RUSSIAN OLD BELIEVERS -- Siia kniga sobranie sloves i deianii [This Book is a Collection of Sayings and Deeds], in Church Slavonic, ILLUSTRATED MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
337 x 211mm. 104 leaves, written in black ink in a regular semi-uncial Church Slavonic hand on paper with various watermarks, one dated 1820, initials in red, most pages within a double-rule frame in black ink shaded in yellow, and some within borders filled with scrolling foliate tendrils shaded in green, pink, or red wash, opening letters in black or red in elaborate scrolling and floral penwork, FOUR ORNAMENTAL HEADPIECES with leafy and flowering tendrils shaded in blue, pink and yellow, one of these (f.3) centred with a drawing of St John writing; three title-pages with the text in red within frames of scrolling foliate and floral tendrils, shaded in pink, yellow, blue and green; SEVENTY LARGE ILLUSTRATIONS, most two-third and full-page, in pen and ink and watercolour, showing scenes from various Old Believer texts. (Light soiling, some leaves repaired in the margins, a few small repairs, a very few leaves with early shallow creases, a very few leaves slightly shorter.) 19th-century printed cloth-covered linen-backed boards (some repairs, cloth covering lost at the spine, front hinge starting, extremities rubbed); modern green morocco-backed case.
A collection of extracts and illustrations of Old Believer eschatological and spiritual works. The fine illustrations depict: St John's Apocalypse, including the ship of the Church attacked by heretics (f.4); the seven-headed beast attacks the Mother and Child (f.6); the seven-headed beast spews a flood to drown the Mother (f.9); the son of Adam holds on his shoulders the globe with the battle between good and evil (f.12); 'A word on various deeds of Jesus Christ' (f.14); 'A word about charity and its uses' (f.28); 'Parable from the Mirror of the Soul' (f.41v); the Spiritual father sees the Whore of Babylon (f.42); the Holy Table (ff.44 and 46); 'The tale of the rich and the mean' (f.47v); Birds of Paradise (ff.63-64); St Michael of the Apocalypse (f.66); 'The Parable of the Apparition of the Mother of God to St Maksim the Greek' (f.69v); 'From the life of Tsar Ivan Vasil'evich Groznyi' (f.80); scenes from the life of Ivan IV; and various allegorical representations of death, devils, angels and Saints.
List of illustrations.
[f.2 - General title].
f.4 - The Ship of the Church is attacked by heretics on land.
f.6 - The seven-headed monster attacks the Mother and Child.
f.8 - The seven-headed monster spews a flood to drown the Mother.
f.10 - The young man is chased by a unicorn with the dragon below.
f.12 - The son of Adam holds the globe with the battle between good and devil on his shoulders.
f.13 - Allegory of the Apostle Matthew.
[f.14 - Title 'A word on various deeds of Christ.]
f.16 - Christ at the gates of a monastery.
f.18 - Christ witnesses an Igumen blessing a novice.
f.19 - a similar image.
f.21 - The Igumen bows down to Christ.
f.22 - The novice at the gates of Constantinople with onlookers.
f.23 - The inquirer is greeted with kindness.
f.25 - The ten-year-old boy listens to the sermon of the Starets.
f.27 - The soul of an old man explains the words of Christ.
[f.28 - Title 'A word about charity and its uses'.]
f.30 - The sermon of Feodorit, Patriarch of Antioch.
f.32 - Two youths drinking with an musician.
f.33 - The young man distributes his wealth.
f.34 - The young man stands before the Patriarch.
f.35 - The young man stands before three holy fathers.
f.36 - The young man bows dowm before the Starets.
f.37 - The young man is warned by the Starets about temptation.
f.38 - The young man prays before a lake with swimmers.
f.39 - The young man baptises the pagan emerging from the lake.
f.40 - The young man is received by the Starets.
[f.41 verso - Title 'Parable of the mirror of the soul(?)].
f.42 - The spiritual father sees the Whore of Babylon astride a fiery monster.
f.44 - View of the Holy Table in a Church
f.46 - A similar view after the the Nikonian reforms, dated 7166 ,
[f.47 verso - Title 'The tale of the rich man and the mean man'.]
f.48 - The rich man at his counting house.
f.49 - The rich man sees temptations in his sleep.
f.50 - The rich man stands before Satan.
f.51 - The rich man is tempted by three demons.
f.52 - The rich man is roasted by demons pouring money.
f.53 - The rich man is covered by the demons with a cloth on the ,
f.54 - The rich man is offered a drink of hot sulpher by the demons.
f.55 - The rich man is serenaded by demons playing trumpets.
f.56 - The rich man stands before Satan enthroned.
f.57 - The rich man is lectured by Satan.
f.58 - The rich man is buried in a fiery tomb by the demons.
f.59 - The rich man wakens standing before a monastery.
[f.59 verso - Title 'The Refectory of the pious and impious'.]
f.60 - The pious seated at table.
f.61 - The wicked at a debauch.
[f.62 verso - Text on birds of heaven.]
f.63 - The bird of heaven Finnik.
f.64 - The bird of heaven Sirin.
f.66 - The Archangel Michael.
f.68 - The reward and punishment.
f.69 verso - Title 'The parable of the Apparition of the Mother of God to St. Maksim the Greek'.]
f.72 - The angel shows St. Maksim the Greek the vision of hell.
f.73 - The temptation of St. Makarios of Egypt.
f.75 - The miracle of the beheaded robber.
f.76 - Saint George killing the dragon.
[f.77 - Title 'The order of the censer.']
[f.78 - Title 'Prayer against illness.']
[f.79 - Title 'The tale of the perjurer.']
[f.80 - Title 'From the life of tsar Ivan Vasil'evich Groznyi'.]
f.81 - Ivan and his brother greet the icon of the Mother of God.
f.82 - Ivan meets his bride Anastasia.
f.83 - The coronation of Ivan.
f.84 - The tsar toasts his bride.
f.85 - The tsar and the patriarch listen to a sermon.
f.86 - The tsar prays before a battle.
f.87 - The tsar rides from Moscow to Kolomna.
f.88 - The tsar sends an ambassador to tsar Shigalei.
f.89 - The old man and death.
f.90 - The four stages of life.
f.91 - The symbol of prayer.
f.92 - The farmer sows.
f.93 - The king is ruler.
f.94 - Death conquers all.
f.95 - Death with trumpet and scythe.
f.98 - The image of time.
f.99 - The candle of life.
f.100 - Dust to dust.
f.101 - The image of the sinner.
[f.102 - Title 'The dream of the rich man'.]
f.103 - The rich man is tormented by demons.
Visit www.christies.com for further information and images