Phillip J. Pirages Rare Books

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WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDER FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDER FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

AN ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAF, FROM AN ENGAGING LITTLE BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN 130 x 98 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 7/8"). Single column, 14 lines of text in a very fine gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, with just about every line containing either line fillers or one-line capitals in blue with white tracery, the initials on a burnished gold ground and infilled with ivy leaves in blue, orange, and white, WITH A PANEL BORDER ON EACH SIDE, ONE BORDER INHABITED BY A ROOSTER, the remarkably charming resident placed amidst a tangle of acanthus leaves, flowers, buds, thistles, fruit, and other vegetation painted in brushed gold, blue, green, pink, and other colors. A very few minor signs of use, but generally IN EXTRAORDINARILY FINE CONDITION, the gold sparkling, the paint uneroded, and the vellum almost entirely clean and fresh. This leaf comes from a large fragment of a beautifully executed little Book of Hours done by very sophisticated artists whose illumination in general--and zoomorphic inhabitation in particular--is extremely charming. The borders here are the source of considerable delight, containing carnations, thistles, roses, daisies, violets, strawberries, grapes, a variety of berries, and featuring a perky little rooster nestled within one of the panels. Leaves from this group are certainly among the most attractive and delightful small Book of Hours leaves we have ever offered for sale. Please check our website for additional offerings from ths manuscript at various price points.
WITH A SIX-LINE INHABITED INITIAL

WITH A SIX-LINE INHABITED INITIAL

AN ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAF FROM A MINIATURE PSALTER-HOURS IN LATIN 90 x 65 mm. (3 1/2 x 2 1/2"). Single column, 12 lines in a pleasing gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, with multiple one-line gilt initials on blue or gold ground and line endings with gold squares surrounded by pink and blue bars highlighted with white pigment, and with one two-line initial similarly decorated, WITH A SIX-LINE INHABITED INITIAL painted pink and filled with burnished gold, on contrasting dark blue ground, with spikey ascender terminating in a curl with gold bezant. Vellum a bit toned and soiled, gilt a little rubbed (somewhat more noticeable on the gilt infill of large initials), a little staining along inner margin, extender partially trimmed, but on the whole still very pretty, the paint quite bright, and the charm still there. This probably comes from a Psalter-Hours, a personal prayer book that eventually gave way to the Book of Hours, the manuscript companion that would become the vehicle of choice for personal devotions during the late Middle Ages. Although measuring only 90 mm. tall, our leaf contains a surprising amount of illumination, including a large inhabited initial that takes up more than a quarter of the written space on the page. The figure here and on its sister leaves, as well as the decoration, bear a significant resemblance to Walters MS W. 40--described as a Book of Hours executed in the third quarter of the 13th or early 14th century by the Bari Atelier--with multiple initials depicting people in prayer, as here. It seems impossible to say for certain that the Bari Atelier was responsible for our leaf as well, but the similarities do help to substantiate an approximate date and locale, and to provide an intriguing possibility for further research.
WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDER FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDER FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

AN ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAF, FROM AN ENGAGING LITTLE BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN 130 x 98 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 7/8"). Single column, 14 lines of text in a very fine gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, with just about every line containing either line fillers or one-line capital in blue with white tracery, the initials on a burnished gold ground and infilled with ivy leaves in blue, orange, and white, WITH A PANEL BORDER ON EACH SIDE, ONE BORDER INHABITED BY A FANCIFUL CREATURE, the remarkably charming resident placed amidst a tangle of acanthus leaves, flowers, buds, thistles, fruit, and other vegetation painted in brushed gold, blue, green, pink, and other colors. A very few minor signs of use, but generally IN EXTRAORDINARILY FINE CONDITION, the gold sparkling, the paint uneroded, and the vellum almost entirely clean and fresh. This leaf comes from a large fragment of a beautifully executed little Book of Hours done by very sophisticated artists whose illumination in general--and zoomorphic inhabitation in particular--is extremely charming. The borders here are the source of considerable delight, containing carnations, thistles, roses, daisies, violets, strawberries, grapes, a variety of berries, and featuring appears to be some combination of fish and butterfly. Leaves from this group are certainly among the most attractive and delightful small Book of Hours leaves we have ever offered for sale. Please check our website for additional offerings from ths manuscript at various price points.
TEXT FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY

