Last week I suggested that an illuminated Apocalypse in French, previously known to have been sold in the Westerloo sale in 1734, can also be identified in the auction catalogue of the Prince de Rubempré in 1766.
In today's short post I'll show that at least one more manuscript in that sale can be recognised in the same 1766 sale
When looking through old auction cataloguing it can be frustrating to see a series of descriptions like these:
|Rubempré catalogue, 1766|
There is little hope of ever being able to identify manuscripts described so summarily, and with so little to distinguish one from another in the catalogue, and from the thousands of extant Books of Hours to which each of these descriptions could apply.
But owners of manuscripts (especially booksellers) often make a note on a flyleaf if a manuscript has a colophon providing a date or name, and such notes are often used by later auction cataloguers. Cataloguers typically include the date of each edition, of course, even in very summary descriptions of printed books.
It also tends to be the case that cataloguers will give the most valuable books the most detailed descriptions, and these are inherently the ones that someone is most likely to be able to recognise today.
There is a perfect example in the 1766 Rubempré catalogue:
"Biblia Sacra en quatre grands volumes. in-fol.MSS. sur velin en beau Caractere, quelques minia-tures & lettres dorés, on trouve sur la couverture dupremier volume la Quittance de l'Ecrivain de cetteBible, nommé Geraldt Brilis, qui l'a achevé 15.Mai 1457"
|[click to enlarge]|
Ker suggests that the Bible was still in use in the 17th century, because it contains a correction in a hand probably of that century. The date of the sale proves, however, as Dominique Vanwijnsberghe pointed out to me, that the Bible left the Charterhouse well before its dissolution in 1783.