c 1250-75 Bible Leaf - Exodus & Leviticus - Miniature


Original leaf from an English manuscript pocket Bible.  Historiated five-line initial. Written in Latin in minute gothic book-hand script, in brown ink on animal vellum.(160 x 115 mm - 6.4 x 4.6") 

Rubricated chapter numbers, initials and marginalia in red and blue. 45 lines of text in double columns (12 lines per inch!).     England, probably East Anglia, c. 1250-75.

The historiated five-line initial “V” contains a miniature painting depicting two figures (one mostly hidden), each offering an animal to God (according to the scripture).

Line two begins Exodus 39:2:  “Fecet igitur…” (So he made an ephod of gold, violet, and purple…All the work of the tabernacle and of the roof of the testimony was finished: and the children of Israel did all things which the Lord had commanded Moses…

The miniature painting opens the Book of Leviticus: “Vocavit autem…” (And the Lord called Moses, and spoke to him from the tabernacle of the testimony saying: Speak to the children of Israel…).

Provenance: ex-collection Otto F. Ege - Dean of the Cleveland Institute of Art & Lecturer on History of the Book in the School of Library Science, Western Reserve University. This leaf is the exemplar identified as GWARA HL245. It was published and pictured in  Ferrini Catalog One (1987), as item number 21, page 38-39

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.

A scarce illuminated example of 13th century English Bible production, with an attractive historiated inital and an unusual style of gothic script. This is a leaf with Ege provenance,  but leaves from the parent manuscript did not appear in the Ege portfolios, and thus are seldom encountered.

Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat


  • Inventory# IM-1527