Saturday, 17 September 2022

The Source of the Idea for the Lomax-Wade Collection?

 A very short post today, as I need to finish preparing my talk for next week's CULTIVATE MSS conference.

Regular readers may remember a series of posts about the "Lomax-Wade" collection of cuttings (here and following weeks): a collection of 120 illuminations (one of which is shown above) mounted on card and bound into a copy of Henry Shaw, Illuminated Ornaments Selected from Manuscripts of the Middle Ages (London, 1833):

"Henry Shaw, Illuminated Ornaments Selected from Manuscripts of the Middle Ages, extra-illustrated with one hundred and twenty cuttings from manuscripts [...]"

Although the book was published in 1833, this copy was in a binding signed by the noted London binder Charles Lewis, dated 1838.

I have recently discovered that in his catalogue for 1834, just a few years before the Lomax-Wade volume was bound, the London bookseller William Pickering offered some Italian illuminated cuttings for sale (doubtless from the Celotti collection, largely dispersed during the previous decade), recommending that they might be bound into a copy of Shaw's book!

"These original specimens would make an admirable addition to a copy of Mr. Shaw's Illuminated Ornaments."

Saturday, 10 September 2022

More Ege Acquisitions from Dawson's Book Shop

Last week we looked at a manuscript sold by Dawson's Book Shop of Los Angeles, and broken up by Otto Ege (or perhaps Philip Duschnes). Today we'll look at a few more.

For the catalogue of French manuscripts in the collection of Bob McCarthy I traced eleven leaves with historiated initials from a Parisian Bible of about the 1330s  (of which a detail is shown above), and about sixteen more without historiated initials:

Saturday, 3 September 2022

Dawson's of Los Angeles and Otto Ege's Aquinas (HL40)

[Photo by Mildred Budney]

One of the better-known and easily recognised ex-Ege manuscripts was a copy of Thomas Aquinas's Commentary on Peter Lombard's Sentences, Book I, of which a leaf is shown above. Leaves from the manuscript are included as no. 40 in Ege's most famous portfolio: Fifty Original Leaves of Medieval Manuscripts, issued by his widow two years after his death in 1951.

Although Philip Duschnes of New York was apparently the first dealer to offer single leaves of the manuscript, it is likely that Ege was responsible for breaking it up: not only did he have enough leaves to include in his 1942(?) portfolio of Original Leaves from Famous Books, Nine Centuries as well as the posthumous Fifty Original Leaves portfolios, but a cache of 32 leaves from his collection was sold by his heirs at Sotheby's in 1985. The finest leaf of the manuscript was retained by the Ege heirs as part of the "Family Album", acquired by the Beinecke Library several years ago; if Duschnes had broken up the volume, he would doubtless have sold this leaf.

I wrote a blogpost about the provenance of the manuscript last year. We know that the volume was still intact in 1925-26 when offered for sale by the bookselling firm of Davis & Orioli, based in Florence and London. It was also still intact when owned by an "Unidentified American bookseller", but was broken by 1941, when Duschnes offered leaves in his Catalogue 48.

Saturday, 27 August 2022

An Unnoticed 1834 Auction Catalogue

Yesterday I discovered an apparently unrecorded catalogue for an auction held at Dulwich, south London, by "Mr Shuttleworth". The front page of the 4-leaf catalogue is shown above; it mentions:

"several very beautiful 'MISSAL DRAWINGS' [...] from the Papal Sacristy [...] by the celebrated Miniaturist, Buonfratelli [...]"

Following the descriptions of lots 38-43 is the note that they:

"were spoils from the Papal Sacristy of the Vatican, at the last entry of the French into Rome, and were brought to England by the Abbate Celotti"

Saturday, 20 August 2022

Manuscripts from the Collection of W. Charles Fewtrell

A couple of years ago (in this post) we looked at some of the illuminated cuttings, since dispersed, from an intersting album, and we later (in this one) identified the owner as W. Charles Fewtrell of Liverpool.

He also owned at least two albums of material relating to medieval manuscripts compiled by John Bradley, the author of important 19th-century works including A Dictionary of Miniaturists, Illuminators, Calligraphers and Copyists, with Reference to Their Works and Notices of Their Patrons ... (3 vols., 1887-89).

Saturday, 13 August 2022

More Leaves from the MdM and AdM Hours

During my recent trip to the US I visited the Memorial Art Gallery of the Univeristy of Rochester (NY), and was able to examine the leaf of the Book of Hours which has the initials MdM and AdM in the borders, about which I wrote in this post

Saturday, 6 August 2022

Initials from the Murano Gradual, Now at Reims

I have just found a clutch of a dozen more foliate minor initials from the Murano Gradual (about which I wrote in March, here) at the Musée Saint-Remi, Reims. It is notable that some of them are cropped right to the edges of the illumination, as in the example above; all twelve are shown below.