Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.


List of books kept inside a pulpit, perhaps always a free standing sheet

Sold for £1400

Est: £700–900

List of books kept inside a pulpit, perhaps always a free standing sheet , in Latin, manuscript on parchment [south eastern Germany or Bohemia, second half of the fifteenth century]

Fragment of a leaf (wanting a few mm. at outer edge and bottom), remains of 22 entries in a single column in angular gothic bookhand, each opening with a capital touched in red, title and classmarks in red, reverse blank (and always so), prick marks from line-ruling visible in outer margin, some scuffs, discolouration and small amount of wormholes from reuse written face downwards as the pastedown of a later binding, small amount of offset from modern inscription from facing endleaf at foot of blank reverse, overall good and legible condition, 202 by 135mm.

The title at the top of this sheet, “In pulpito .T.” identifies this list of books as those kept in a church pulpit, as well as the general classmark of such codices in the community’s catalogue. The dominance of the works of St. Bernard of Clairvaux here perhaps suggests that this was a Dominican community, while the title of the Legendary of SS. Heinrich and “Kune’de” (doubtless Emperor Henry II, d. 1024, and his wife Cunigunde, d. 1040; major shrine in Bamburg) indicates the south eastern German border with the modern Czech republic, an impression consolidated by the specification that the first item, a “Biblia Pauperum et compendium theologice” was that according to Bohemian Use (“bohemorum”).

The fact that the reverse is blank is puzzling. It seems unlikely if this came from a codex, that this list would have ended so neatly at the foot of the present page, or that there were no entries in the library catalogue before the letter ‘T’. This leaf may always have been a free-standing leaf, perhaps pinned to the inside of the pulpit itself to ease the finding of volumes there. Such practical archival records rarely survive from the Middle Ages.

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures

Wednesday 06 December 2017, 2.00pm

Bloomsbury London
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street


Saturday 2 December
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Day of Sale from 9.30am

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