TEXT FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT CALENDAR LEAF, FROM AN ENGAGING LITTLE BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN 130 x 98 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 7/8"). Single column, recto with 18 lines of text in a very fine gothic book hand. Text in red, blue, and gold, "KL" in blue with white tracery and on a burnished gold ground and infilled with ivy leaves in blue, orange, and white, BOTH SIDES WITH A PANEL BORDER, EACH WITH A ROUNDEL DEPICTING THE ZODIAC SIGN AND LABOR OF THE MONTH, placed amidst a tangle of acanthus leaves in blue, red, and brushed gold. Recto with a little general soiling, the roundel lightly abraided, and a noticeable smudge to the top of the panel border, but the verso quite clean with just a little discoloration to margins and the "KL" offset from facing page, the roundel on this side in excellent condition with just one or two very small scratches. This leaf comes from a large fragment of a beautifully executed little Book of Hours done by very sophisticated artists whose illumination in general--and zoomorphic inhabitation in particular--is extremely charming. Though the recto and its roundel (depicting a man warming himself in front of a fire) are not without a little wear due to its vulnerable placement early in the manuscript, the verso is remarkably well preserved; its roundel depicts two fish (for Pisces) and is of very high quality. Please check our website for additional offerings from ths manuscript at various price points.
WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDERS FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDERS FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

AN ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAF, FROM AN ENGAGING LITTLE BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN 130 x 98 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 7/8"). Single column, 14 lines of text in a very fine gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, with several line fillers and one-line initials in blue with white tracery, the initials on a burnished gold ground and infilled with ivy leaves in blue, orange, and white, WITH A PANEL BORDER ON EACH SIDE, ONE INHABITED BY A FANCIFUL CREATURE, the remarkably charming resident placed amidst a tangle of acanthus leaves, flowers, buds, thistles, fruit, and other vegetation painted in brushed gold, blue, green, pink, and other colors. A very few minor signs of use, but IN EXTRAORDINARILY FINE CONDITION, the gold sparkling, the paint uneroded, and the vellum almost entirely clean and fresh. This leaf comes from a large fragment of a beautifully executed little Book of Hours done by very sophisticated artists whose illumination in general--and zoomorphic inhabitation in particular--are extremely (and sometimes immensely) charming. The borders here are the source of considerable delight, containing carnations, thistles, roses, daisies, violets, strawberries, grapes, a variety of berries; while most of these leaves feature small animals or hybrid beasts, this special leaf includes a particularly delightful merman that can only be described as half fish, half hermit. Leaves from this group are certainly among the most attractive and delightful small Book of Hours leaves we have ever offered for sale. Please check our website for additional offerings from ths manuscript at various price points.
FROM A COLLECTARIUM IN LATIN MADE FOR A FEMALE RELIGIOUS

FROM A COLLECTARIUM IN LATIN MADE FOR A FEMALE RELIGIOUS

CHARMING ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY 97 x 61 mm. (3 3/4 x 2 5/8"). Single column, 20 lines in an attractive gothic book hand. Each leaf with two or more one- to two-line initials painted in blue or maroon with delicate white tracery and charming enclosed flowers, all on a field of burnished gold, the left or right margin on one or both sides with a bar border of blue and white, terminating in gold ivy leaves in the upper and lower margins. The bar borders just slightly trimmed by the binder, otherwise in excellent condition, the text well preserved, the vellum unusually clean, the colors quite bright, and the glistening gold without any erosion or loss of brilliance. Taken from an intact manuscript we sold in 2006 that was subsequently dismembered, these lovely leaves have considerable aesthetic appeal and charm as well as notable interest because of their surprising size, distinctive musical and textual content, and peculiar hypothetical provenance. In origin, the collectarium (sometimes called a collectar, collectarius, collectaneum, orationale, or capitulare) was a compilation of the collects, or prayers, said during the various hours of the Divine Office. But over time it came to comprise an ad hoc collection of the prayers and ceremonies not found in other service books that were specific to the uses of a particular house, congregation, or religious order. The presence of music throughout the original book indicates that our leaves were part of a choir book; however, unlike most choir book leaves, which range from very large to enormous in order to allow simultaneous use by a number of singers, the present pocket-size manuscript is quite atypical in that it could only have been used by a single person at any one time. These leaves are also highly unusual and, therefore, most interesting in that we know from consulting other portions of the original that this collectarium was written, not for a monastic house, but for a community of religious women who are referred to in other parts of the manuscript as "sisters." Judging from the frequency with which she is mentioned in the original, members of that community using the present choirbook seem clearly to have identified closely with the penitent Magdalene, the original book containing a portion of the double feast they celebrated for her and her presumed sister, Martha. This suggests a fascinating possibility in terms of the manuscript's provenance: beginning in the 13th century, houses of penitential sisters, known as Magdalens, were established in many European cities, often by wealthy lay persons, with the aim of providing former prostitutes with a safe haven in a religious community. It is just possible that our manuscript leaves were part of a book that was used in such a convent.
FROM A COLLECTARIUM IN LATIN MADE FOR A FEMALE RELIGIOUS

