BIBLE with the Prologues attributed to St Jerome and the Interpretation of Hebrew names, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
167 x 116mm. ii + 534 + 14 leaves, mostly in gatherings of 16, COMPLETE, two columns of 48 lines written in black ink in a gothic bookhand between four verticals and 48 horizontals ruled in plummet, top and bottom three horizontals across margins and an extra pair in lower margin, justification: 130 x 36-6-36mm, rubrics in red, running titles, chapter numbers and versals in Psalter in letters alternately red and blue, each Psalm opening with a three-line flourish initial of red or blue flourished with the other colour, text capitals touched red, one-line initials alternately of red or blue, FOURTEEN LARGE HISTORIATED INITIALS with grounds of burnished gold, all other Books and Prologues opening with large puzzle initials of red and blue with colour-wash tendrils in infills and grounds, some prologues with large flourish initials (cropping of most running titles and lower border of Genesis initial, stains on page-opening of Book of Micah, three leaves of the epistle of Peter and the First Epistle of John dampstained). Modern red velvet with brass clasps and catches (spine rubbed and split at joints).
Small portable Bibles were developed in Paris and produced there in great number during the 13th century. This manuscript is an attractive demonstration of the spread of the form. Features of the script and format -- it was written with no chapter divisions -- suggest its relatively early date yet the style of illumination is not Parisian. The parchment quality and some orthographical details could be indicative of its production in central or southern France.
Canon tables ff.i-iiv; Vulgate Bible with Prologues ff.1-534; Interpretation of Hebrew names ff.535-547v.
The Canon tables are written in a less formal hand and are likely to have been near-contemporary additions.
Fourteen Books of the Bible open with fine historiated initials where intense and active little figures are set against grounds of burnished gold.
The historiated initials are as follows: Scenes of Creation and the Fall of Man (Genesis), Hannah bringing Samuel to Eli (Kings I), Job with three tormentors (Job), David harping and David slaying Goliath (Psalms), Isaiah being sawn by two men (Isaiah), mounted battle (Maccabees), Matthew, with wings, writing (Matthew), Lion (Mark), Luke's ox (Luke), John holding a scroll, his eagle above him (John), Paul preaching (Paul's Epistle to the Romans), Pentecost (Acts of the Apostles), James standing (Epistle of St James), John seated on Patmos, writing, seven spires above him (Apocalypse).