Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

Back to Catalogue
Currency

Lot no.

12

Cutting from a leaf of the Pasionario hispánico

Sold for £4500

Est: £5000–7000

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.

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures

Wednesday 06 December 2017, 2.00pm

Bloomsbury London
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street
London
W1S 1PP

Viewing

Saturday 2 December
11am - 4pm
Sunday 3 December
11am - 4pm
Monday 4 December
9.30am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 5 December
9.30am - 5.30pm
Day of Sale from 9.30am

Important Information

This website includes general reports of the condition of the property for various lots in this Sale. The absence of any condition or condition report does not mean, or imply, that the lot is free from any damage or restoration. If you require a condition report, please click on the Enquire about this lot button on the lot details page. We are not professional restorers and do not undertake conservation, and we strongly recommend that you consult such a professional of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed report. Whilst we undertake every reasonable effort to provide a comprehensive representation of every item, prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition. Any statement, whether written or verbal made by The Fine Art Auction Group (trading as Dreweatts, Dreweatts 1759 and Bloomsbury Auctions), its staff and agents, is a subjective, qualified opinion and is only provided on this basis. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE AND ANY REPORT OR VERBAL OBSERVATION IS ONLY PROVIDED ON THIS BASIS.

Artist's Resale Rights (“Droit de Suite”)

Lots marked with a delta symbol (δ) are subject to the Artist's Resale Right Law.The buyer agrees to pay Bloomsbury Auctions an amount equal to the resale royalty and we will pay such amount to the artist's collecting agent. Resale royalty applies where the Hammer price is 1,000 Euros or more and the amount cannot be more than 12,500 Euros per lot. The amount is calculated as follows:

Royalty For the portion of the Hammer Price (in Euros)
4.00% up to 50,000
3.00% between 50,000.01 and 200,000
1.00% between 200,000.01 and 350,000
0.50% between 350,000.01 and 500,000
0.25% in excess of 500,000

Invoices will, as usual, be issued in Pounds Sterling. For the purposes of calculating the resale royalty the Pounds Sterling/ Euro rate of exchange will be the European Central Bank reference rate on the day of the sale.