FROM A COLLECTARIUM IN LATIN MADE FOR A FEMALE RELIGIOUS

CHARMING ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY 97 x 61 mm. (3 3/4 x 2 5/8"). Single column, 20 lines in an attractive gothic book hand. Each leaf with two or more one- to two-line initials painted in blue or maroon with delicate white tracery and charming enclosed flowers, all on a field of burnished gold, the left or right margin on one or both sides with a bar border of blue and white, terminating in gold ivy leaves in the upper and lower margins. The bar borders just slightly trimmed by the binder, otherwise in excellent condition, the text well preserved, the vellum unusually clean, the colors quite bright, and the glistening gold without any erosion or loss of brilliance. Taken from an intact manuscript we sold in 2006 that was subsequently dismembered, these lovely leaves have considerable aesthetic appeal and charm as well as notable interest because of their surprising size, distinctive musical and textual content, and peculiar hypothetical provenance. In origin, the collectarium (sometimes called a collectar, collectarius, collectaneum, orationale, or capitulare) was a compilation of the collects, or prayers, said during the various hours of the Divine Office. But over time it came to comprise an ad hoc collection of the prayers and ceremonies not found in other service books that were specific to the uses of a particular house, congregation, or religious order. The presence of music throughout the original book indicates that our leaves were part of a choir book; however, unlike most choir book leaves, which range from very large to enormous in order to allow simultaneous use by a number of singers, the present pocket-size manuscript is quite atypical in that it could only have been used by a single person at any one time. These leaves are also highly unusual and, therefore, most interesting in that we know from consulting other portions of the original that this collectarium was written, not for a monastic house, but for a community of religious women who are referred to in other parts of the manuscript as "sisters." Judging from the frequency with which she is mentioned in the original, members of that community using the present choirbook seem clearly to have identified closely with the penitent Magdalene, the original book containing a portion of the double feast they celebrated for her and her presumed sister, Martha. This suggests a fascinating possibility in terms of the manuscript's provenance: beginning in the 13th century, houses of penitential sisters, known as Magdalens, were established in many European cities, often by wealthy lay persons, with the aim of providing former prostitutes with a safe haven in a religious community. It is just possible that our manuscript leaves were part of a book that was used in such a convent.
TEXT FROM A CLERICAL REGISTER

