Armenian gospel book, illuminated manuscript on vellum, seventeenth century, tooled calf binding
Property of a Distinguished Collector
ARMENIAN GOSPEL BOOK
[Plausibly Amida, early seventeenth century]
illuminated manuscript on vellum, 147 x 100mm., 197 leaves, collation: 1-1512 1612-2 (first leaf excised, final two blank leaves cancelled) with quire numbers at the foot of the first and last page of each quire, 2 leaves of the Letter of Eusebius, followed by 7 leaves of canon tables within illuminated frames, full-page miniature of an Evangel at the start of each book, with the facing text written in gold with ornithomorphic illuminated letters and an illuminated headpiece, numerous marginal illuminated vignettes and cartouches, written in bolorgir (minuscule) in double columns with 27 lines, some smaller initials and headings written in gold throughout, Armenian-style calf binding with small rope tools in the shape of a stepped cross on the upper cover and a rectangle on the lower cover, with a similarly tooled foredge flap folded in at the back, raised headbands, red edges, red fabric board liners, bifolia from an older Armenian manuscript inserted as endleaves (just a fragment of the front manuscript leaf remaining), lacking a quire at beginning (several stubs visible, plausibly once containing miniatures of the life of Christ), lacking all metalwork from the binding, foredge flap worn, spine cracked
A beautifully illuminated Armenian gospel book. The iconography and decoration is remarkably similar to a manuscript (Ms.w.541) in the Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, which was written by the scribe Melk'on and illustrated by Hovannes in the scriptorium of Amida in the early seventeenth century.
Provenance: Christie’s, London, sale, 21 July 1971, lot 129
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.