Friday 31 December 2010

The MSS of Louis Fidel Debruge Duménil (1788-1848)

The Description des objets d'art qui composent la collection Debruge Dumenil (1847), written by his son-in-law Jules Labarte, is available online.

It includes some interesting manuscript items under the heading of "Calligraphie", including a Breviary of Henri Tomacelli, abbot of Montecassino, dated 1404 (no. 645), which later appeared in the Firmin-Didot auction catalogue, and a so-called Pontifical (actually a Benedictional) destroyed in 1871, begun for John, Duke of Bedford, and finished for Jacques Juvenal des Ursins (no. 646):

and at the end of the section is an illustration of the latter:

on which see Reynolds and J. Stratford, 'Le Manuscrit dit “Le pontifical de Poitiers”’, Revue de l’art, lxxxiv (1989), pp. 61–80.

Thursday 30 December 2010

Firmin-Didot auction catalogue online

The 1882 auction catalogue of the Firmin-Didot collection is available online. The section on manuscripts (nos. 1-45) includes many important manuscripts, including  the Psalter of Bonne of Luxembourg (no. 3), now in The Metropolitan Museum, New York:

Wednesday 29 December 2010

The Duke de Berry's 1413-1416 Inventories

The Duke de Berry's Inventories published by Guiffrey in the late 19th century are now available online.

It is a long time since I have looked at them, but looking again at the 1413-16 inventory (maybe I will look at the 1401-03 one in another post), a few things in particular strike me.

One is that in the descriptions of books of hours, the inventories explicitly provide the secundo folio of the Hours of the Virgin, even if it is not the first text in the volume, rather than what one might have expected: the secundo folio of the volume as a whole, or of the first text after the calendar.

A second is the terminology used in the description of script, here arranged roughly from most frequent to least frequent:
  • "lettre de fourme" (nos. 853, 873, 889, 896, 912, 916, 918, 920, 921, 930, 934, 938, 940, 946-7, 950, 953, 956-7, 966, 969, 971, 976-8, 981-4, 993, 995-6, 998-9, 1000-1, 1003, 1243-4)
    • "grosse lettre de fourme" (nos. 931, 1238, 1245, 1249)
      • "bien grosse lettre de fourme" (no. 974)
    • "menue lettre de fourme" (no. 973, 1241-2)
    • "bonne lettre de fourme" (nos. 992, 1005-6, 1240, 1247-8)
      • "bonne lettre de fourme paraille" (no. 972) 
      • "très bonne lettre de fourme" (nos. 1246)
    • "vieille lettre de fourme" (no. 929)
  • "lettre de court" (nos. 859, 862, 870, 884-6, 888, 890-1, 895, 903, 911, 913, 915, 917, 919, 932-3, 936-7, 939, 942, 948-9, 951-2, 954-5, 959, 964, 967, 970, 985, 1004, 1239)
  • "lettre courante" (no. 922-5, 928, 944, 979-80)
  • "lettre boulonnoise" (nos. 855, 867, 945, 958, 965)
  • "lettre roonde" (no. 926-7, 991)
  • "grosse lettre" (no. 892) 
    • "très gros lettre" (no. 874)
  • "lettre gascoigne" (no. 892) 
  • "lettre françoise" (no. 854)
  • "escrips en espaignol" (no. 909) probably refers to the language, but indirectly provides an impression of the script
A third is that the inventory was often aware of the differing liturgical Uses of the MSS:
  • "a l'usaige des  Prescheurs" (no. 850: The Petites Heures)
  • "a l'usaige des Jacobins" (no. 963: The  Belleville Breviary)
  • "a l'usaige de Paris" (nos. 971, 992, 998, 1001, 1240-1)
And a fourth is that the Très Riches Heures is not the only manuscript described as in quires (unbound):
  • [903] "Item plusieurs quaiers de parchemin, non reliez, escrips de lettre de court, de L'Istoire de Troye"
  • [904] "Item plusieurs quaiers de parchemin, non reliez, de la Vie et translacion de saint Gildas et du Saint calice de la cène"

Saturday 18 December 2010

Two more MSS from the Bibliotheca Swaniana

Two manuscripts from the late 18th-century English "Bibliotheca Swaniana" of David Swan are in the Douce collection at the Bodleian:
(i) MS. Douce 89 (Theological pieces, England, early 13th century; see SC 21663)
(ii) MS. Douce 125 (Ps.-Boethius, De Geometria, England, late 10th century; see SC 21699). Swan's characteristic ink pagination is visible, for example, in this image:

Friday 17 December 2010

Index Possessorum Incunabulorum

Some years ago Paul Needham kindly gave me a copy of his Index Possessorum Incunabulorum (IPI) on CD, but is has now been made available online through the CERL website
"IPI contains some 32,000 entries of personal names, institutional names, monograms, and arms pertaining to the ownership of incunabula. They were extracted by Paul Needham from some 200 published catalogues of incunabula with provenance information, augmented with information from his personal research, and placed in a word file of some 1,267 pages or 500,565 words. Of course most of these entries are of relevance to provenance research on manuscripts and later printed books as well, as these characters owned and collected books of many periods, not just incunabula."

Thursday 16 December 2010

Bodleian, MS. Auct. D. 4. 6

Bodleian, MS. Auct. D. 4. 6 is a 12th-century English Glossed Psalter, well known for its initial apparently naming the scribe/artist and patron: "Ioh(ann)es me fecit Rogerio".

Wednesday 15 December 2010

A dismembered 14th-century Bible

Looking at the new Catalogue 60 from Phil Pirages I note on the front and back covers two more leaves from a fine 14th-century Bible from Perugia(?) that was apparently dispersed by Goodspeed's bookshop, Boston, c.1935.

Tuesday 14 December 2010

Exeter Psalters

Bodleian, MS. Lyell empt. 4 is an early 14th-century English Psalter owned in the 16th century by Richard Bardney, abbot of Crowland.

See here for three images of pages with historiated initials (click the images to enlarge them).

de la Mare (Catalogue pp. 284-5) says nothing about the calendar except that it has the pre-1319 date (15 Sept.) for the Sarum Feast of Relics and the obit of Abbot Bardney.

The calendar is not pure Sarum, however: it contains Kieran (5 March) and Petroc (4 June), both of whom were venerated at Exeter. (I am grateful to Oliver Padel for steering me in the right direction).

Monday 13 December 2010

A Walsingham MS

While at the Chester Beatty Library I also had the opportunity to look at the so-called Walsingham Bible (Western MS. 22) (on which see Kauffmann, Romanesque Manuscripts, no. 59).
Ker (MLGB, 2nd edn., p. 192) associates it with Augustinian Canons of Walsingham, but with a "?" as the only evidence is a leaf of a Walsingham rental bound in as the first medieval leaf of the volume (fol. 2).

On a back flyleaf, however, is inscribed in a late medieval hand "Domine dominus [noster] qua(m) admirabile est nomen tuum in universa terra [i.e. Psalm 8:2] Henric(us) Burnham" (fol. 135v).

Sunday 12 December 2010

Two 19th-century collectors' marks

I have just spent a day at the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin.

A list of Western MSS still in the library between the auctions in 1932-1933 and 1967-1968 was drawn up in 1961 by Ludwig Bieler, and is available in the reading room as a typescript.

This alerted me to some boxes of cuttings and leaves, of which I was unaware: W. MS. 165. Several items had one or both of a couple of owners' ink-stamps with which I was unfamiliar. Here are the relevant entries from Lugt: