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Details & Cataloguing

A Private View: Property from the Country Home of Christopher Cone and Stanley J. Seeger

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Franconia or Alsace
DRAGON INITIAL FROM A NOTED MISSAL, IN LATIN
cutting, c.130 by 105mm, vellum, the main upright of the initial 'A' formed of a dragon, with another on the cross-bar, the reverse with parts of 12 lines of text in two sizes of script, the smaller script with neumes above each word, trimmed to shape, with small pigment losses but generally in good condition, the edges of the reverse with strips cut from a printed book or newspaper

 


mid-13th century
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Provenance

(1) Unidentified 19th-century German collection (traces of German print on the reverse). (2) John Ruskin (1819–1900) (see J.S. Dearden, The Library of John Ruskin, 2012, p.180 no.1388), presented by him, together with two other initials from the same manuscript, to his close friend (known to him as ‘Lollie’), (3) Laurence Jermyn Hilliard (1855–87), painter and Ruskin’s secretary; by descent to (4) M.E. Hilliard; sold in our rooms, 16 May 1955, lot 74 (‘Flemish, 13th century’), bought for £28 by (5) Heinrich Eisemann, book dealer, who sold it to (6) Eric Korner (1893–1980), his no.6; by descent to (7) his heirs and sold in our rooms, 19 June 1990, lot 4 (with col.pl.).

Catalogue Note

TEXT AND ILLUMINATION

The style of illumination is extremely close to a series of other initials sold in our rooms: 16 May 1955, lots 74, 76 (bought by Alan Thomas); 18 June 1991, lot 5; 5 December 2000, lot 8 (now Strasbourg, Bibliothèque nationale et universitaire); and 5 December 2017, lot 16 (col.ill.). Their origin is uncertain, but Alsace, Franconia, and Würzburg have been suggested.

The text and music on the reverse consists of parts of the Offertory, Secret, and Communion for the first Sunday in Advent: the large illuminated initial ‘A’ was therefore the first major initial in the parent volume: ‘Ad te levavi animam meam …’.

A Private View: Property from the Country Home of Christopher Cone and Stanley J. Seeger

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London