BIBLE with the Prologues attributed to St Jerome and the Interpretation of Hebrew names, in Latin, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[England, first half 13th century]
198 x 135mm. 346 leaves: 1-716, 812, 9-1216, 1315(of 16, lacking xvi), 1417(of 20, lacking xiv, xv and xvi), 15-1820, 19-2012, 213(of 2 with iii a later insertion), 2216, 233(of ?16, lacking leaves between second and final folio) and lacking two gatherings after 7, intermittent pencil foliation inaccurate after f.121, catchwords at inner lower corner of ff.16v, 112v and 170v, signature marks a-h at lower outer corner of ff.125-132 in black and ff.141-148 in blue, two columns of 56 lines, ff.1-18, or 62 lines written in black ink in a small gothic bookhand between four verticals and 57 or 63 horizontals ruled in plummet, justification: 133-139 x 85mm, an additional pair of horizontals in upper and lower margins, rubrics in red, versal initials touched red, versal initials in the Psalter, letters of running headings and chapter numbers alternately of red or blue, two-line chapter initials alternately of red or blue with flourishing of the contrasting colour, five- to eight-line initials with divided staves of red and blue with flourishing extending the height of the margin, TWO LARGE PAINTED INITIALS with curling foliate tendrils of green, red and blue against a pink ground (repairs to margin of about 8 folios and outer two-thirds of final folio replaced, a few worm-holes and staining to first few folios, area of yellowing in margin of about 40 leaves). Panelled brown morocco gilt by Bedford.
1. Carthusian monastery of Vauclaire: 'ex libris vallis clarae' (f.1 in an 18th-century hand) and 'Iste liber e[st] dom[us] vallis clare ord[in]is cartusi[ensis] perigoricen[sis] duc[is]' (f.1v in a late 15th- or 16th-century hand). The monastery of Vauclaire was founded in 1330 by the comte de Périgord and suppressed in 1790. One of the uses to which the manuscript was put is shown by the marking for readings in the margins.
2. Duke of Sussex: bookplate removed from the front endleaf, according to inserted catalogue description
3. Catalogue entry annotated with the date 29.3.44 inside cover
Vulgate Bible with the customary Prologues ff.1-326v: lacking an undetermined number of folios, probably 32, between Chapter xi of Chronicles I to Chapter xii of Tobias, lacking 1 folio with Chapters xlii-xlvi of Jeremiah and 3 folios with Chapters xxv-xxxiv of Ezekiel; prayer to St Severinus on an inserted leaf f.327v; Interpretation of Hebrew names: lacking folios with entries between Jezebel and Zoram ff.328-346
The style of the large painted initials that open the Prologue and Genesis is identical to that of the decoration of the Pipewell Abbey Bible (Sam Fogg Rare Books, Catalogue 16, no 39). Both have 'puzzle' initials with staves of interlocking red and blue and infills with curling tendrils of green, red, blue and yellow making a symmetrical pattern on a ground of pink. They are a distinctive feature and if not the work of the same craftsman are likely to be localisable to the same region. Comparisons were made for the Pipewell Bible with Royal Ms 8.F.X. in the British Library, believed to have belonged to the Benedictine Abbey of Ramsey, and an initial in a Canterbury Psalter of 1210-1220 (Paris, BnF lat 770): F. Avril and P.D. Stirnemann, Manuscrits enluminés d'origine insulaire vii-xxe siècle, (1987), no 79.