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. Two 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 Isaiah 41:11 – 44:9: “Ecce confundentur…” (Behold all that fight against thee shall be confounded and ashamed, they shall be as nothing…I the Lord have called thee in justice, and taken thee by the hand, and preserved thee. And I have given thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles: That thou mightiest open the eyes of the blind, and bring forth the prisoner out of prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house. I the Lord, this is my name: I will not give my glory to another, nor my praise to graven things…For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior: I have given Egypt for thy atonement, Ethiopia and Saba for thee. Since thou becamest honorable in my eyes, thou art glorious: I have loved thee, and I will give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not, for I am with thee…).
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.