Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.

6

Bifolium from a treatise on virtues and vices

Sold for £2000

Est: £2000–3000

Bifolium from a treatise on virtues and vices, this on pride with numerous animal stories drawn from the bestiary and Classical traditions , in Latin, decorated manuscript on parchment [Italy, mid-fourteenth century]


2 leaves (conjoined), each with double column of 46 lines in a rounded Italian gothic bookhand (written space: 180 by 115mm.), capitals touched in red, some quotations underlined in red, red rubrics, paragraph marks in alternate red or blue, initials in same and with contrasting penwork, citations of authorities in main hand in margin, one contemporary ‘c’ in upper margin of first leaf, early twentieth-century pencil foliation ‘2’ and ‘9’ in upper corners, small spots, else in excellent condition, 245mm. by 179mm.


From the collection of Bernhard Bischoff (1906-1991), and thence to Bernard Rosenthal, purchased after Bischoff’s death, thereafter Quaritch and then the Schøyen collection, their MS. 1823; sold immediately after their sale in Sotheby’s, 10 July 2012, part of lot 27.

This text on pride was clearly put together by an author with a firm grounding in the Classical heritage available in the fourteenth century as well as medieval Christian teachings. It draws on Cicero (here under his medieval name “Tulius”) and Seneca, as well as numerous Biblical sources, and has sections discussing the death of the poet Aeschylus (in which an eagle dropped a tortoise on his head; but note here the author is slightly confused and names him Achilles). Bestiary stories lend themsleves particularly well to his task, and here we find moral stories on the eagle, basilisk, peacock, bat, crab, basilisk, mad dogs, bear and the toad. Another bifolium (with the twentieth-century foliation ‘3’ and ‘8’) is recorded in a private collection, and contains further animal stories.

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures

Wednesday 06 December 2017, 2.00pm

Bloomsbury London
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street
London
W1S 1PP

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