TEXT FROM A CLERICAL REGISTER

MANUSCRIPT LEAVES ON PAPER, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY 200 x 144 mm. (7 7/8 x 5 5/8"). Single column, most leaves with 26-30 lines, in an attractive Secretary hand. See: Briquet, "Les Filigranes: Dictionnaire Historique des Marques du Papier dés Leur Apparition vers 1282 jusqu'en 1600," I (1966). Edges slightly worn and nicked, paper lightly toned and with occasional faint foxing, one leaf with two small marginal ink stains and another with a little soiling and fading down the center of one side, but very well-preserved specimens, all clean and entirely legible. These leaves contain a register of clerics who were inducted as chaplains around the time of the Western Schism, a period of considerable turmoil for church operations and hierarchy, in which Avignon and Rome both lay claim to the Holy See. Several dates spanning the years 1370-85 are mentioned in the text, including references to bulls "dated at Avignon," which further indicate that the original register was begun prior to the end of the Avignon Papacy in 1377 and continued after the removal of the papacy back to Rome. The inductees themselves hail from numerous regions across Western Europe (Lincolnshire and Lichfield in England; Glasgow in Scotland; Lisieux, Chartres, Limoges, Avignon, and Narbonne in France; Worms and Bremen in Germany; Florence and Benevento in Italy, etc.) and come from several types of ecclesiastical professions. Some are abbots, priors, or monks (Benedictine, Cistercian, Carmelite, and Premonstratensian orders are all represented); others are friars of the Order of St. Francis, Augustinian hermits, or priests of parish churches. Several are listed as professors or doctors of canon law, and a few of these are inducted not only as chaplains but also as auditors of the Holy Palace--a special judiciary role on the Pope's Rota (often these auditors are underlined in the document). Whether these leaves come from the original register or a copy of that original is not clear, though the consistency of the script certainly suggests that it was written in one sitting by a single hand. We can say with more confidence that the manuscript was written on roughly contemporary paper, with two leaves containing part of a watermark--clearly that of a full-length stag--that closely resembles watermarks found in Northern Italian paper specimens of the late 14th century (see especially Briquet, no. 3289 for a similar example). Beyond its obvious value as an unusual and infrequently encountered type of document recorded during a particularly fraught period in the history of the Church, these leaves are also of interest as a record of the movements of clerics and scholars of different backgrounds, occupations, and nationalities across Europe, offering a broader look into a world often thought of as homogenous and insular. Each leaf will be accompanied by a basic translation of the contents in English. We are grateful to Ashley Newby for her work on the translation and interpretation of these documents.
FROM A VERY ATTRACTIVE PORTABLE SPANISH DEVOTIONAL WORK IN LATIN

FROM A VERY ATTRACTIVE PORTABLE SPANISH DEVOTIONAL WORK IN LATIN

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY 172 x 122 mm. (6 5/8 x 4 7/8"). Single column, 17 lines in a rounded gothic script. Rubrics in red, each leaf with several one-line initials in gold on blue or red ground with gold stippling, and ONE MULTI-LINE INITIAL painted red, blue, purple, and/or green with white highlighting on painted gold ground, with highly decorative and colorful extenders of various lengths and shapes, decorated with acanthus leaves, floral sprays, and other floral elements with gold vine-stem. Vellum slightly yellowed and with a little offsetting, some leaves with a small dampstain to one edge, various instances of moderate rust-staining along the gutter and occasional marginal soiling, but the specimens mostly quite clean, the colors bright, and the excellent illumination more than making up for any of the minor defects. From a Spanish Book of Hours or related devotional work, these leaves are exuberantly decorated with colorful initials and extenders by a top-rate atelier. The scrollwork and color combinations, highlighted by painted gold, are always charming and sometimes dazzling, and each leaf is highly individualized--a testament to the creativity and technical expertise of the artist(s). Both the script and the illumination are Italianate in flavor, though on one leaf from this group is a rubric in Spanish ("Los versos de Sant Bernar"), pointing to its origin and the location of its intended use. Similarly ornate decoration can be found in two Spanish manuscripts from Toledo and Castille: BL Henry Davis 656 and BNF Espagnol 12, respectively. For additional leaves at different price points, please check our website.
FROM A VERY ATTRACTIVE PORTABLE SPANISH DEVOTIONAL WORK IN LATIN

