Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.


Genealogical scroll showing the descent of the Watkins family from Bennet...

Sold for £3600

Est: £800–1200

Genealogical scroll showing the descent of the Watkins family from Bennet Penclawdd, the Norman overlord of Kilfigin in western Glamorgan , as well as several royal and princely families of Wales, inscriptions in English, decorated manuscript on heavy paper [Wales, late sixteenth century or opening years of seventeenth century]

A large roll, written on 6 sheets of paper, opening with a painted cartouche enclosing an inscription on Bennet Penclawdd, and with 4 parallel lines of descent traced by black lines between red roundels and large coloured coats-of-arms (with a multitude of armorial animals and devices), royalty with yellow trefoil crowns atop their roundels, with overkings denoted by more elaborate multi-spiked crowns with pearls, inscriptions in a somewhat scrawling hand, with the years ‘1637’ (perhaps indicating date of death) added to three of the roundels of the last two generations in a more precise and decisive hand, and a “Grohon Benet” added in a seventeenth-century hand to the line immediately after the deletion of the title ‘knight’ from the previous namesake, the last leaf with a very large quartered coat-of-arms with full helm topped by a four-horned goat with its tongue sticking out, a few roundels in last lines left empty, marks at end of lines of descent from two final coats-of-arms planned (perhaps in error) and then carefully erased, the inscription from the opening cartouche copied out on outside of last leaf and ‘28’ added there, that last leaf discoloured in places and with tears to edges, other areas of damage repaired with more modern paper (but none affecting text), small worm damage to body of main document with little or no effect to text, overall good condition, 2270 by 290mm.

The genealogical arts and the tracing of noble ancestors remained an important part of Welsh book culture throughout the late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, and here the Watkins family trace their descent to the Norman ruler of western Glamorgan, Bennet Penclawdd of Kilfigin, noting in the opening cartouche that he gave substantial lands to the “coledge of St. Austyne near Bristolle” (the same information included in another pedigree of Bennet Penclawdd now British Library, Harley MS. 5800, fol. 14r). The prominence of this ancestor as well as the fact that his line occupies almost the entire length of the scroll, indicates his importance to the commissioner. The royal lines of Gwynedd, here titled “lord of the princes of Wales”, Glamorgan, and Cardigan (including the famous Princess Nest ferch Rhys, named “seductress of the English” in K. Maund’s monograph of 2007) are also traced. Welsh manuscripts are not common on the market.

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures

Wednesday 06 December 2017, 2.00pm

Bloomsbury London
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street


Saturday 2 December
11am - 4pm
Sunday 3 December
11am - 4pm
Monday 4 December
9.30am - 5.30pm
Tuesday 5 December
9.30am - 5.30pm
Day of Sale from 9.30am

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