A lovely original leaf from a medieval manuscript pocket Bible, written in Northern France (probably Paris), c. 1260. In Latin gothic micro-minuscule script, ruled in red and written in brown ink in two columns of 43 lines on animal vellum. (156x103 mm – 6 ¼ x 3 1/8‘‘).
Rubricated chapter numbers, two multi-lined illuminated Lombard style initials &elegant marginal penwork in red & blue. Calligraphy is excellent, & the vellum is of the finest quality, extremely thin & smooth. The gothic text is written in remarkably tiny (ten lines to the inch!) & very well formed letters.
One multi-line historiated initial with an interior miniature depicting St. Paul standing & holding a sword & a scroll in colors & gold & extending along the margin – where a wonderful creature gazes up at him; One three-line illuminated initial in mauve, deep blue, red, gold & delicate white tracery & extending in to the margin – and having a whimsical creature looking towards the top margin!.
This leaf begins the Book of Philippians. The three-line illuminated “P” begins the Prologue. The multi-line historiated initial begins Philippians 1:1 - 3:8 “Paulus et Timotheus…” (Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ;…For to me, to live is Christ: and to die is gain…For unto you is given for Christ, not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him…).
SCRIBAL ERROR: Scribal error at the bottom of the miniature of St. Paul – erroneous text on two lines were cancelled with red ink line.
Provenance: parent book was a “portable” Bible of the Crusades era, used in theology study or preaching of the Gospel around medieval countryside. It was in England by the 17th century; ex collection Lord Saltoun & later the famous collection of Wm Foyle (1885-1963) at Beeligh Abbey.
The bible that contained this leaf was a very high-quality production, illuminated in Paris and similar to the accomplished work associated by Branner with the Dominican Painter (see Robert Branner, Manuscript Painting in Paris during the Reign of Saint Louis).