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    Sale 7548

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    12 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 16


    Price Realised  


    [France, Paris?, early 13th century]
    315 x 220mm. ii paper + 134 + ii paper leaves: 1-1012, 1214, single quires probably missing after f.108 and at the end, occasional quire signatures (f.12v: 'I'), leaf signatures (e.g. ff.51-54), and catchwords (ff.96v, 108v), modern pencil foliation in the fore-edge margin, up to 24 lines of biblical text and up to 48 lines of gloss written in black ink in gothic bookhands in three sizes, between six or eight single vertical bounding lines defining three or four columns, and 48 horizontal lines, ruled in plummet, the biblical text written on alternate lines in the middle column, and often also in the left and/or right columns, with interlinear glosses, the remaining column-space to either side occupied by gloss, with frequent near-contemporary glosses in brown ink in the outer margins in a smaller more cursive hand, each main marginal gloss signalled by a paraph mark, alternately red or blue, the biblical text with one-line initials alternately red or blue, the first two prologues with enlarged initials, TWO LARGE 'PUZZLE' INITIALS in red and blue, with red and blue infill and marginal flourishing (ff.1v, 126) (some leaves with natural flaws and holes, an irregular hole approx. 30 x 25 mm cut out of f.1, the lower margins of ff.75, 79-80, and 87 cut away, the upper and fore-edge extremities of leaves somewhat discoloured and cockled, not usually significantly affecting the legibility of the marginal glosses, some scattered purple staining from extinct mould at the gutter edge, especially at the beginning, some worming in first and last leaves). 18th-century Italian half sheep and patterned paper over pasteboards, the spine lettered in gilt 'XXV. JERE. GLO INTERL MS.' (scuffed).


    1. Script and decoration indicate that the manuscript was made in France, probably Paris in the early 13th century. The extensive marginal glosses in minute script in plummet (eg. ff.12-35) and ink suggest that the manuscript was used for detailed study; continued use in France in the 14th century is suggested by the chapter numbers added in the margins and as running headers.

    2. The manuscript was in Italy perhaps before the end of the 14th century, when inscribed in an Italian hand 'Ego qui supra Rogerius de Bisarina [...]oeria(?) baiulus testis sum', preceded by a notarial(?) paraph (f.82v, outer margin, erased). Bisarina is between Verona and Modena.

    3. Perhaps from the Dominican convent of San Domenico, Gaeta: bound uniformly with lot 22, which has a 15th-century ex libris of San Domenico, Gaeta, and with a further eleven manuscripts, lots 17-21, 23-26, 30-31. The Dominican emphases of some of their texts and additions suggest that they had come together in the library of an Italian Dominican house, possibly at Gaeta, most by at least the 17th century, when titles were inscribed on opening leaves. They were then bound in the 18th century. Some of the group have features to support a provenance in the kingdom of Naples, Gaeta being 80 km north of the city. Several are French in origin and were presumably acquired in France for an Italian Dominican convent, perhaps Gaeta, or travelled south with individual friars. Many have suffered from damp and some have lost their first and/or last gatherings, indicating that they were previously unbound or in damaged bindings. Each member of the group shares at least one of the following four features: a 17th-century inscription on the first leaf (and sometimes a subsequent one) with a brief title and shelfmark; an inscription on the back (and sometimes front) pastedown of the number of leaves and any significant decoration, ending 'Segnato N. AP'; a loose slip of paper with an inscription similar to the title on the spine, doubtless an instruction to the binder; and a loose piece of paper with a brief 19th-century description in French. The group probably left Italy in the wake of the Napoleonic invasions -- San Domenico, Gaeta, was suppressed in 1806 -- to be described by a French collector or dealer, before eventually being acquired for the HSA in the early 20th century.
    The present lot is inscribed 'Manuscripta in Hieremiam' and 'B 2(?) Expositio [the remainder illegible]' (f.1, top and bottom margins) and, on the back pastedown, 'Foglie # 133 Iniziali 2 Segnato N. AP'. An 18th-century slip of paper inscribed 'XXV In Jerem. Glos. Interl. MS' (presumably an instruction to the binder) and a brief 19th-century description in French, are loosely inserted.

    4. HSA, B1454; Charles B. Faulhaber, Medieval Manuscripts in the Library of the Hispanic Socity of America, Religious, Legal, Scientific, Historical, and Literary Manuscripts, 1983, pp.15-6.

    Jeremiah, with the Glossa ordinaria (ff.1v-108v), preceded by prologues 'Ieremias propheta cui hic prologus scribitur...', 'Or(igenis). Deus ad benefaciendum promptus est...', and 'Ceteri prophete ut Ysaias, Osee, Ioel...' (Stegmüller, Repertorium biblicum mediiaevi, nos. 487, 11808.1 and no. 11808.3, respectively) (f.1r-v); Lamentations 2:6 to 5:9, with the Glossa ordinaria (ff.109-134v), preceded by prologues 'Pascasius. Sunt Cantica Canticorum...', 'Pascasius. Quadruplici plangit alphabeto...', and six others (Stegmüller, nos. 11809.1,2,4,5,7-9), of which two are explicitly attributed to Gilbert 'the Universal' (f.108r-v).

    The Glossa ordinaria (ordinary gloss) was the result of a concerted project in the decades around 1100 to gain control of the many commentaries on the books of the Bible. The work seems to have been planned at the school of Laon, and undertaken by the masters of the cathedral schools of Laon, Auxerre and Paris. The only book of the Gloss whose compiler 'signed' his work is Lamentations, by 'Gilbert the Universal'. Gilbert (d.1134), theologian and Ciceronian rhetorician, pupil or collaborator of Anselm of Laon, is thought also to have been responsible for the Gloss on the Pentateuch and the Major Prophets, and perhaps also on several other books of the Old Testament. Lamentations is therefore a key book for understanding the Gloss as a whole, and it is the only one for which a modern (partial) edition exists, see Alexander Andrée, Gilbertus Universalis: Glossa ordinaria in Lamenatationes... A Critical Edition with an Introduction and Translation (Stockholm, 2005).

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