Wednesday 31 December 2014

A Cryptic Circular Colophon

I don't use Twitter, but browsing the site recently I came across a tweet from Jesse D. Hurlbut, asking if anyone could solve this colophon:

The text in the middle circle reads:
¶ Les
lettres de ci environ
¶ Si font le non & le surnon
¶ Qui bien les saroit a droit
metre ¶ Et curieux de l'entre
metre ¶ De celui qui cest livre
fist ¶ Et du clerc qui son songe
escripst ¶ Qui la prophecie a
moustre ¶ U cercle des-
sus est nomme ¶ Qui
le livre a fait &

Saturday 27 December 2014

de Ricci On Cutting Up Manuscripts

Much attention has been given in recent years to the activities of Otto Ege and his defence of book-breaking in his article "I am a Biblioclast", and the whole subject was covered in some detail by Christopher de Hamel in his Cutting Up Manuscripts for Pleasure and Profit (Charlottesville, 1993).

But one surprising defender of the practice has, as far as I am aware, been overlooked in these discussions: Seymour de Ricci (1881–1942), probably best known for his Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (1935–37). In addition to this vast union catalogue, de Ricci also catalogued a few private collections, such as the books and manuscripts of the first Lord Amherst of Hackney (1835–1909) in 1906, and in 1913 an exhibition catalogue of miniatures belonging to the Parisian art historian and dealer Léonce Rosenberg (1879–1947):

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Pietro Ursuleo of Capua: A New Attribution

In a previous post about the Psalter and Passion Sequences written by Pietro Ursuleo, I used images of a Psalter in Baltimore (Walters Art Museum, MS W.330) to suggest what two features of the missing leaves might look like.

What I did not mention is that the Baltimore manuscript appears to me also to have been written by Ursuleo, an observation that has apparently not previously been made.[1]
Baltimore, Walters MS W.330

Saturday 20 December 2014

"BRAUNSCHWEIG", The Ashburnham Price-Code

One price-code missing from the excellent The Price-Codes of the Book-Trade: A Preliminary Guide, by "Exhumation" [i.e. Ian Jackson] (Berkeley, 2010),
and thus apparently unrecorded, is that of the man who, besides Sir Thomas Phillipps, formed the largest and most important private collection of medieval manuscripts in 19th-century England, namely, Bertram, 4th Earl of Ashburnham (1797–1878).

Wednesday 17 December 2014

More About the Bible of Louis de Harcourt, Vol.II

I recently visited Houghton Library at Harvard and was able to see MS Typ 239, discussed in a previous post. I am now able to show colour images of features which I could previously only show in black and white, or not at all. First, here is the ownership inscription of Louis de Harcourt:
Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Houghton Library,
Harvard University, MS. Typ 239, fol. 335v

Saturday 13 December 2014

The Vassar Leo X Cuttings (Part III): The Parent Volume

Having demonstrated in a previous post that the Vassar (and related) cuttings come from a manuscript closely related to the Preparatio ad missam manuscript of Pope Leo X, now at the Morgan Library, we can now consider what else can be deduced about the appearance of the volume from which the cuttings came.

Part of the evidence comes from the text visible on the backs of the cuttings:

Saturday 6 December 2014

A 13th-Century Bible From Beauvais at Smith College

On a recent visit to Smith College, Massachusetts, I saw a 13th-century Bible (MS 241) with unusual clues to its provenance.