Original leaf from an exceptionally large folio size medieval manuscript Bible. Two columns of fifty lines, written in attractive gothic book hand on animal vellum. Rubricated chapter numbers, initials & marginalia in red & blue. (405x270mm – 16 x 10 ¾’’)
Four three- or four-line initials in pink or blue with white tracery on a pink or blue ground with interiors of a man's portrait, a whimsical creature or floral design in pink, orange, blue & burnished gold - extending the length of the margins in blue, orange, gold, pink & white & terminating in ivy leaves.
One fabulous winged creature (verso) flying downward and seemingly looking at the initial with the portrait; one face drawn (recto) at the bottom of the first column!
France (Paris), c. 1275-1300 - Dominican ownership (per Otto Ege).
Provenance: Otto Ege Collection (purchased Parke-Bernet, NY 29 December 1948, lot 326). Sister leaves are #14 in Ege Portfolio of 50 Medieval Manuscripts. Currently over 200 leaves from this Bible are in the Schoyen Collection. Another leaf from the parent manuscript is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (ref 1994.539), a gift of William D. Wixom, at that time the Met Chairman of Medieval Arts and the Cloisters. (For other sister leaves see Maggs 1990 Bulletin 15, #62 and Pirages Catalog 54, #6). Reference Gwara Hand List #14, where he ascribes it to "Flanders (possibly France), c. 1325".
This leaf contains Joshua 2:1 – 5:3: ''Misit ergo…” (And Josue the son of Nun …And the Lord said to Josue: This day will I begin to exalt thee before Israel: that they may know that as I was with Moses, so I am with thee also…Israel passed over this Jordan through the dry channel. The Lord your God drying up the waters thereof in your sight, until you passed over: As he had done before in the Red Sea which he dried up til we passed through: That all the people of the earth may learn the most mighty hand of the Lord, that you also may fear the Lord your God forever).