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BISHOP SAINT TRIUMPHING OVER A DRAGON, in an initial P cut from an ILLUMINATED CHOIRBOOK ON VELLUM
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus bu… Read more PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF MATHILDA GOLDMAN
BISHOP SAINT TRIUMPHING OVER A DRAGON, in an initial P cut from an ILLUMINATED CHOIRBOOK ON VELLUM

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BISHOP SAINT TRIUMPHING OVER A DRAGON, in an initial P cut from an ILLUMINATED CHOIRBOOK ON VELLUM

[probably Tuscany, Italy, late 13th century]
124 x 95mm overall. The haloed Bishop, standing on the back of the conquered dragon while thrusting his spear-headed crosier into its mouth, slightly overlaps the bowl of an initial P made up of foliage and tendrils of blue, green, orange and beige-pink, all set against a ground and infill of burnished gold (cut to shape, minor abrasion of gold, design removed from borders of chasuble, and slight pigment losses to blue and white of his tunicle and mitre). Mounted and framed.

The identity of this imposing figure is uncertain. Neither of the two bishop saints noted for slaying dragons with their crosiers, nor St Marcellus of Paris and St Servatius of Tongern, seems very likely: the fact that he wears a pallium should indicate that he was an archbishop.

The acanthus forms of the initial staves are characteristic of Tuscan illumination of the late thirteenth century, but the extensive use of burnished gold is exceptional.
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium.
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