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STATUTES OR RULES OF ASSOCIATION OF A LAY FRATERNITY, ch. 12-16, in Cakavian Croatian, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Island of Krk, Croatia, early 15th century]
STATUTES OR RULES OF ASSOCIATION OF A LAY FRATERNITY, ch. 12-16, in Cakavian Croatian, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Island of Krk, Croatia, early 15th century]
STATUTES OR RULES OF ASSOCIATION OF A LAY FRATERNITY, ch. 12-16, in Cakavian Croatian, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Island of Krk, Croatia, early 15th century]
STATUTES OR RULES OF ASSOCIATION OF A LAY FRATERNITY, ch. 12-16, in Cakavian Croatian, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Island of Krk, Croatia, early 15th century]
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STATUTES OR RULES OF ASSOCIATION OF A LAY FRATERNITY, ch. 12-16, in Cakavian Croatian, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Island of Krk, Croatia, early 15th century]

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STATUTES OR RULES OF ASSOCIATION OF A LAY FRATERNITY, ch. 12-16, in Cakavian Croatian, illuminated manuscript on vellum [Island of Krk, Croatia, early 15th century] Two leaves from one of the earliest Glagolitic manuscripts of Statutes of a lay fraternity. 2 leaves, 290 x 210mm, blind-ruled for 2 columns of 26 lines written in black ink in a fine square Glagolitic book script, ruled space 185 x 125mm, headings in red, six large illuminated initials in strapwork and leafy design in red and black with yellow wash infill (some marginal staining, a few wormholes, smudge to one initial). Provenance: (1) From a manuscript containing the rules of a lay fraternity in the 15th century, mentioning in ch.16 various places in which members of the fraternity might fall ill, including Senj and Rijeka, coastal towns in northern Dalmatia; and Cres and Rab, offshore islands in the Adriatic, on the Dalmatian coast. The text ends with a reference to an unnamed island, apparently the home of the fraternity, and likely the island of Krk, between Cres and the mainland. (2) Predrag Milovanovic, Belgrade, Serbia, 20th century, sold to: (3) I. Pozaric, Zagreb, Croatia, sold to: (4) Jeremy Griffiths, Oxford, purchased in 1991. (5) Schøyen Collection, MS 1391. Text: Glagolitic script, the first Slavic alphabet, was created by the 9th-century Slavic-speaking Byzantine missionary to Moravia, Constantine (St Cyril): the possession of a distinct alphabet gave Slavic the dignity necessary for use in Biblical translation and liturgy (against the ‘trilingual heresy’ that held there to be only three sacred languages, Hebrew, Greek and Latin). After the expulsion of the Slavic monks from Moravia, in Croatia the square form of Glagolitic early replaced the round (and continued to be used for liturgical books into the 20th century), while in the wider Slavic realms the Greek-derived Cyrillic script soon came to predominate. Hundreds of Croatian Glagolitic texts, both handwritten and printed, the oldest from the 12th century, are held in national museums in Europe and the USA, but very few ever come to the market. Among these: three codices and two sets of fragments from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps (the codices, a Missal of c.1400-10, bought in the Guildford sale at Evans, 8 December 1830, lot 460, for the vast price of £168, and among his proudest possessions, sold Sotheby’s on 29 November 1966, lot 162, and now Pierpont Morgan Library; a 15th-century priest’s manual, sold at Sotheby’s on 28-29 June 1976, lot 4040; and a copy of patristic texts dated 1602, lot 1240 in the same sale; the fragments: two leaves from a 15th-century illuminated Missal, sold at Sotheby’s on 16 December 1970, lot 5; two further leaves from a contemporary copy of the same text, sold at Hartung in 2012, and now in two private UK collections); a 12th/13th-century Psalter sold at Christie’s on 3 June 1998, lot 28 for £53,200; and two small 14th-century fragments in the binding of a printed Glagolitic Breviary sold at Christie’s on 11 July 2018 for £97,500. Script: The script of present fragment is characterized by the general elongation of letters and the marked development of ascenders and descenders, while the illumination, with its plaited yellow and red strapwork, is typical of Glagolitic manuscripts.
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These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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