London, South Kensington
15 November 2013
ANIMAL CONSULTATION on a border cut from an ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM, [France, 15th century]. 85 x 20 mm, reminiscent of a fable by Aesop: a ram and a sheep stand before a bucket, watching a doctor-bear(?) who sits examining a specimen bottle, a squirrel to the left among foliage. Framed. Provenance: the reverse with the ink stamp of Fritz Hasselmann (d.1892) of Munich (Lugt, 1012). [With:] A LEAF FROM A BOOK OF HOURS, in Latin, [France, c.1400]. 128 x 95 mm, with 16 lines of text per page, justification: 90 x 55 mm, written in a fine formal gothic bookhand in two sizes in brown ink, rubrics in red, part of the Office of the Dead, consistent with the Use of Rome, with a VERY FINE FOLIATE INITIAL ON A GOLD GROUND WITH LEAFY MARGINAL EXTENSIONS. Framed.
A lively and tongue-in-cheek depiction of a common scene from medieval medical manuscripts: the doctor examining a flask of urine (see, for example, BL, Harley 3140 f.32v). Here, the travelling doctor is a brown bear; his patients a ram and a sheep.
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