DUCKS AND A BEAR
A large illuminated border from an unidentified manuscript [Italy (Lombardy, Brescia), 15th century (3rd quarter)]
c.410x70mm, single vellum cutting, rounded at the top and bottom, illuminated with three roundels, each c.60mm in diameter, the middle one depicting a pale brown bear in a hilly landscape, the others each with two or three ducks on a river; the gold ivy-leaf somewhat worn, and with minor smudges, but generally in very good condition; framed with conservation glass at the Royal Academy of Arts
The illumination is probably by one of several artists who illuminated liturgical books for Bartolomeo Malipier, bishop of Brescia (1457–64). The lush foliate forms as well as the roundels of the present border are extremely close to a border in a Missal still at Brescia (Biblioteca Queriniana, B II 5; reproduced in colour in Tesori miniati, 1995, pp.159–62 at 160), which has nearly identical scenes of ducks on a river with mountains behind. Brown bears used to be common in the Alps and Apennines, so Lombard artists could certainly have seen them first-hand
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
We are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.