Lot 10
  • 10


20,000 - 30,000 GBP
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c.165x130mm, vellum, ii+507+i, collation impractical but apparently complete except for a quire at the very end, foliated in modern pencil, written below top line in two columns of 47 lines, c.140x95mm, AN ILLUMINATED INITIAL TO EACH PROLOGUE, AND A HISTORIATED INITIAL TO THE FIRST PROLOGUE, THE HEBREW NAMES, THE DIVISIONS OF THE PSALMS, AND EVERY BOOK OF THE BIBLE, except Lamentations, some worm-holes and other minor blemishes, the margins cropped with occasional loss of marginal text or decoration, but frequently preserved by the folding-up of the relevant part of the leaf, 18th-century binding of mottled brown sheepskin(?), patterned endpapers, red edges, spine with title-piece in gilt capitals ‘Biblia Latin Scripta’, the lower joint becoming weak

Catalogue Note

PROVENANCE (1) Probably produced in Paris in the third quarter of the 13th century, perhaps for a Franciscan friar. (2) THE CAPUCHIN CONVENT OF HAGUENAU: inscribed three times ‘Loci Capucinorum Hagenoae’ (f.1r and facing page). (3) THE CAPUCHIN CONVENT OF STRASBOURG (less than 20 miles south of Haguenau): the place-name in the previous inscriptions amended to read ‘Argentinae Conv. Maj.’. (4) Added 18th-century title-page with ‘Barnheim’, perhaps Bornheim, about 50 miles north of Strasbourg. (5) JOHANN BAPTIST VON KELLER (1774-1845), ordained titular bishop of Evaria in 1816, and first bishop of Rottenburg (about 55 miles east of Strasbourg) in 1828: inscribed ‘Ad bibliothecam Episcopi Evarien’ (f.ii v); his sale at Frankfurt-am-Main, Catalogus librorum ... Joannis Baptista de Keller [25 January 1847]; bought at the sale (as recorded in an anonymous inscription in German, f.ii v). (6) Anton W.M. Mensing (1866-1936), Amsterdam art dealer and auctioneer, his sale in our rooms, 15 December 1936, lot 58, bought by Maggs for £44, probably on behalf of: (7) Major Sir Alan Lubbock (1897-1990), with his bookplate engraved by Reynolds Stone. (8) Private collection, Switzerland.


The style of illumination and the format of the Genesis initial are characteristic of the so-called DU PRAT ATELIER as defined by Branner. The Genesis initial is almost identical to the three examples reproduced by Branner (Manuscript Painting in Paris, 1977, figs.196-98), in which the Days of Creation follow the same order within pointed ovals joined by small disks, and in each Day the figures and objects are placed in the same positions, and especially characteristic is the placing of the animals' and birds' heads in tall rows outside the ovals frames to either side of God in the Fifth Day.


The standard ‘Paris’ sequence and selection of biblical books and prologues; with Luke 1:1-4 before the prologue; the Interpretations of Hebrew Names ending in the letter H at Helisaba.

The 81 historiated initials are on ff.1r, 4r, 23r, 38v, 49v, 65r, 79v, 89v, 100r, 102r, 116v, 128r, 142r, 155r, 167v, 183v, 187v, 193v, 200r, 204v, 210r, 216r, 226v, 230v, 233r, 235v, 238r, 241r, 243v, 246v, 253r, 262v, 265v, 267r, 273v, 291v, 312v, 335r, 338r, 357r, 365r, 367v, 369r, 371r, 371v, 372r, 373v, 374v, 375v, 376v, 380r, 381v, 392r, 400r, 411r, 418v, 430v, 440r, 444v, 449r, 452r, 453v, 455r, 456r, 457r, 458r, 458v, 459v, 460v, 461r, 461v, 465r, 477r, 478r, 479r, 480r, 481r (x2), 481v, 482r, and 488r.