c 1240-50 Bible Leaf - Miniature of King David Ringing Bells


A lovely original leaf from a medieval manuscript pocket Bible, written in Paris c. 1240-50. In Latin gothic micro-minuscule script, ruled in red and written in brown ink in two columns of 44 lines on animal vellum.  (150 x 100 mm - 6 x 4").

Rubricated chapter numbers &elegant marginalia in red & blue. The gothic text is written in extremely tiny & very well formed letters, so small that there are twelve lines of text to the inch!

One six-line historiated initial ''E'' in pink w/white tracery on blue ground extending into margin. The initial portrays King David ringing bells in colors of orange, blue, gray, gold, pink & white. Five two-line initials alternating in blue w/red pen-work, & red w/blue pen-work & into margins.

The first two-line ''Q'' begins Psm 79 (King James 80) complete: ''Give ear, O thou that rulest Israel…'' The historiated initial ''E'' begins Psm 80 (KJ 81) complete: ''Rejoice to God our helper…'' The two-line ''D'' begins Psm 81 (KJ 82) complete ''God hath stood in the congregation…'' The next two-line ''D'' begins Psm 82 (KJ 83) complete ''O God, who shall be like to thee…'' The two-line ''Q'' begins Psm 83 (KJ 84) complete ''How lovely are thy tabernacles…''. The two-line ''B'' begins Psm 84 (KJ 85) complete ''Lord, thou hast blessed thy land…'' The two-line ''I'' begins Psm 85 (KJ 86): 1-11: ''Incline thy ear, O Lord…''

The book from which this leaf came was a very high-quality production, scribed in the Johannes Grusch Workshop in Paris. The calligraphy is excellent & the vellum is of the finest style, extremely thin & very white.

Other leaves from this same book were exhibited in the Jeanne Blackburn Collection at the Cleveland Art Museum (pl. 7 & 8). 

Shipped in archival 14x11'' mat.

  • Inventory# IM-3367