Sunday 27 June 2021

The St Albans Bible [II]

A number of end-of-month deadlines mean that I again fail to write blog this weekend, but I have added a list of leaves to my Membra disiecta pages, here.

Here is a leaf of the Bible displayed in St Albans Abbey:

The historiated initial was excised, and has been replaced in modern times by a local artist:

And here is a second leaf at the Abbey, in which the hole from an excised initial has been patched with a piece of another leaf from the Bible:

Sunday 20 June 2021

The St Albans Bible

The so-called St Albans Bible (shown above) was made in Paris in the 1320s or 1330s. The earliest certain record of its existence is when it was sold as “The Property of a Lady” at Sotheby’s, 6 July 1964, lot 239, when it consisted of 526 leaves in a 16th century vellum binding. It was bought at the sale by Philip Duschnes for £1,500, and he was selling it as single leaves by the following year.

Although it was a very substantial volume, it was far from complete, "wanting the first two leaves of the prologue and the first leaf of each of the four gospels", with "initials or decorations cut from about thirty leaves". Some leaves simply have holes where the initials were cut out, and others have the holes patched with pieces of text or border decoration from other leaves:

Sunday 13 June 2021

Email notifications for this site

There is no new blogpost this weekend, because "Feedburner", the system used by this site to send email notifications of new posts, is being discontinued, and so I have had to spend some time setting up an alternative service, using "".

I think that I have successfully moved the email adddresses of all subscribers to the new system, but it is possible that there will be glitches. If you are seeing this message after Sunday 13 June 2021, and have not had the email or RSS notification that you were previously used to receiving, please let me know (, and I will investigate.

Hopefully I'll be back with a normal blogpost next weekend ...

Saturday 5 June 2021

A New Leaf from the Pontigny Copy of Florus & Didymus

McCarthy Collection, BM1115, verso

After many publication delays, vol. III of the catalgoue of the McCarthy collection of manuscripts appeared a few weeks ago [1]. One item that proved to be have a particualrly interesting provenance, from its origin to the late late 20th century, is a leaf from a 12th-century copy of Florus of Lyon's Commentary on the Pauline Epistles and Didymus the Blind's On the Holy Spirit

A leaf that was previously unknown to me has resurfaced in the most recent catalogue of Phillip Pirages [], so now seemed to be a good moment to set out what I found out for the McCarthy catalogue entry, and add another membra disiecta page to this site.