THOMAS OF RINGSTEAD O.P. (fl.1346-1366), Expositio in parabolis Salomonis, Latin translation of his Commentary on Proverbs, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[France, 14th century]
290 x 220mm. iii paper + 150 + iii paper leaves: 16 (of 8, lacking i and ii), 2-198, one or more gatherings missing at the end, catchwords throughout, the first four gatherings apparently with ad hoc leaf signatures (including 'c' in blue ink, quire 2), the remainder with another sequence in red ink from 'a' to 'p', two columns of 49 lines written in brown ink in a gothic bookhand between four verticals and 50 horizontals ruled in plummet, an extra pair of rulings in each margin, justification: 218 x 65-15-65mm, chapter numbers in roman numerals added in upper margins on rectos ('prima'-'xx'), lection numbers added in Arabic numerals in lower and side margins ('prima'-'1040'), lemmata underlined in red as far as f.59v, capitals stroked in red, paragraph marks alternately red or blue, two- to four-line initials alternately in blue with red penwork flourishing, or in red with blue (gatherings 1-2) or purple (gatherings 3-19) penwork flourishing, marginalia by at least two medieval hands, some leaves with natural flaws and uneven edges (a few leaves with knife(?) cuts, some worming in first and last leaves, some staining and discolouring). 18th-century Italian half sheep and patterned paper over pasteboards, the spine lettered in gilt 'XXII JNC-EXP IN PAR. SAL. MS.' (scuffed).
1. The manuscript appears to have been written in France and taken to Italy before the decoration was complete: the initials of the first two gatherings (ff.1-14) are decorated with penwork flourishing in French style, while the remainder are Italian in style; the blue and red colour of the initials themselves changes at the same point, becoming much brighter in the Italian section.
2. Perhaps from the Dominican convent of San Domenico, Gaeta (see lot 16): uniformly bound with the manuscript from Gaeta (lot 22) and eleven others and similarly inscribed: 'B2 expositio in Parabolis Salomonis' (f.1), and 'Foglie # 150 Iniziali # 142 Segnato N AP' (end pastedown). A loosely inserted slip of paper (presumably instructions for the binder) is inscribed 'XXII Incert. Exp. In Parab. Salom. MS'.
3. HSA, B1455; Faulhaber, pp.111-12.
Thomas of Ringstead, Exposition in parabolis Salomonis, lacking opening and ending defectively ff.1-150v. The manuscript apparently begins towards the end of a prologue ('puteo cuius aque profunde sunt...', with lemmata from II Maccabees 1 and Proverbs 1:20), and then has a large initial at the start of Proverbs 1:1 ('Parabole Salomonis filii David Regis Israel &c Istud capitulum in duas partes dividitur...', see Stegmler, no. 8172). It ends in the commentary on Proverbs 20:19.
Thomas of Ringstead studied at Cambridge, and was a member of the Dominican convent there in the late 1340s. In the 1350s he lived at the papal court in Avignon under Pope Innocent VI, who made him Bishop of Bangor, Wales, in 1357; he died in 1366, and in his will he left £100 to his cathedral on condition that his successor was not Welsh, and £100 to support poor scholars at Oxford or Cambridge, on condition that none of them were Welsh. His commentary on Proverbs was based on a series of lectures he delivered at the University of Cambridge.