Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
ASCENSION OF CHRIST, beside an initial I, cut from a Choirbook, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
This lot will be subject to VAT at the rate of 17.… Read more
ASCENSION OF CHRIST, beside an initial I, cut from a Choirbook, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

Details
ASCENSION OF CHRIST, beside an initial I, cut from a Choirbook, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[Milan, c.1450]
122 x 107mm. The Virgin and six Apostles gaze up at Christ, who rises to heaven in an unusually animated profile pose. The composition was originated by the Master of the Vitae Imperatorum, active in Milan c.1430-1450, in the larger area offered by an initial P (Hartford, Wadsworth Atheneum, n.1963.33). For the present initial, an associated illuminator has achieved a greater immediacy by cutting the watching figures to accommodate them beside the letter I: A. Melograni, 'Miniature inedite del Quattrocento lombardo nelle collezioni americane', Storia dell'Arte, 1994, pp.283-302, figs 5 and 6. The letter, in the form of a tower, is more typical of the Master of the Franciscan Breviary, based in Milan c.1440-1460.

This striking example of Milanese illumination of the mid-15th century was in the Holford Collection, R.H. Benson, The Holford Collection, Dorchester House, 1927, I, pp.2, 7, pl.III, formed by Robert Stayner Holford (1808-1892), most of whose cuttings came from William Young Ottley (1771-1836); this was possibly lot 23 in the Ottley Sale, Sotheby's, London, 16 May 1838. The collection passed to his son, Sir George Holford (1860-1926): lot 8 to Tancred Borenius (1885-1948) at the Holford Sale, Sotheby's, London, 12 July 1927.
Special Notice

This lot will be subject to VAT at the rate of 17.5% on the buyer's premium
Post Lot Text
All the following points of condition are clearly visible in the catalogue illustration. There is a horizontal crease across the drapery of the lower figures; two small losses in the left edge of the frame and small losses in the blue pigment of the background, the most significant being in the right towards the tower. Occasional small losses of surface to burnished gold. Loosely mounted along 2 edges onto a piece of card (but we feel certain this could be lifted successfully).
;

More from Valuable Printed Books & Manuscripts,incl.Natural History

View All
View All