• Valuable Manuscripts and Print auction at Christies

    Sale 7760

    Valuable Manuscripts and Printed Books

    24 November 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 3

    ST BERNARD (1090-1154), Apologia ad Guillelmum abbatem; PSEUDO-BASIL (330-379), Admonitio ad filium spiritualem; PSEUDO-HUGH OF ST VICTOR, De anima III; and other treatises here attributed to St Bernard, in Latin, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [Spain or Portugal, 15th century]171 x 120 mm. vi paper + ii (former pastedown) + 133 + vi paper leaves: 18, 26, 3-810, 98, 1010, 118, 12-1410, 153(of 2 + iii former pastedown), catchwords in lower margins of final versos, some flourished in red; 16-23 lines, written in brown or black ink in three different hands, justification c.116 x 76 mm, headings in red, text capitals touched red, large initials in red, some with reserved pattern or purple flourishing, or blue, one with red flourishing, one large puzzle initial in red and blue (text worn on some leaves, two words replaced by an early hand f.93, worming to opening and final leaves). 19th-century brown morocco gilt à la Du Seuil, spine in six compartments gilt, gilt turn ins (extremities worn).

    PROVENANCE:

    1. The scripts indicate an origin in Spain or Portugal: the core of the manuscript is in two formal Iberian bookhands; the opening text is in an elegant cursive hand and the closing text in a southern library hand. The first two texts are continuous within the opening gathering, as are the second and third texts in the second gathering. The last two texts each occupy an independent sequence of gatherings. The fourth text may have been written first, with the others apparently designed to be bound with it. The volume is typical of the compilations popular in monastic communities, with a combination of spiritual and practical advice. There are some marginal annotations throughout from scholarly readers. St Bernards influence extended beyond his own order but it was most probably written within, and for, a Cistercian community. The Cistercians flourished in both Spain and Portugal, where there were several royal foundations.

    2. M. Guillaume, juge au tribunal dinstance, Besancon: letter to him on the texts attributed to St Bernard dated 28 April 1846 from the Abbé Bessson, Claude-Ignace Besson (1785-1859), Besançon, mounted before final leaf; Guillaume probably wrote the notes on the texts on paper leaves iii-iv; purchased at the sale of his library, Lyon 1850; information from slip from sale catalogue, no 312, pasted inside upper cover.

    3. Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 24 January 1895, lot 247.

    4. Sothebys, 19 May 1958, lot 57

    5. Quaritch, Catalogue 794 (1959), no 5.

    6. Jim Bailey: name inscribed inside upper cover and

    CONTENT:

    1. Pseudo-Bernard of Clairvaux, Formula honestae vitae, headed Incipit prologo in regula honestatis edita a Beato Bernardo claravallensis abbate (Patrologia Latina, 184, 1167-70; M.W. Bloomfield et al., Incipits of Latin Works on the Virtues and Vices 1100-1500 A.D., 1979, no 3897), ff.1-6.

    2. Arnulfus de Boeriis (late 12th century), Speculum monachorum, headed Incipit utile et breve speculum beati bernardi abbatis in quo se debet monachus cotidie speculari (Patrologia Latina, 184, 1175-78; Bloomfield, no 5582, ff.7-9.

