Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.

29

Bifolium from Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda Aurea , in Latin

Sold for £1400

Est: £1200–1800

Bifolium from Jacobus de Voragine, Legenda Aurea , in Latin, manuscript on parchment, reused as a binding on Laurentii Vallae Opera, Henricus Petrum, Basel, 1543 [probably Switzerland, second half of the thirteenth century]

Bifolium, each leaf with double column of 37 lines of a good early gothic bookhand (with parts of the life of SS. Barnabus the Apostle and for the Ascension), with pronounced lateral compression, pronounced fishtailing, many ascenders formed of zigzagging penstrokes, and a capital ‘S’ whose tail curls back under itself to form a third loop, capitals touched in red, paragraph marks in red or pale pastel blue, short rubrics in red, some tiny interlinear corrections, “evangeli” spelt with a ‘w’ in place of ‘v’, losses to innermost columns of both leaves as these wrapped around the spine and scuffed and discoloured, but text on main boards quite legible, paper adhered to inside of leaf at back of codex, that peeled away in part from inside of front board, some stains and spots, else in good condition, in total 350 by 485 mm.

The Legenda Aurea is one of the most important works of the Middle Ages. It was compiled c .1260 by the Dominican preacher and archbishop of Genoa, Jacobus de Voragine, and brings together numerous saints’ lives, etymologies of their names and episodes from the lives of Christ and the Virgin, all ordered according to the liturgical calendar. It was probably directly promoted by the Church and nearly 1000 manuscripts survive (B. Fleith in Legenda Aurea: Sept Si├Ęcles de Diffusion , 1986, pp.19-24). Incidentally, it has been suggested that this text inadvertently fuelled the Protestant Reformation, providing sceptics of the cult of saints with much material. The present manuscript is an exceptionally early witness to the text, perhaps written within a decade or so of the composition of the text.

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures

Wednesday 06 December 2017, 2.00pm

Bloomsbury London
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street
London
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