Lot 54
  • 54

The last leaf of the Psalms, from a very large Bible, in Latin [France (Paris), c.1300]

1,000 - 1,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • ink and pigment on vellum
single leaf, c.405×270mm, vellum, 2 columns, 50 lines (c.290×195mm), 9 illuminated initials and four borders extending almost the full height of the page, slight creases and stains

Catalogue Note

Provenance: (1) The parent volume has often been attributed to northern France or French Flanders, as late as c.1325, but the style of the historiated initials suggests that it was produced in Paris c.1300; such a large, fine, book must have been a special commission perhaps for a newly-founded institution. (2) Mirmelus Arnandi, lawyer and judge, who gave it to an unidentified Dominican house on 14 December 1450, as deduced from a number of partially erased inscriptions (see the 1984 catalogue cited below, which reproduces a page with one of these inscriptions), added marginal annotations on some leaves specify readings for ‘P’[rime], ‘T’[erce], and ‘S’[ext], and ‘in refectorio’. (3) ‘The Property of a Gentleman Resident on the Continent’, sold in our rooms, 6–7 July 1931, lot 389. (4) The property of an ‘Italian Private Collector’, sold by Parke-Bernet, New York, 29 November 1948, lot 326 (ills.), described as having 503 leaves, presumably bought (as well as lot 317, a Cistercian Missal) by (5) OTTO F. EGE, whose widow included single leaves in his portfolios of ‘Fifty Original Leaves’ as no.14 (see Gwara, Otto Ege’s Manuscripts, 2013, Handlist no.14); 210 leaves were sold from the Ege Nachlass in our rooms, 1984, lot 39, bought by Maggs, of which 102 leaves were acquired by the Schøyen Collection, London and Oslo, MS 223, other leaves are widely scattered, including the Beinecke Library and the Metropolitan Museum.

Text: Psalms 141:4 to the end, followed by a note that the normal prologue of Jerome beginning ‘Iungat epistola’ ought to follow, but can be found instead after the Apocalypse, this in turn followed by a catchword-like note indicating that ‘parabole solomonis’, i.e. Proverbs, followed next.