27 - 28 June 2006
ILLUMINATED INITIAL D, cutting from an ILLUMINATED BIBLE ON VELLUM [central Italy, 1st half 12th century]
145 x 150mm overall. The initial staves are made up of two bands of purple and yellow wash against a red ground with a biting beast as the ascender, the infill of entwined white-vine tendrils on a field of green, purple, blue, red and yellow. The initial is likely to have opened Chapter 2 of the Book of Wisdom, Dixerunt enim and 12 lines from Chapter 4 continue on the verso written in black ink in a caroline minuscule (some creasing and slight smudging, edges lightly pasted to mount).
The distinctive palette and the dense white-vine tendrils that break through the initial staves are features associable with manuscripts identified as having been produced in the first half of the 12th century in central Italy, specifically in the region around Arezzo: K. Berg, Studies in Tuscan Twelfth-Century Illumination, Oslo 1968, no 15; F. Avril & Y. Zaluska, Manuscrits enluminés d'origine italienne. VI-XII siècles. Bibliothèque nationale, 1980, nos 71-75.
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