Saturday 30 January 2016

A Dismembered Prayerbook from the Collection of Henry Yates Thompson

Christie's recently held its first "Online Only" auction of medieval manuscript leaves and cuttings. I visited them while they were cataloguing for the sale, and was able to tell them that this fine miniature is by the Master of Jacques de Luxembourg:
Christie's [Source]
and that two other leaves from the same manuscript are in the Jean Miles Blackburn Collection at the Cleveland Museum of Art:

Saturday 23 January 2016

Donato and Ercole de Silva

When cataloguing the pre-1500 manuscripts of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia recently, I needed to identify the owner of an Italian ink-stamp, in a copy of Macer, De virtutibus herbarum, in the form of a seal with the legend "COMES DONATUS SILUA":
and so I was pleased to discover that two of the standard reference books are available online:

Wednesday 20 January 2016

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

In a previous post (also discussed here) I proposed that a leaf I had seen and photographed in the 1990s from a lavishly olluminated 13th-century Psalter-Hours was doubtless made for a nun, because it has a collect mentioning 'our abbess'.

I have just re-discovered this leaf in Friedrich Georg Zeileis, "Più ridon le carte": Buchmalerei aus Mittelalter und Renaissance: Katalog einer Privatsammlung von illuminierten Einzelblättern, 3. rev. Nachdruck der Aufl. von 2004 (Rauris, 2009), no.145:

Sunday 17 January 2016

The da Vinci Codex?

In 1998 Christie's New York sold a portrait of a young woman, attributed to "German School, early 19th century", for less than $22,000.

It has since been re-christened "La Bella Principessa", attributed to Leonardo da Vinci, and valued at £150,000,000. (By some people).

Every few years the portrait makes headlines, for example in 2010, when a book about it was published, and most recently a month ago, when renowned forger Shaun Greenhalgh claimed to have based the portrait on a check-out girl in his local supermarket in the 1970s.

Saturday 9 January 2016

More on the 12th-Century Cistercian Missal Formerly Owned by Otto Ege

In a previous post I wrote about a 12-century Cistercian Missal whose leaves were dispersed by Otto Ege, in which I brought attention to a description of the book published in 1928, before it was dismembered. It was previously only known from a shorter 1948 description.

Saturday 2 January 2016

A Italian Cistercian Breviary, in Newark, NJ

While in New York recently, I not only crossed the East River to go to Brooklyn, but also crossed the Hudson to go to Newark, New Jersey, because I had been in touch with Nadine Sergejeff at the Public Library, and she had kindly agreed to show me their medieval manuscripts. The one I was most interested to see is a Breviary, briefly described by Bond & Faye as being Cistercian, and perhaps from Lombardy: