Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.


Adam de Montaldo, Tertia pars passionis , Latin verse on the Passion of Christ

Sold for £1200

Est: £800–1200

Adam de Montaldo, Tertia pars passionis , Latin verse on the Passion of Christ, fine humanist manuscript on parchment [Italy, c. 1450]

Two bifolia, each with single column of 27 lines in an accomplished humanist hand (written space: 143 by 75mm.), paragraph marks, marginal notes and rubrics in pink, one large illuminated initial ‘I’ (opening “Iam iesus accincto populo …”) with ornate blue penwork filling the entire border, small spots , else in outstanding condition on fine ivory-white parchment, 226 by 163mm.

Adam de Montaldo was an Augustinian friar from Liguria, who was born in the 1440s. In 1457 he was in the Aragonese court in Naples, and later he served the Papal Court as well as Ludovico da Moro as a copyist and composer, producing among numerous other works a translation of the Secretum Secretorum . These leaves contain one of his rarest works, recorded in the In Principio database only in El Escorial, lat. I.iii.21, fol.30r onwards.

Since going to press, it has been brought to our attention that these leaves were once part of the same parent manuscript as the 12 leaves sold in Sotheby’s, 7 July 2009, lot 40 as anonymous “verses on the Passion of Christ”. The Sotheby’s leaves included a colophon addressing a king: "Accipe Rex triumphantissime munusculum meum ex animo …" and comparing his majesty to Caesar. The identification of the text here as that of Adam de Montaldo indicates the ruler concerned was either John II, king of Aragon, 1458-79, or his successor Ferdinand II, 1479-1516, also king of Sicily and Naples. The Aragonese royal library passed to Ferdinand, duke of Calabria, in the late fifteenth century, and a library catalogue of c . 1550 records a volume there entitled 'Thesoro de la Pasion de Christo' that may well have been the parent manuscript (T. de Marinis, La Biblioteca Napoletana dei Re D'Aragona , II, 1947, p.222).

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures

Wednesday 06 December 2017, 2.00pm

Bloomsbury London
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