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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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London

Italy (Bologna)
THE ASCENSION, HISTORIATED INITIAL FROM AN ANTIPHONARY, IN LATIN
cutting, c.110 by 80mm, vellum, the initial 'P' on a burnished gold ground, the reverse with small parts of two four-line red staves, rastrum c.27mm, with square notation and text, probably ‘[Dom]i[n]e do[ominus] a[ntiphona]’, the cue to Psalm 8, closely trimmed to the irregularly shaped black border surrounding the initial, with slight cropping of upper left foliate ornament, gold leaf rubbed but generally in good condition 
c.1350-1400
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Provenance

Christie's, New York, Printed Books and Manuscripts, 7 October 1994, lot 3 (with actual size col.pl.).

Catalogue Note

TEXT AND ILLUMINATION

The iconography of this initial is very unusual because it combines the Ascension with Pentecost: as Christ ascends to heaven, tongues of fire descend on the Virgin and Apostles below.

The style is similar to that of Niccolò da Bologna, arguably the most important and prolific Bolognese illuminator of the second half of the 14th century, and was appointed illuminator to the city of Bologna in the 1380s.

The initial introduced the Matins responsory for the feast of the Ascension: ‘Post passionem tuam …’.

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

|
London