Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.

98

Bilingual Psalter in Coptic and Arabic , decorated manuscript on paper...

Sold for £7500

Est: £2000–3000

Bilingual Psalter in Coptic and Arabic , decorated manuscript on paper [Coptic Egypt, dated 1564]

264 leaves (plus one paper endleaf at front, and 2 at back), apparently complete, single column of 19 lines in a late medieval Coptic bookhand with Arabic in Naskh script (the Arabic sometimes in column-wide blocks, but most often in thin columns parallel to the Coptic text), red rubrics, capitals in red or red edged with black pen, a few large initials in iridescent yellow, major texts opening with headbands of geometric penwork touched in dark faded red, numerous stylised yellow birds opening significant text sections, some water damage, spots and stains, with later paper repairs to edge of first leaf, 211 by 150mm.; binding of red pasteboards with leather spine and corners, with scuffs and lower board water damaged at edge with one corner warped

This volume bears witness to the state of the Copts in the sixteenth century, when like the Samaritans and Christian minorities in the East they become integrated with and greatly reliant on Arabic book culture. Thus, in this book, with its distinctively Coptic decoration, the scribe has furnished the reader with a parallel translation into Arabic, and given an Arabic colophon on the last leaf noting that the work was finished on the 26th day of ‘Bashans’ (the ninth month of the Coptic Calendar) in 1564.

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
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Day of Sale from 9.30am

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