    3. Pseudo-Basil of Caesarea, Admonitio ad filium spiritualem (Patrologia Latina, 103, 683-700, ff.9-25v.

    4. Pseudo-Hugh of St Victor, De anima, Book III, headed Incipit tabula primi libri qui intitulatur speculum conscientie beati bernardi abbatis, f.25v, with similar title on small slip bound after f.25v, ff.26-92v, consisting of:
    i) Pseudo-Bernard of Clairvaux, De interiori domo, following the text to the end of chap. XXVIII, here XIX, f.79v (Patrologia Latina, 184, 507-538) and continuing humilitatis testimonia; followed by two chapters, both numbered XX, opening Superbus animus ad hoc sponte, f.79v, and ending ..nolumus timere, f.83v, also found as a continuation in a 14th-century compilation from the Benedictine Abbey of Muri, Switzerland (Staatsarchiv des Kantons Aargau MsMur 2), ff.26-83v.
    ii) De psalmodie modulatione salubri, opening Ut vox nostre laudis deum, ending ..psalmodia sine devotione cibus est sine sapore, ff.83v-84
    iii) Alger of Liège (1055-1132), De sacramento corporis et sanguinis Domini, in the abbreviated version often incorporated into Pseudo-Hugh of St Victor, De anima (Patrologia Latina, 177, 165-170), here as chapters XXII-XXX, with the opening Nos credimus tale cuique fieri..; this has been edited by G. Folliet in Recherches augustiniennes, 8, 1971, pp.261-299, where this opening is noted in three 15th-century manuscripts; to these can be added MsMur 2, which, with the present lot, shows that this form was circulating in the 14th century, ff.83v-92v.

    5) St Bernard (1090-1153, Apologia ad Guillelmum abbatem (Patrologia Latina,182, 526-40), headed in a different contemporary hand on f.92v Incipit liber apologeticus beati bernardi, and opening with chap. I, ff.93-132v.

    The importance of tradition and the weight given to recognised authority meant that works were often attributed to revered figures, like St Basil from the early church or St Bernard. When truth not originality was the object of study, much scholarship consisted in reviewing and re-compiling existing work so that texts could circulate in varying forms. The De anima, traditionally attributed to the great scholar Hugh of St Victor (1096-1141), is a patchwork of other texts, including for Book III the De interiori domo attributed to Bernard. The scribe of the present lot doubtless thought he was copying a separate treatise by St Bernard, whereas modern editors have associated the addition of Alger of Lièges De sacramento with the text as it appears in Book III of De anima. The one text actually by St Bernard of Clairvaux is his defining work justifying Cistercian austerity and condemning Benedictine luxury, including the fanciful embellishments of illuminated manuscripts. This book is a suitably modest volume to embody his ideas. It is typical of the compilations popular in monastic communities in combining spiritual with practical advice. St Bernards influence extended beyond his own order but this manuscript was most probably written within, and for, a Cistercian community.

    Price Realised  

    ST BERNARD (1090-1154), Apologia ad Guillelmum abbatem; PSEUDO-BASIL (330-379), Admonitio ad filium spiritualem; PSEUDO-HUGH OF ST VICTOR, De anima III; and other treatises here attributed to St Bernard, in Latin, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM [Spain or Portugal, 15th century]171 x 120 mm. vi paper + ii (former pastedown) + 133 + vi paper leaves: 18, 26, 3-810, 98, 1010, 118, 12-1410, 153(of 2 + iii former pastedown), catchwords in lower margins of final versos, some flourished in red; 16-23 lines, written in brown or black ink in three different hands, justification c.116 x 76 mm, headings in red, text capitals touched red, large initials in red, some with reserved pattern or purple flourishing, or blue, one with red flourishing, one large puzzle initial in red and blue (text worn on some leaves, two words replaced by an early hand f.93, worming to opening and final leaves). 19th-century brown morocco gilt à la Du Seuil, spine in six compartments gilt, gilt turn ins (extremities worn).

    PROVENANCE:

    1. The scripts indicate an origin in Spain or Portugal: the core of the manuscript is in two formal Iberian bookhands; the opening text is in an elegant cursive hand and the closing text in a southern library hand. The first two texts are continuous within the opening gathering, as are the second and third texts in the second gathering. The last two texts each occupy an independent sequence of gatherings. The fourth text may have been written first, with the others apparently designed to be bound with it. The volume is typical of the compilations popular in monastic communities, with a combination of spiritual and practical advice. There are some marginal annotations throughout from scholarly readers. St Bernards influence extended beyond his own order but it was most probably written within, and for, a Cistercian community. The Cistercians flourished in both Spain and Portugal, where there were several royal foundations.