FROM A VERY ATTRACTIVE PORTABLE SPANISH DEVOTIONAL WORK IN LATIN

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY 172 x 122 mm. (6 5/8 x 4 7/8"). Single column, 17 lines in a rounded gothic script. Rubrics in red, each leaf with several one-line initials in gold on blue or red ground with gold stippling, and ONE TO FOUR MULTI-LINE INITIALS painted red, blue, purple, and/or green with white highlighting on painted gold ground, each large initial with highly decorative and colorful extenders of various lengths and shapes, most with acanthus leaves, floral sprays, and other floral elements with gold vine-stem. Vellum slightly yellowed and with a little offsetting, some leaves with a small dampstain to one edge, various instances of moderate rust-staining along the gutter and occasional marginal soiling, but the specimens mostly quite clean, the colors bright, and the excellent illumination more than making up for any of the minor defects. From a Spanish Book of Hours or related devotional work, these leaves are exuberantly decorated with colorful initials and extenders by a top-rate atelier. The scrollwork and color combinations, highlighted by painted gold, are always charming and sometimes dazzling, and each leaf is highly individualized--a testament to the creativity and technical expertise of the artist(s). Both the script and the illumination are Italianate in flavor, though on one leaf from this group is a rubric in Spanish ("Los versos de Sant Bernar"), pointing to its origin and the location of its intended use. Similarly ornate decoration can be found in two Spanish manuscripts from Toledo and Castille: BL Henry Davis 656 and BNF Espagnol 12, respectively. For additional leaves at different price points, please check our website.
FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY 110 x 77 mm. (4 1/4 x 3"). Single column, 16 lines in an English gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, paragraph marks in red or blue, each leaf with multiple one-line initials in gilt on pink or blue ground and line-enders with gold bezant on a bar painted pink and/or blue, some with at least one two-line initial in pink or blue on gilt ground with painted decorative flourishes, and each leaf with either a HALF OR THREE-QUARTER BORDER ON BOTH SIDES, composed of either straight bars with spiked corners or long, spikey tendrils in gilt and blue and pink paint, terminating in trefoils. With later ink foliation in upper corners, some leaves with emendations in a slightly darker ink. Vellum with a little general soiling and toning, margins trimmed rather close and sometimes just cutting into the borders, gilt noticeably rubbed away in places (exposing white gesso layer), paint occasionally rubbed or smudged, other small, mostly marginal blemishes and stains, but despite these signs of use, the leaves still very charming and with a considerable degree of their original appeal. From a small Psalter intended for personal contemplation, these leaves feature a pleasing English scribal hand and strong decorative program. In addition to the numerous gilt initials and line enders, these leaves are also appealing as good examples of English paleography, and meant to be attractively priced. For additional leaves at different price points (including examples with marginalia), please check our website.
FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY 110 x 77 mm. (4 1/4 x 3"). Single column, 16 lines in an English gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, paragraph marks in red or blue, each leaf with multiple one-line initials in gilt on pink or blue ground and line-enders with gold bezant on a bar painted pink and/or blue, most with at least one two-line initial in pink or blue on gilt ground with painted decorative flourishes, and each with a HALF OR THREE-QUARTER BORDER on one side, composed of long, spikey tendrils in gilt and blue and pink paint, terminating in trefoils. With later ink foliation in upper corners, some leaves with emendations in a slightly darker ink. Vellum with a little general soiling and toning, margins trimmed rather close and sometimes just cutting into the borders, gilt noticeably rubbed away in places (exposing white gesso layer), paint occasionally rubbed or smudged, other small, mostly marginal blemishes and stains, but despite these signs of use, the leaves still very charming and with a considerable degree of their original appeal. From a small Psalter intended for personal contemplation, these leaves feature a pleasing English scribal hand and strong decorative program. In addition to the numerous gilt initials and line enders, these leaves are also appealing as good examples of English paleography, and meant to be attractively priced. For additional leaves at different price points (including examples with marginalia), please check our website.
FROM A MINIATURE PSALTER-HOURS IN LATIN

