The following three lots are bifolia taken from a turn-of-the-14th-century Giant Spanish Bible. The illumination shows the influence of styles current in France, but the script and decorative features point to northern Spain. The vibrant yet nuanced palette of pinks, reds, blues and greens, the striking diapered backgrounds and delicate scrolling infills, and the stylised figures with their formulaic postures are also features of a Castilian Missal at the Victoria and Albert Museum (see R. Watson, Western Illuminated Manuscripts, 2015, cat. no 17). Provenance: All three bifolia were evidently used as binding fragments, likely for archival material: 19th-century titles (‘Escrituras de Censos de los Lugares’) and reference numbers in Spanish on two of the lots.
ST PAUL and A VIOLIN-PLAYER, two historiated initials on a bifolium from a Giant Bible [Spain, probably Castile, c.1300]
398 x 272mm. 33 lines in two columns, ruled space: 250 x 70mm, pinpricks survive, headings in red and blue, two historiated and one illuminated initial (tiny loss to the burnished gold of the violin player, marginal cockling). The text runs from 1 Corinthians 16:6, ‘[...] vel etiam hiemabo [...]’ to 2 Corinthians 1:12, ‘[...] sed in gratia Dei conversati [sumus]’ and 2 Corinthians 12:5, ‘[...] pro eiusmodi gloriabor [...]’ to 2 Corinthians 13:13, ‘[...] et communicatio Sancti Spiritus cum omnibus vobis amen’.