Original leaf from a medieval manuscript pocket Bible. Latin gothic micro-minuscule script, hand-written in brown ink, on animal vellum. (185 x 127mm – 7 ¼ x 5’’)
Rubricated chapter numbers in red and blue. Three multi-line illuminated initials alternating in red and deep blue with elaborate red and blue penwork extending along the margin. 50 lines of text in double columns (10 lines per inch!).
France (Paris), circa 1240-50.
Line one begins part of Isaiah 44:9 – 47:14: “Ipsi sunt testes…” (They are their witnesses, that they do not see, nor understand, that they may be ashamed. Who hath formed a god, and made a graven thing that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all the partakers thereof shall be confounded…Give praise, O ye heavens, for the Lord hath shown mercy: shout with joy, ye ends of the earth: ye mountains, resound with praise, thou, O forest, and every tree therein: for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and Israel shall be glorified…Israel is saved in the Lord with an eternal salvation: ye shall not be confounded, and you shall not be ashamed forever and ever. For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens, God himself that formed the earth, and made it, the very maker thereof: he did not create it in vain: he formed it to be inhabited. I am the Lord, and there is no other…).
This leaf, from a “portable” Bible during the period of the Crusades, would have been used in the abstract study of theology or the preaching of the Gospel around the medieval countryside.