FROM A MINIATURE PSALTER-HOURS IN LATIN

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY 90 x 65 mm. (3 1/2 x 2 1/2"). Single column, 12 lines in a pleasing gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, each leaf with variable numbers of line fillers composed of a small gold square with red or blue pigment on either side, and multiple one-line initials in gilt on blue or gold ground with white tracery, many leaves also with at least one two-line initial, and a few with multi-line initials, these also gilt on blue and pink ground with white tracery. Vellum a bit toned and soiled, gilt a little rubbed in places, occasional small stains or smudges and other isolated minor blemishes, but on the whole the leaves still very pretty, the paint quite bright, and the charm still there. The present leaves probably come from a Psalter-Hours, a personal prayer book that eventually gave way to the Book of Hours, the manuscript companion that would become the vehicle of choice for personal devotions during the late Middle Ages. Although measuring only 90 mm. tall, these leaves contain a surprising amount of illumination. The decoration, as well as the inhabited initials seen on other leaves from this manuscript, bear a significant resemblance to Walters MS W. 40--described as a Book of Hours executed in the third quarter of the 13th century, or early 14th century, by the Bari Atelier. It seems impossible to say for certain that the Bari Atelier was responsible for our leaves as well, but the similarities do help to substantiate an approximate date and locale, and to provide an intriguing possibility for further research.
FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY, WITH EXAMPLES OF HYBRID CREATURES AND HUMAN FACES 110 x 77 mm. (4 1/4 x 3"). Single column, 16 lines in an English gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, paragraph marks in red or blue, each leaf with multiple one-line initials in gilt on pink or blue ground, line-enders with gold bezants on a bar painted pink and/or blue, many with at least one two-line initial in pink or blue on gilt ground with painted decorative flourishes, SOME WITH A TWO-LINE INITIAL INHABITED BY A HUMAN FACE, with half or three-quarter borders on one or both sides, composed of either straight bars or long, spikey tendrils in gold, pink, and blue and terminating in leaves and trefoils, SEVERAL LEAVES WITH AN ANIMAL OR FANCIFUL HYBRID CREATURE INCORPORATED INTO THE BORDERS OR INHABITING THE MARGINS. With later ink foliation in upper corners, some leaves with emendations in a slightly darker ink. Vellum with a little general soiling and toning, margins trimmed rather close and sometimes just cutting into the borders, gilt noticeably rubbed away in places (exposing white gesso layer), paint occasionally rubbed or smudged, other small, mostly marginal blemishes and stains, but despite these signs of use, the leaves still very charming and with a considerable degree of their original appeal. From a small Psalter intended for personal contemplation, these leaves feature a pleasing English scribal hand and strong decorative program. The leaves in this price range contain some especially delightful examples of hybrid creatures and in one case, a small animal, often cleverly incorporated into the borders; others contain a human face peering out from an initial, as if playing hide-and-seek with the viewer. In addition to these whimsical embellishments, our leaves are also appealing as good examples of English paleography, and meant to be attractively priced. For additional leaves at different price points, please check our website.
FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY, WITH EXAMPLES OF DRAGON-LIKE CREATURES IN THE BORDERS 110 x 77 mm. (4 1/4 x 3"). Single column, 16 lines in an English gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, paragraph marks in red or blue, each leaf with multiple one-line initials in gilt on pink or blue ground and line-enders in gilt, pink, and/or blue, WITH A HALF OR THREE-QUARTER BORDER on one or both sides, composed of either straight bars or long, spikey tendrils in gold, pink, and blue and terminating in leaves and trefoils, AND EACH WITH A DRAGON-LIKE CREATURE INCORPORATED INTO THE BORDERS. With later ink foliation in upper corners, some leaves with emendations in a slightly darker ink. Vellum with a little general soiling and toning, margins trimmed rather close and sometimes just cutting into the borders, gilt noticeably rubbed away in places (exposing white gesso layer), paint occasionally rubbed or smudged, other small, mostly marginal blemishes and stains, but despite these signs of use, the leaves still very charming and with a considerable degree of their original appeal. From a small Psalter intended for personal contemplation, these leaves feature a pleasing English scribal hand and strong decorative program. A few of our leaves contain some especially delightful examples of imaginary creatures or the human face, often cleverly incorporated into the borders and line fillers. In addition to these whimsical embellishments, our leaves are also appealing as good examples of English paleography, and meant to be attractively priced. For additional leaves at different price points, please check our website.
FROM A MINIATURE PSALTER-HOURS IN LATIN

