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MINIATURE TALISMANIC PRAYERBOOK, in Italian, French and Latin, painted manuscript on vellum [Italy, early 16th century]

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
MINIATURE TALISMANIC PRAYERBOOK, in Italian, French and Latin, painted manuscript on vellum [Italy, early 16th century]

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MINIATURE TALISMANIC PRAYERBOOK, in Italian, French and Latin, painted manuscript on vellum [Italy, early 16th century] 32° (52 x 33mm). 3-223pp. with 3 additional leaves inserted after p.32 and 2 additional leaves inserted after p.208, apparently lacking first and penultimate leaves, 2 endleaves at front and back, with sixteen lines written in brown ink in a cursive hand, more than 20 devotional ink-drawn designs or diagrams, usually variants of the Cross or instruments of the Passion, 20 full-page devotional watercolour paintings of wounds of Christ, saints, reliquaries, Virgin and Child etc (many designs affected by ink erosion, dampstaining to edge of final 12 leaves, thumbing of outer margins not generally affecting legibility). Contemporary panelled vellum over thin boards stamped with standing Virgin and Child in a scalloped border (worn). Modern leather-backed cloth box, with bookplate DP. This manuscript was explicitly made to serve as an amulet: the opening folios specify the protection offered by keeping the book on one's person in various situations - to women in disgrace with their husbands, to someone threatened by mad animals etc. The first and main text, provided in Italian, French and Latin, is an Epistle of Leo III to Charlemagne. This is followed by prayers, sacred signs, devotions and images that would provide the owner with both the talismanic protection of the object and the necessary words and images for their own devotional practice. It is datable to the early 17th century from the inclusion of portraits and prayers of Pius V (Pope 1566-1577) and Clement VIII (Pope 1592-1605).
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