Genealogical Chronicle Roll, in Latin, decorated manuscript on vellum [London or Westminster, 1461-66]
5,000 - 7,000 GBP
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10 double-folded leaves (ie. a single-sided roll of 4 membranes folded concertina-style and bound as a book: 4304mm. by 340mm.), wanting two leaves or so at the beginning (and missing leaves since at least the eighteenth century when the inscription "Solomon to Saxon kings" was added on the verso), 2 or 3 columns of text in dark brown ink, numerous small initials in blue with red penwork tracery, names in double-penline circles in red or single-penline on coloured grounds, lines of descent and diagrams in red and green, on verso: nineteenth-century paper ticket '63', price £2/2sh/0d in pencil and bookplate of the anthropologist Professor Pablo Martinez del Rio, some rodent damage to upper-right corner of first leaf, minor stains throughout and discolouration to last three leaves, else good condition
This roll is part of the 'Considerans' group of genealogical chronicles, which were produced for propagandistic purposes in connection with the court of King Edward IV (reigned 1461-83, temporarily deposed in 1470-71), presumably as gifts for his supporters or potential supporters. It aims to demonstrate the supremacy of Edward's right to rule over that of his bitter rival Henry VI (whose line went back only to the Anglo-Saxon kings), by tracing Edward's descent from Adam through the figures of the Old Testament, the kings of 'Babilon' including Cyrus the Great and Xerxes, the Macedonian kings beginning with Alexander the Great, to King Arthur of Britain, the Anglo-Saxon rulers and William the Conqueror. As this copy contains no line of descent below Edward IV to any of his numerous children, it can be dated before 1466. Only one other copy of this work is recorded of this early date (British Library, Lansdowne 456, now cut and rebound as a codex; see K.L.Scott, Later Gothic Manuscripts, 1996, no.116 for a survey of the surviving copies).