Saturday 25 April 2020

Another Look at the "Strozzi"-Jarman Book of Hours

Winged skeleton holding a scythe

In a previous post about illuminated leaves salvaged from a Book of Hours after the now-famous flood in 1846 that damaged manuscripts in the collection of John Boykett Jarman, I mistakenly conflated two leaves apparently from the same manuscript: one with a full-page miniature of the Crucifixion, and one with a historiated initial of the Crucifixion. I highlighted my error in an addendum, and noted that I would have to re-think and revise that blog-post.

I think I have now found a crucial new piece of evidence that allows the confusion to be sorted out.

I will summarise the "state of the question" and the problem at issue, followed by a possible solution.

Saturday 18 April 2020

A Recently Dismembered Copy of Giordano Ruffo, De Medicina Equorum [I]

I recently found a very interesting blogpost written in 2014 by David Whitesell, of the University of Virginia, describing the acquisition of six leaves of a copy of Giordano Ruffo's treatise about horse-health. It includes this:
"Here is what we know about their provenance. In December 2011, 21 leaves from an imperfect copy of Ruffo’s manuscript were offered at a Sotheby’s auction in London. The leaves went unsold but were bought privately following the auction. This past fall [i.e. in 2013] we learned of the manuscript when an American bookseller’s catalog, in which eight of the leaves were offered, arrived in the mail. We promptly placed an order for all eight leaves, but two had already been sold. The bookseller subsequently reported that he had originally acquired 11 of the 21 leaves, three of which were sold to two different American research libraries, and two to private collectors in the U.S. and Europe, before U.Va. bought the remaining six. Eleven leaves, five new owners on two continents, with ten leaves still unaccounted for."
Most of the "unaccounted for" leaves were identified in the comments below the post, so we know the whereabouts of almost all of them, as follows:

Saturday 11 April 2020

A Collector's Mark Re-Interpreted

J. Paul Getty Museum, MS 38 [Source]
Since learning of the excellent catalogue of the Italian illuminated manuscript leaves and cuttings at the Berlin Kupferstichkabinett, I have been in contact with its author, Beatrice Alai, about various cuttings, collectors, and collections. It is thanks to her that I very recently considered a  puzzle which turns out to have an unexpected and satisfying conclusion.

Saturday 4 April 2020

The Raphael Stora Archive I:
A Missing Leaf of a Regensburg Antiphonary

In a previous post about a dismembered illuminated Antiphonary from Regensburg, I showed that it had been auctioned intact in New York in 1945, and broken up by 1953 when four leaves, the property of the New York dealer Raphael Stora, were exhibited in the 1953-54 exhibition [discussed in this post] in Los Angeles. The detail above is from one of these four leaves.

From the 1945 auction catalogue we know that the manuscript had 20 historiated initials, of which I was able to trace the present whereabouts of most of them (or else photographs) in the non-French volume of the catalogue of the McCarthy Collection. One of the few leaves that eluded me -- and whose whereabouts I still do not know -- was described in the 1945 catalogue as: "Lycia and Saint Agatha, the Virgin martyr":
The strange spelling of "Lycia" appears to be a typo for "Lucia" (especially since "y" and "u" are next to each other on a typewriter keyboard).

This leaf is known to have belonged to the French-born art historian and curator of American collections, Philippe Verdier (1912-1993) [1]: the original sales invoice dated 8 July 1953 survives in the Stora Archive at the Getty Center, and the leaf was apparently still in Verdier's possession shortly before the 1987 Regensburger Buchmalerei exhibition, in the catalogue of which he is thanked [2].