FROM A MINIATURE PSALTER-HOURS IN LATIN

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY 90 x 65 mm. (3 1/2 x 2 1/2"). Single column, 12 lines in a pleasing gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, each leaf with variable numbers of line fillers composed of a small gold square with red or blue pigment on either side, and multiple one-line initials in gilt on blue or gold ground with white tracery, many leaves also with at least one two-line initial, and a few with multi-line initials, these also gilt on blue and pink ground with white tracery. Vellum a bit toned and soiled, gilt a little rubbed in places, occasional small stains or smudges and other isolated minor blemishes, but on the whole the leaves still very pretty, the paint quite bright, and the charm still there. The present leaves probably come from a Psalter-Hours, a personal prayer book that eventually gave way to the Book of Hours, the manuscript companion that would become the vehicle of choice for personal devotions during the late Middle Ages. Although measuring only 90 mm. tall, these leaves contain a surprising amount of illumination. The decoration, as well as the inhabited initials seen on other leaves from this manuscript, bear a significant resemblance to Walters MS W. 40--described as a Book of Hours executed in the third quarter of the 13th century, or early 14th century, by the Bari Atelier. It seems impossible to say for certain that the Bari Atelier was responsible for our leaves as well, but the similarities do help to substantiate an approximate date and locale, and to provide an intriguing possibility for further research.
FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY, WITH EXAMPLES OF DRAGONS AND HUMAN FACES IN THE BORDERS 110 x 77 mm. (4 1/4 x 3"). Single column, 16 lines in an English gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, paragraph marks in red or blue, each leaf with multiple one-line initials in gilt on pink or blue ground and line-enders in gilt, pink, and/or blue, SOME OF THESE INCORPORATING SMALL BEASTS, most leaves with at least one two-line initial in pink or blue on gilt ground with painted decorative flourishes, WITH A HALF OR THREE-QUARTER BORDER on one or both sides, composed of either straight bars or long, spikey tendrils in gold, pink, and blue and terminating in trefoils, SEVERAL LEAVES WITH DRAGON-LIKE CREATURES OR HUMAN FACES INCORPORATED INTO THE BORDERS. With later ink foliation in upper corners, some leaves with emendations in a slightly darker ink. Vellum with a little general soiling and toning, margins trimmed rather close and sometimes just cutting into the borders, gilt noticeably rubbed away in places (exposing white gesso layer), paint occasionally rubbed or smudged, other small, mostly marginal blemishes and stains, but despite these signs of use, the leaves still very charming and with a considerable degree of their original appeal. From a small Psalter intended for personal contemplation, these leaves feature a pleasing English scribal hand and strong decorative program. A few of our leaves contain some especially delightful examples of imaginary creatures or the human face, often cleverly incorporated into the borders and line fillers. In addition to these whimsical embellishments, our leaves are also appealing as good examples of English paleography, and meant to be attractively priced. For additional leaves at different price points, please check our website.
FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

