades of blue, pink and green with gold-leaf bezants, the Christogram “HIS” in the bas-de-page, inscribed in the blue ground at centre of a radiant sun in gold-leaf. Good quality parchment, in good condition, with large, clean margins, slight crease on first and last leaves (fols 1-6 and 243-270), ink occasionally fading or slightly erased, offprint on fol. 7v. Modern brown morocco binding.

This rare and charming volume includes a Temporal Breviary and Liturgical Psalter, i.e. service books used in the daily offices, both for the use of Rome. The Proprium de tempore (fols 8r-190r) provides the liturgy for the celebration of the Divine Office from the first Sunday of Advent according to the rite of the Roman Curia, with no further specification but for the inclusion in the litany (fols 74v-77r) of Zenobius, bishop of Florence, among the confessors, and of the Franciscan saints Francis, Clare and Elisabeth among monks and virgins respectively. It is dated 12 February 1447 and preceded by a table of rubrics (fols 1v-7r). The Liturgical Psalter (fols 192r-268r) supplies hymns, canticles, antiphones, versicles and responses according to the Cursus Romanus of the liturgy of the Hours and it is datable to the third quarter of the 15th century. The Temporal and the Liturgical Psalter were copied by two different scribes and at different times, with the Psalter probably dating to the early 1460s.

Nevertheless, the pen-flourished decoration of the minor initials and the beautiful illumination of the borders and major initials are consistent throughout the book and seemingly belong to the same decorative campaign, datable to the 1460s or early 1470s. The illumination was executed by an eclectic anonymous artist who was strongly influenced by the style of earlier and contemporary illumination from Lombardy in Northern Italy as suggested by the illuminated borders on fols 8r and 192r and the portrait initials on fols 8r and 192v (see A. De Floriani, “La miniatura in Liguria nella seconda metà del Quattrocento: un bilancio provvisorio”).

A connection with Northern Italy, and more specifically Liguria, is also suggested by the escutcheon in the bas-de-page and the depiction of a peacock in the border of the first page of the Breviary (fol. 8r), respectively identifiable as the arms and the emblem of the Cybos, a patrician family of Genoa. The nature of the text (a breviary for members of regular and secular clergy) and the cross above the shield, indicates an ecclesiastic of high status as the original owner. Two members of the Cybo family were created bishops and cardinals in the second half of the fifteenth century: Cardinal Giovanni Battista Cybo (1432-1492) bishop of Savona (1466-1472) and Molfetta (1472-1484), and his young cousin Cardinal Lorenzo Cybo de Mari (1450/1-1503), archbishop of Benevento (1485-1503). As the cross above the arms shows the single horizontal limb of an episcopal cross, rather than the double traverse of the archiepiscopal one, the owner was Giovanni Battista Cybo before his election to the papacy as Pope Innocent VIII on 29 August 1484.

In November 1466 Giovanni Battista was made bishop of Savona, a town to the west of Genoa in the region of Liguria in Northern Italy; at the time under the government of the Duke of Milan, Galeazzo Maria Sforza. These political circumstances favoured the arrival in Liguria of artists from Lombardy who imported new models and a more sophisticated artistic style to provincial Liguria. It is therefore conceivable that the two texts, the Temporal Breviary and the Liturgical Psalter, were brought together, decorated and assembled in a single volume in Liguria (Savona or Genoa) as a gift to Cybo as Bishop of Savona. Through the depiction of Cybo’s peacock and of the partridge and white rabbits in the margins of the opening of the Temporal Breviary, the decoration of the book seems to bestow upon the bishop a life of splendour, wisdom and knowledge, purity and truth, resurrection and ultimately immortality.

This high quality manuscript for Cybo’s private devotion and therefore after his death probably remained in the possession of his family, whereas books belonging to him as pontiff were kept in the papal library (now the Vatican Library). The volume was certainly in use after the pope’s death as an unprofessional hand added two notes relating to the death of Innocent VIII and the election of his successor Alexander Borgia in August 1492 to fol. 272v.  It was possibly passed on to the pope’s cousin Cardinal Lorenzo Cybo de Mari, who had the pope’s tomb in the Vatican basilica completed by the leading painter and sculptor Antonio del Pollaiuolo in 1498 and his body buried in the bronze monument on January 1498. It is worth noting that the pope’s arms on the tomb are identical to those found in this book [see A. Wright, The Pollaiuolo brothers: the arts of Florence and Rome, New Haven, 2005, chapter XIII].

As the book is not listed in the inventory of the books bequeathed by Cardinal Lorenzo to the Cathedral of Benevento (see A. Zaro, “L’Inventario dei libri antichi della Biblioteca Capitolare di Benevento”, Samnium, viii (1935), pp. 5-25, in particular pp. 23-5), it is probable that it was passed on as a prized possession to other members of the Cybo family, including Cardinal Innocenzo Cybo (1491-1550), the grandson of Innocent VIII, appointed as cardinal by his uncle Leo X in 1513, and Cardinals Alderano (1613-1700) and Camillo (1681-1743).

K4

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