BOOK OF DANIEL, from a folio Bible, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[Italy, 2nd half 14th century]
320 x 227mm. 10 leaves, two columns of 48 lines written in black ink in a round gothic bookhand between four verticals and 49 horizontals ruled in plummet, rubrics of red, letters of running headings and chapter numbers alternately red and blue, initials of red or blue with cusps and flourishing of both colours extending beyond the height of the text to open each chapter, TWO ILLUMINATED FOLIATE INITIALS and HISTORIATED INITIAL WITH TEXT-HEIGHT ACANTHUS BORDER, in pastel colours and burnished gold (tiny area of dampstaining at top of margin of first three folios). 20th-century half pigskin (slightly rubbed at extremities).
The Reverend Anson Phelps Stokes (1874-1958): bookplate inside front cover. The noted clergyman in New York and New England, who also directed the philanthropy of his family's foundation, had this manuscript as no 5 in the listing of his books, De Ricci and Wilson, Census, II, p.2276, where its acquisition from Goodspeed in 1935 and the presence of the Book of Job from the same manuscript, then in the Goodhart collection, New York were also noted. The manuscript passed from his son, the Reverend Anson Phelps Stokes II (1905-1986), Bishop of Massachusetts 1956-70, to the Episcopal Theological School, which in 1974 became part of the Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass., the present owners.
Book of Daniel ff.1v-10v, preceded by the incomplete prologue to Daniel (Stegmüller 494) and followed by the prologues to Hosea (Stegmüller 500 and 507).
These leaves must once have been part of an extremely handsome and elegantly produced folio Bible. The delicate forms of the acanthus sprays, their twisting leaves turning from pale blue to pink and orange and from yellow to orange, point to an origin in Umbria, probably Perugia, around the middle to third quarter of the 14th century.