Saturday, 28 May 2016

A Painter from Avignon in 1436

Last week Christie's had an auction the medieval manuscripts of Maurice Burrus (1882-1959), several of which have interesting provenances.

Lot 2, for example, was an attractive 12th-century Gospel Book from Montmajour, just outside Arles, south of Avignon:

Saturday, 21 May 2016

(Not) A New Lewis Caerleon Manuscript

Some months ago, as part of the work I am doing for Corpus Christi College, Oxford, I looked at their MS 234, a handsome English 15th-century copy of Euclid's Elements. Among its especially pleasing features are its original binding, precisely-drawn geometrical figures, and one illuminated page:

Monday, 16 May 2016

An Addendum to "Adalbert Freiherr von Lanna (1836-1909) of Prague"

The previous post was inspired by a leaf that was sold as lot 384 in the Lanna auction at Stuttgart in 1910. Anne Korteweg has kindly contacted me to let me know that lot 385 in the same sale -- apparently from the same manuscript -- is now at the Rijksprentenkabinet at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam:
RP-T-1948-381 [Source]

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Adalbert Freiherr von Lanna (1836-1909) of Prague

On a recent visit to Sotheby's I was shown a lovely leaf from a Book of Hours, with a small miniature depicting St Margaret, and a border with a cherub and centaur:

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Manuscripts from St-Jacques, Liège [Part II]

St-Jacques, Liège, c.1735 [Source]
Online searches locate several fully or partially digitised manuscripts from St-Jacques, including Harvard, Houghton Library, MS Riant 35 (description here; digitisation here), which has an ownership inscription and title on the front flyleaf:
"Liber monasterij s(an)c(t)i Jacobi leodie(n)s(is)"
Harvard, Houghton Library, MS Riant 35, f. i verso [Source]
and shelfmarks "G.91" and "E.30", comparable to those in the Peter Lombard manuscript (discussed in the previous post), on the first page of text:
It also has a note at the back, recording that it was bought in 1426:
"Liber m(ona)sterij s(an)c(t)i Jacobi in i(n)sula leodien(sis)
que(m) acquisivit e[?] p(ri)or de (commun)i bursa ecc(les)ie
in a(n)no d(omi)ni M° cccc xxvj° p(ro) tribus griffonib(us)"

Harvard, Houghton Library, MS Riant 35, f.124r [Source]

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Manuscripts from St-Jacques, Liège [Part I]

At the recent TEFAF art fair at Maastricht, one of the items that piqued my curiosity was a very handsome copy of Peter Lombard on the Psalms, offered by Dr Jörn Günther Rare Books. It has an impressive provenance from the early 19th century onwards, but it also had some unsolved clues to its earlier history.

In particular, there are shelfmarks in the upper right corner, and an inscription in the lower margin of the first page: