BIBLE with the Prologues attributed to St Jerome and the Interpretation of Hebrew names, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[northern France, probably Paris, second quarter 13th century]
140 x 90mm. i + 658 leaves: 1-1524, 1620, 17-2224, 2310, 24-2524, 2617(of 18, xviii cancelled blank), 2726, 2828, 295(of 6, vi cancelled blank), COMPLETE, modern pencil foliation, gatherings numbered in roman numerals at the foot of final versos except for 22 (f.524v) and signature marks at bottom of inner corner of text on each recto of the first half of a gathering, two columns of 47 lines written in brown-black ink in a small gothic bookhand between four verticals and 48 horizontals ruled in plummet, justification: 92 x 60mm, an additional pair of horizontals for running headings, rubrics in red, versal initials touched red, letters of running headings and chapter numbers alternately of red or blue, two-line chapter initials alternately of red or blue with extensive flourishing of the contrasting colour, five- to seven-line initials opening some prologues of similar type but with staves and flourishing of both colours opening some prologues, SEVENTY-EIGHT HISTORIATED INITIALS, most made up of foliage and dragons, the extensions of twenty-nine forming borders in the margin, painted in blues and pinks, orange-red and yellow (a few worm-holes in opening leaf, first and last folios darkened, small area of dampstaining to outermost edges of lower corners, slight cropping of some flourishing and running titles, a few folios with repaired cuts to outer margin, some darkening of lead white). 19th-century vellum gilt.
1. Jean Tornone: Burgundian doctor of medicine: inscription on verso of front endleaf recording his gift of the book to Stroyff
2. Assuerus Stroyff: inscription recording his receipt of the book from Tornone and then his gift of the book to Johan Baron of Bronckhorst
3. Johan Baron of Bronckhorst and Batenburg of Guelders: inscription dated 1574 recording his receipt of the book
List of the Books of the Bible, recto and verso of front endleaf; Vulgate Bible with the customary Prologues ff.1-599v; Interpretation of Hebrew names ff.600-658
Many of the initials in this pocket Bible are unusually colourful; the ever-present white, pinks and blues are joined not only by red and orange but, more surprisingly, by quite large areas of yellow. The repertoire of decorative details is equally distinctive in comparison with other French illumination of this date, and the terminating foliage includes a variety of small trefoil leaves. These are all features of the style named by Branner after Pierre de Bar, the Cardinal who presented manuscripts painted in this manner to Clairvaux: R. Branner, Manuscript Painting in Paris during the Reign of Saint Louis (1977), pp.70-71. He dates the activity of the Pierre de Bar atelier between 1230-1250 and accounts for its individuality by suggesting the formation of the style outside Paris. This attractive Bible, with the standard arrangement of the Vulgate, seems likely to have been made in the capital; it is an attractive addition to the recognised output of a workshop credited by Branner with producing some of the finest quality Parisian illumination of the first half of the 13th century.
The subjects of the historiated initials are as follows:
f.1 St Jerome (Prologue); f.4v Seven days of Creation (Genesis); f.27 Moses leading group across the Red Sea (Exodus); f.43 Jews offering a sacrifice (Leviticus); f.54 Moses preaching (Numbers); f.72 Moses receiving the Tablets of the Law (Deuteronomy); f.89 God addressing Joshua (Joshua); f.99 Gideon holding a sword (Judges); f.110 Elimelech and Naomi migrating to Moab (Ruth); f.112v Beheading of son of Heli and the theft of the Ark (Kings I); f.128 Beheading of Amalekite, before David (Kings II); f.141 Attendant bringing Abishag to David (Kings III); f.155v Ahaziah falling from a tower (Kings IV); f.170v Three Jewish Patriarchs (Chronicles I); f.185 Solomon enthroned (Chronicles II); f.202 Building of the Temple with Cyrus below ordering construction (Ezra I); f.207 Nehemiah presenting a gold cup to Artaxerxes (Nehemiah); f.213v Asperging of the Temple (Ezra II); f.220v Tobit and a swallow (Tobias); f.225v Judith beheading Holofernes (Judith); f.232 Ahasuerus showing clemency to Esther, with Haman hanging below (Esther); f.238v Job on the dunghill (Job); f.251 David harping (Psalms); f.256 Samuel annointing David (Psalm 26); f.258v David pointing to his mouth (Psalm 38); f.261 Fool, holding bat and bread (Psalm 52); f.264 God above, David in the water below (Psalm 68); f.268 David playing bells (Psalm 80); f.271v Two singers (Psalm 97); f.275 Trinity (Psalm 109); f.283v Solomon beating a youth with a birch (Proverbs); f.294v Solomon teaching a youth (Ecclesiastes); f.298 Virgin and Child enthroned (Song of Songs); f.299v Solomon and a youth holding a sword (Wisdom); f.307v Ecclesia (Ecclesiasticus); f.328 Sawing of Isaiah (Isaiah); f.353 Lapidation (Jeremiah); f.381 Baruch writing (Baruch); f.384v Ezechiel in bed, with Tetramorph (Ezechiel); f.412 Daniel in the lions' den (Daniel); f.423v Hosea and Gomer (Hosea); f.427v Joel preaching to group of Jews (Joel); f.429v Amos tending sheep (Amos); f.432v God appearing to Obadiah in bed (Obadiah); f.433v Jonah in the mouth of a whale, with Nineveh above (Jonah); f.434v Prophet teaching (Micah); f.437 Nahum lamenting the fall of Nineveh (Nahum); f.438v Habakkuk with stones held in cloth (Habakkuk); f.440 Prophet with scroll (Zephaniah); f.441v Two Prophets (Haggai); f.442v Prophet (Zechariah); f.447 Two men in discussion (Malachi); f.449 Beheading of the idolatrous Jew (Maccabees I); f.466 Messenger delivering a letter (Maccabees II); f.478v Tree of Jesse (Matthew); f.494v St Mark, with lion beneath his feet (Mark); f.505 St Luke asperging the altar, with angel (Luke); f.521v St John, standing below interlaced beasts and foliage (John); f.535 St Paul, holding out a cross (Romans); f.541 St Paul, holding a sword (Corinthians I); f.546v St Paul, holding a sword and scroll (Corinthians II); f.551 St Paul, holding a sword and book (Galatians); f.555 St Paul, holding a sword (Philippians); f.556v St Paul, holding a sword and book (Colossians); f.558 St Paul, holding a sword (Thessalonians I); f.559 St Paul, holding a sword (Thessalonians II); f.560 St Paul, holding a sword (Timothy I); f.561v St Paul, holding a sword (Timothy II); f.562v St Paul, holding a sword (Titus); f.563v St Paul, holding a sword (Philemon); f.564 Two men in discussion (Hebrews); f.568v Ascension (Acts); f.585 Jacob, holding a book (Jacob); f.586v St Peter seated, holding a book (Peter); f.588 St Peter, holding a key (Peter II); f.589 St John writing (John I); f.590v St John (John II); f.591 St John (John III); f.591 St Jude (Jude); f.592 St John writing (Revelations)