Saturday, 1 August 2020

The Illuminations of John Malcolm (1805–1893), of Poltalloch

As discussed in a previous post, the British Library has the small but important collection of illuminated cuttings and leaves formed by John Malcolm, of Poltalloch, depicted above.

I have begun to prepare a detailed list of the provenances of the items in the collection, but I begin today with some general background.

Saturday, 25 July 2020

Master BF and the Holford Collection

In January this year, Birmingham city Art Museum put images of its illuminated cuttings and leaves online. They provide material for at least two blogposts close to my interests.

As every follower of this blog knows by now: the first auction dedicated solely to illuminated manuscript cuttings was the Celotti sale at Christie's, 26 May 1825; the catalogue was written by William Young Ottley (1771-1836), who bought extensively at the sale; and Ottley's own collection was sold about a decade later 1838.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Another Leaf of the Missal of Johannes von Giltingen (Augsburg, c. 1485)

OK, despite what I wrote earlier today, here's a very brief post, lacking in detail.

The Missal of Johannes von Giltingen has been published a few times in the past few decades, most recently in the Beyond Words exhibition catalogue, in an entry by James Marrow [online here], in which he cites the known leaves, and ends by saying:
"Considering the pace at which decorated and illustrated leaves from the commission have been recognized in recent decades, one hopes that some of these presumed missing leaves will also be located."

"The Bookhunter on Safari" Blog

I don't have time to write a proper blogpost myself this weekend (or next weekend), so instead I will point readers to the "The Bookhunter on Safari" blog.

It is written by Laurence Worms, owner of Ash Rare Books and founder-organiser of the Book Collecting Seminar at Senate House, University of London, which I have attended whenever possible for the past few years.

A particularly provenance-related post is The Most Successful Book-Huntress in the World, with a follow-up: The Real Clara Millard.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

At Home With Robert Forrer in 1937


By chance I recently came across an article about Robert Forrer (who has been mentioned in several previous posts, e.g. here): Jean R. Debrix, ‘Visages d’Alsace: M. Robert Forrer’, La vie en Alsace (1937), pp. 132–36.

This includes seven photographs of the interior of Forrer's home, on the walls of which hang framed manuscript leaves and cuttings, including the one above, and these two:
Looking closely, I recognised an old friend.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

The Holford Album

I ended the previous blogpost [not including its small addendum] by mentioning the Holford Album of illuminated cuttings, which was loaned by George Lindsay Holford (1860-1926) to an exhibition in London, just a year after the death of his father, the collector, Robert Stayner Holford (1808-1892).

In 1927, after George's own death, two well-illustrated catalogues of the collection appeared in print (as detailed in that previous post) but by this time the album had been taken apart, and the cuttings framed.

What do we know about the origin and later history of the album?

Friday, 19 June 2020

Whitehead-Holford-Malcolm: A Small Addendum

In my previous post I suggested that the initials transcribed by a British Library cataloguer as "J. M. W.", that are inscribed on the back of the miniature shown above, should in fact be read as "T. M. W.", the initials of Thomas Miller Whitehead.

I have now found near-certain confirmation that he did indeed own it.