Saturday 28 March 2015

Arthur Feldman Cuttings Awaiting Restitution

In a previous post I described the restitution of a charter to Germany, from where it had gone missing during the War. Its safe return is recounted on the blog of the Westfalen-Lippe archives. 

I show above and below images of two other items in the LostArt database, both from the collection of Arthur Feldman. According to an old Sotheby's press release (PDF here):

Saturday 21 March 2015

The Brölemann Catalogues

Manuscripts collected by Henry-Auguste Brölemann between 1824 and his death in 1854, which descended to his grandson Arthur Brölemann, and were eventually sold by his great-granddaughter, Mme. Etienne Mallet in 1926, are scattered around the world.
They are easily recognised by Arthur's bookplate, and a blue-edged octagonal label in the lower left corner of the front pastedown, apparently applied by Henry-Auguste, of at least four similar but slightly different designs:

Wednesday 18 March 2015

The Helmingham Hall Manuscripts

Helmingham Hall, Suffolk
I have recently had reason to examine some manuscripts from the Tollemache family collection at Helmingham Hall and, as I mentioned in the previous post, have just finished reading Janet Ing Freeman's The Postmaster of Ipswich: William Stevenson Fitch, Antiquary and Thief (London, 1997), an account of the way in which many manuscripts were stolen from the collection in the 19th century.

This has prompted me to post about how those that survived Fitch's depredations can be recognised.

Sunday 15 March 2015

The Price-Code "CUMBERLAND"

This week I gave a presentation about "Price-Codes and Provenance" at a conference in London; one of my slides is above. I have posted before about how price-codes work.

Saturday 14 March 2015

The Bauffrement Roman de la Rose

Last year I studied a Roman de la Rose manuscript in a private collection, whose opening miniature is shown above, which can be dated about 1310–20. The binding and endleaves provide provide much of interest to the provenance-hunter, including the gilt stamp of Hudson Gurney:

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Ege & Duschnes Matts/Mounts

In at least one previous post I have mentioned that distinctive card mounts ("matts" in American English) are an easy way to recognise leaves sold by Otto Ege. I have also discussed the close business relationship with Philip Duschnes.

But I had forgotten until recently that Duschnes sometimes put leaves in mounts very similar to Ege's, as these examples demonstrate:

Monday 9 March 2015

1902 Forrer Catalogue now available online

It seems that Google scanned Robert Forrer's Unedierte Federzeichnungen Miniaturen und Initialen des Mittelalters (Strassburg, 1902) at the end of December 2014. Even though it appears not to be available in the UK through Google (except as snippet views) it is available through

Saturday 7 March 2015

"A Thousand Years of French Books" (1948)

I recently had a question from a MSS curator friend: Exactly when and where did the 1948 exhibition called "A Thousand Years of French Books" take place?

Thursday 5 March 2015

A Lavishly Illuminated 13th-Century Psalter-Hours Made for a Nun

There is a 13th-century Psalter from which leaves appear on the market with some frequency.[1] It is easily recognisable by several unusual features. For example, throughout the text there are unusually large initials (4 lines in height) most of which are historiated:

Tuesday 3 March 2015

The Hangest Beauvais Missal in the 15th Century (III)

Having dealt in the previous post with the inventories drawn up at Beauvais in the 15th century, we can look now at a couple of points raised by them.

If the Hangest Missal is indeed part of the four-volume set described in the inventory, the verba probatoria of the second leaf after the calendar, "angelus domini", ought to belong to the first Sunday after Easter, and indeed these words do occur there, as an Offertory, as seen, for example, in this Paris Missal of c.1300:
BnF, ms. lat. 8885, fol.236r [Source]