FROM AN ENGLISH PSALTER IN LATIN

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY 110 x 77 mm. (4 1/4 x 3"). Single column, 16 lines in an English gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, paragraph marks in red or blue, each leaf with multiple one-line initials in gilt on pink or blue ground and line-enders in gilt, pink, and/or blue, some of these terminating in the heads of beasts, with a HALF OR THREE-QUARTER BORDER ON BOTH SIDES, composed of either straight bars or long, spikey tendrils in gilt and blue and pink paint, terminating in trefoils, one leaf WITH SMALL BIRD PERCHED IN THE MARGINS. With later ink foliation in upper corners, some leaves with emendations in a slightly darker ink. Vellum with a little general soiling and toning, margins trimmed rather close and sometimes just cutting into the borders, gilt noticeably rubbed away in places (exposing white gesso layer), paint occasionally rubbed or smudged, other small, mostly marginal blemishes and stains, but despite these signs of use, the leaves still very charming and with a considerable degree of their original appeal. From a small Psalter intended for personal contemplation, these leaves feature a pleasing English scribal hand and strong decorative program. In addition to the numerous gilt initials and line enders, these leaves are also appealing as good examples of English paleography, and meant to be attractively priced. For additional leaves at different price points, please check our website.
WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDERS FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDERS FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY, FROM AN ENGAGING LITTLE BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN 130 x 98 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 7/8"). Single column, 14 lines of text in a very fine gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, leaves with variable numbers of line fillers and one- and two-line capitals in blue with white tracery, the initials on a burnished gold ground and infilled with ivy leaves in blue, orange, and white, ALL OF THE LEAVES WITH A PANEL BORDER ON EACH SIDE, ONE OR BOTH OF THE PANEL BORDERS INHABITED BY A BIRD, the remarkably charming residents placed amidst a tangle of acanthus leaves, flowers, buds, thistles, fruit, and other vegetation painted in brushed gold, blue, green, pink, and other colors. A very few minor signs of use, but generally IN EXTRAORDINARILY FINE CONDITION, the gold sparkling, the paint uneroded, and the vellum almost entirely clean and fresh. These leaves come from a large fragment of a beautifully executed little Book of Hours done by very sophisticated artists whose illumination in general--and zoomorphic inhabitation in particular--are extremely (and sometimes immensely) charming. The borders here are the source of considerable delight, containing carnations, thistles, roses, daisies, violets, strawberries, grapes, a variety of berries, and featuring a small bird nestled into one or both panels. These are certainly among the most attractive and delightful small Book of Hours leaves we have ever offered for sale. Please check our website for additional offerings at various price points.
WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDERS FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDERS FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY, FROM AN ENGAGING LITTLE BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN 130 x 98 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 7/8"). Single column, 14 lines of text in a very fine gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, one leaf without any decorative elements in text, but the others with variable numbers of line fillers and one- and two-line capitals in blue with white tracery, the initials on a burnished gold ground and infilled with ivy leaves in blue, orange, and white, ALL OF THE LEAVES WITH A PANEL BORDER ON EACH SIDE, ONE OR BOTH OF THE PANEL BORDERS INHABITED BY A BIRD, the remarkably charming residents placed amidst a tangle of acanthus leaves, flowers, buds, thistles, fruit, and other vegetation painted in brushed gold, blue, green, pink, and other colors. A very few minor signs of use, but generally IN EXTRAORDINARILY FINE CONDITION, the gold sparkling, the paint uneroded, and the vellum almost entirely clean and fresh. These leaves come from a large fragment of a beautifully executed little Book of Hours done by very sophisticated artists whose illumination in general--and zoomorphic inhabitation in particular--are extremely (and sometimes immensely) charming. The borders here are the source of considerable delight, containing carnations, thistles, roses, daisies, violets, strawberries, grapes, a variety of berries, and featuring a lovely little bird, whose feathers are either dusted with gold or enirely gilt, nestled into one or both panels. These are certainly among the most attractive and delightful small Book of Hours leaves we have ever offered for sale. Please check our website for additional offerings at various price points.
WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDERS FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

WITH FINELY EXECUTED PANEL BORDERS FEATURING DELIGHTFUL ZOOMORPHIC INHABITATION

ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES, OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY, FROM AN ENGAGING LITTLE BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN 130 x 98 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 7/8"). Single column, 14 lines of text in a very fine gothic book hand. Rubrics in red, leaves with variable numbers of line fillers and one- and two-line capitals in blue with white tracery, the initials on a burnished gold ground and infilled with ivy leaves in blue, orange, and white, ALL OF THE LEAVES WITH A PANEL BORDER ON EACH SIDE, ONE OR BOTH OF THE PANEL BORDERS INHABITED BY A BIRD OR INSECT, the remarkably charming residents placed amidst a tangle of acanthus leaves, flowers, buds, thistles, fruit, and other vegetation painted in brushed gold, blue, green, pink, and other colors. A very few minor signs of use, but generally IN EXTRAORDINARILY FINE CONDITION, the gold sparkling, the paint uneroded, and the vellum almost entirely clean and fresh. These leaves come from a large fragment of a beautifully executed little Book of Hours done by very sophisticated artists whose illumination in general--and zoomorphic inhabitation in particular--are extremely (and sometimes immensely) charming. The borders here are the source of considerable delight, containing carnations, thistles, roses, daisies, violets, strawberries, grapes, a variety of berries, and featuring either a large insect (such as a beetle, snail, or butterfly), or bird (frequently small birds in a variety of colors, but also a duck, and even a bird carrying a fish!). These are certainly among the most attractive and delightful small Book of Hours leaves we have ever offered for sale. Please check our website for additional offerings at various price points.