    2. M. Guillaume, juge au tribunal dinstance, Besancon: letter to him on the texts attributed to St Bernard dated 28 April 1846 from the Abbé Bessson, Claude-Ignace Besson (1785-1859), Besançon, mounted before final leaf; Guillaume probably wrote the notes on the texts on paper leaves iii-iv; purchased at the sale of his library, Lyon 1850; information from slip from sale catalogue, no 312, pasted inside upper cover.

    3. Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 24 January 1895, lot 247.

    4. Sothebys, 19 May 1958, lot 57

    5. Quaritch, Catalogue 794 (1959), no 5.

    6. Jim Bailey: name inscribed inside upper cover and

    CONTENT:

    1. Pseudo-Bernard of Clairvaux, Formula honestae vitae, headed Incipit prologo in regula honestatis edita a Beato Bernardo claravallensis abbate (Patrologia Latina, 184, 1167-70; M.W. Bloomfield et al., Incipits of Latin Works on the Virtues and Vices 1100-1500 A.D., 1979, no 3897), ff.1-6.

    2. Arnulfus de Boeriis (late 12th century), Speculum monachorum, headed Incipit utile et breve speculum beati bernardi abbatis in quo se debet monachus cotidie speculari (Patrologia Latina, 184, 1175-78; Bloomfield, no 5582, ff.7-9.

    3. Pseudo-Basil of Caesarea, Admonitio ad filium spiritualem (Patrologia Latina, 103, 683-700, ff.9-25v.

    4. Pseudo-Hugh of St Victor, De anima, Book III, headed Incipit tabula primi libri qui intitulatur speculum conscientie beati bernardi abbatis, f.25v, with similar title on small slip bound after f.25v, ff.26-92v, consisting of:
    i) Pseudo-Bernard of Clairvaux, De interiori domo, following the text to the end of chap. XXVIII, here XIX, f.79v (Patrologia Latina, 184, 507-538) and continuing humilitatis testimonia; followed by two chapters, both numbered XX, opening Superbus animus ad hoc sponte, f.79v, and ending ..nolumus timere, f.83v, also found as a continuation in a 14th-century compilation from the Benedictine Abbey of Muri, Switzerland (Staatsarchiv des Kantons Aargau MsMur 2), ff.26-83v.
    ii) De psalmodie modulatione salubri, opening Ut vox nostre laudis deum, ending ..psalmodia sine devotione cibus est sine sapore, ff.83v-84
    iii) Alger of Liège (1055-1132), De sacramento corporis et sanguinis Domini, in the abbreviated version often incorporated into Pseudo-Hugh of St Victor, De anima (Patrologia Latina, 177, 165-170), here as chapters XXII-XXX, with the opening Nos credimus tale cuique fieri..; this has been edited by G. Folliet in Recherches augustiniennes, 8, 1971, pp.261-299, where this opening is noted in three 15th-century manuscripts; to these can be added MsMur 2, which, with the present lot, shows that this form was circulating in the 14th century, ff.83v-92v.

    5) St Bernard (1090-1153, Apologia ad Guillelmum abbatem (Patrologia Latina,182, 526-40), headed in a different contemporary hand on f.92v Incipit liber apologeticus beati bernardi, and opening with chap. I, ff.93-132v.

    The importance of tradition and the weight given to recognised authority meant that works were often attributed to revered figures, like St Basil from the early church or St Bernard. When truth not originality was the object of study, much scholarship consisted in reviewing and re-compiling existing work so that texts could circulate in varying forms. The De anima, traditionally attributed to the great scholar Hugh of St Victor (1096-1141), is a patchwork of other texts, including for Book III the De interiori domo attributed to Bernard. The scribe of the present lot doubtless thought he was copying a separate treatise by St Bernard, whereas modern editors have associated the addition of Alger of Lièges De sacramento with the text as it appears in Book III of De anima. The one text actually by St Bernard of Clairvaux is his defining work justifying Cistercian austerity and condemning Benedictine luxury, including the fanciful embellishments of illuminated manuscripts. This book is a suitably modest volume to embody his ideas. It is typical of the compilations popular in monastic communities in combining spiritual with practical advice. St Bernards influence extended beyond his own order but this manuscript was most probably written within, and for, a Cistercian community.


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