Saturday, 28 December 2019

The Manuscripts of T. O. Weigel, III:
Miniatures at the Met and the Houghton


In a 2016 blogpost I discussed the miniature above, which was given to The Metropolitan Museum in 1939. I showed that it can not only be traced to a 1912 Boerner auction [1], but also so a fixed-price catalogue issued by the same firm the following year. The Met website has since been updated to include this information and these two items of bibliography, and has added the (unsubstantiated) statement that Boerner sold it in 1913.

The scrolls held by the figures in the image make for an easy identification in the 1898 Weigel and 1905 Hiersemann catalogues:
We can thus take the provenance of the miniature back more than thirty years further, at least to 1881, when Weigel died.

Also in 2016, I wrote a couple of posts (here, with a postscript here) about this leaf at Harvard:
The unusual combination of a full-page miniature of The Baptism on the recto, and a full-page Beatus initial on the verso, makes it easy to identify as another of the Weigel leaves:

This allows us to flesh-out its provenance a bit more, as follows:
  • Theodor Oswald Weigel (1812-1881), Leipzig book dealer; included in his posthumous 1898 auction catalogue, but acquired instead by:
  • Karl W. Hiersemann (1854–1928), Leipzig book dealer; offered for sale in 1905 priced 500 Marks, but perhaps still unsold, and traded to:
  • C.G. Boerner, Leipzig book dealer and auctioneer, Auction CX, 28 November 1912, lot 15; presumably unsold, and re-offered in C.G. Boerner, Katalog XXIV (Leipzig [1913]), no. 20, priced 3,600 Marks; presumably unsold and traded to:
  • Gustav Nebehay (1881-1935), Leipzig book dealer; sold anonymously as "The Property of a Gentleman" at Sotheby's, 14-16 June 1926, lot 120; bought for for £80 by:
  • Maggs Bros., London book dealers, perhaps acting on behalf of:
  • Edgar Huidekoper Wells (1875-1938), of Edgar H. Wells & Co., a rare book company in New York, who in turn sold it to:
  • George J. Dyer, of New York; given in 1927 to the Fogg Art Museum (inv. no. 1927.21) and transferred in 1990 to:
  • The Houghton Library, Harvard.

[1] In fact, this information was already published in a footnote to a short acquisition announcement in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 35 no. 4 (April 1940), p. 93, of which I was unaware, but to which Michael Gullick drew my attention later:

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