17
17
Gospel book, in Armenian, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Armenia (perhaps Julfa), dated 1656-1658]
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 8,125 GBP
JUMP TO LOT
17
Gospel book, in Armenian, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Armenia (perhaps Julfa), dated 1656-1658]
Estimate
3,0005,000
LOT SOLD. 8,125 GBP
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Western Manuscripts & Miniatures

|
London

Gospel book, in Armenian, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Armenia (perhaps Julfa), dated 1656-1658]
265 leaves (1 blank), 200mm. by 145mm., apparently complete, collation: i10, ii11 (last a singleton), iii- vii12, viii12 (2 innermost bifolia formed of 2 separate leaves joined in gutter), ix-xvii12, xviii13 (last a singleton), xix-xxi12, xxii13 (last a singleton), xxiii2, double column, 21 lines of black ink in bolorgir script, rubrics in red, one-line initials in blue or liquid gold, larger initials in floral designs in liquid gold, pink and green (a few containing human faces, see fols.53r, 210r and 248r), initials often accompanied by elaborate cartouches, birds or other devices (including 171 floral cartouches, 150 birds, two facing lions and a temple), Eusebian canon-tables between trees and architectural columns supporting coloured headbands flanked by portraits of the evangelists in pink brushwork, facing birds and baboons, four full-page miniatures (fols.11v: Matthew; 85v: Mark; 133v: Luke; 208v: John), each with a full-page miniature in purple penwork, areas of drapery and furniture infilled with  colour, all before gold backgrounds, each miniature facing a decorated page with elaborate headband and full-page cartouche in gold and colours, the evangelists’ attributes beginning  a single line of ornamental capitals formed of birds, above two lines of blue and gold capitals, fol.85 once cut away and now loose in volume, some water damage to upper edges with areas of miniatures washed out in places and staining throughout, small areas of vellum fallen away at top of some leaves (cf. fols.68-9 and 237-43) with small losses to text, modern paper endleaves and limp vellum binding, report enclosed (from 1980 on the manuscript by Prof. Julius Assfalg, 1919-2001 of the University of Munich)
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

provenance

The scribes name themselves on fols.130v and 264rv as Azaria of Dschulfa (modern Julfa, Azerbaijan), who dates the completion of his work to 1106 by the Armenian calendar (1656/57 AD.), and on fol.85r as Murat, son of Luke, whose own efforts ended in 1107 (1657/58 AD.). Azaria may be identifiable as the sixteenth- or seventeenth-century poet and author of the same name who wrote on the monastery of Julfa: K.B. Bardakjian, Reference Guide to Modern Armenian Literature, 2000, p.38, or an inmate of the same house who took the name after him.

Catalogue Note

illumination

The use of simple purple penwork to pick out the figures of the evangelists, with blank vellum being left for their skin, is reminiscent of other Armenian works from the seventeenth century (cf. Venice, Mekhitharist Library MS.600, fol.9v, and Freer Gallery MS.36.15, p.40: S. Der Nersessian, Armenian Manuscripts in the Freer Gallery of Art, 1963, figs.368 and 333). However, on occasion, such as the first portrait accompanying the Eusebian tables, these become impressive examples of Armenian art, conveying much in a few spartan brushstrokes.

Western Manuscripts & Miniatures

|
London