Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.

30

Half a leaf from a liturgical volume, with remains of a fine white-vine...

Sold for £300

Est: £300–500

Half a leaf from a liturgical volume, with remains of a fine white-vine initial , in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment [Germany, thirteenth or perhaps early fourteenth century]

Half leaf, cut horizontally, with remains of double column of 14 lines in a fine and angular bookhand, capitals touched in red, simple initials and paragraph marks in red or blue, the white-vine initial in penwork picking out the scrolling bands of foliage in blank parchment, these banded together at mid-point with small circles perhaps representing studs, tendrils terminating in stylised acanthus leaves, all on blue, red and pale green grounds, recovered from a binding and with the page with initial darkened and scuffed, thus lower third of initial damaged,, a split down second column running three quarters of height of cutting, overall fair condition, 205 by 335 mm.

The banded white-vine initial had a surprisingly long run in the German book arts, with examples appearing as early as the tenth century, experiencing a boom in the eleventh century (see lot 15 here), and continuing in use long after the decorative style was set aside by French, Italian and English book decorators. Examples can still be found in western Germany in the thirteenth century (see Avril and Rabel, Manuscrits Enluminés d'Origine Germanique , 1996, nos. 129-36). The present example must be among the very last such initials, drawn as part of a continuous medieval tradition, just a century before the form would be rediscovered by the early humanists and popularised anew.

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

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