Saturday, 15 September 2018

The Brummer Gallery Archive I: An Antiphonary from Regensburg

[Source]
I have very recently become aware of the archive of the Brummer Gallery [Wikipedia], New York, now held by the Metropolitan Museum. Medieval manuscripts were a very small part of their business, but some of them are of great interest; I anticipate doing at least three blog posts.

A nice example is on the page above, from the Gallery's scrapbook of sold items. Under the heading "Miscellaneous - Leather" it includes five small photos of bookbindings, and three of the insides of the respective books.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Leaves from a 14th-Century Picard(?) Book of Hours

[Source]
This historiated initial is on a leaf now at The Met in New York. It comes from a manuscript several of whose leaves have appeared in dealer and auction catalogues from about 1930 to 2001.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Au Vélin d'or [II]

The other item in the 1929 catalogue that caught my eye is this:
Described as St Peter holding a key, in red green and yellow, on a leaf 26×23cm:

Saturday, 25 August 2018

Au Vélin d'or [I]


I want to check an ambiguous reference to some items bought from "Barroux" in 1929 or 1930, perhaps from a catalogue no. 24. After some effort I determined that this probably refers to Robert Barroux, whose Paris bookselling firm was called "Au Vélin d'or". But copies of the catalogues are apparently very rare, to judge by records on Worldcat.

A copy of Catalogue 23, from 1929, is at the IRHT in Paris, and Hanno Wijsman kindly made a scan of it for me; the front cover is shown above. It turns out that the items I am looking for are not in this catalogue, but I recognise two other items that are included, on which I will do two short blog posts.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

The Goodspeed Bible (II)


The recently-published catalogue of the Rouse manuscripts at UCLA lists the five portions of the Goodspeed Bible that I had identified by 2010, and also refers to the Psalms section, which I did not mention in my original blog post because I did not at that time know where it was.

Bill Stoneman had alerted me and the Rouses to its existence; it is known to have belonged to Philip Hofer, because he refers to it on a flyleaf of his Esdras III portion of the Bible:
"P. H[ofer] personally owns the Book of Psalms M.S (section) from this same large Bible MS."
As the whereabouts of the Psalms section was neither mentioned in the catalogue description nor in any of the bibliography of the Esdras section, I assumed that Hofer had sold the Psalms section (as he did with many other manuscripts) at some point before his death.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Mapping MMBL


Many readers will know of Neil Ker's invaluable Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries (5 vols, 1969-2002), often abbreviated to "MMBL", which, in about 3000 pages, aimed to provide catalogue descriptions for all uncatalogued medieval manuscripts in British institutional libraries, i.e. those
  • in Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales, but not Ireland)
  • not in private collections (e.g. Holkham Hall, Arundel Castle, etc.)
  • not already catalogued (e.g. at the BL, Bodleian, and Oxbridge colleges, although many of these institutions are included because, for example, several Oxbridge colleges have acquired manuscripts since the publication of their M.R. James or H.O. Coxe catalogues)

Sunday, 29 July 2018

The Use of the Word "Fragments"


The purpose of language is to convey a concept from the writer or speaker to the reader or listener. The more precise the terminology used, the more accurately concepts will be conveyed.

Thus, if you want to convey to your reader/listener the concept of a poodle, it is better to use the word "poodle" than "dog", "quadruped", or "animal", which -- although they are not wrong -- are increasingly less precise than "poodle", and therefore convey diminishing amounts of useful information.