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¶ New Testament (1170) [MS]

October 17, 2017

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Bible (New Testament).

Illuminated manuscript. Auxerre, France, 1170. 198 leaves.

Provenance: Abbey of St Marianus, Auxerre. — Monastery of the Holy Trinity of Champmol, Dijon. — James Edwards. — Edwards sale, Evans, 5 April 1815, lot 818 (sold to William Roscoe, Liverpool, for £12 12s.). — William Roscoe. — Roscoe sale, Winstanley, 19 August 1816 (sold to Robert Benson for £13). — Robert Benson. — W. A. S. Benson. — Morris (purchased from Benson for £250). — Richard Bennett. — Sotheby 1898, lot 1155 (sold to Leighton for £225). — Laurence W. Hodson. — Hodson sale, Sotheby, 5 December 1906, lot 617 (sold to Quaritch for £670). — Quaritch catalogue 259, November 1907, no. 1 (£850) — Quaritch catalogue 290, June 1910, no. 49 (£850). — C. H. St. John Hornby. — John Roland Abbey. — Abbey sale, Sotheby (New York), 4 June 1974, lot 2907. — H. P. Kraus catalogue, 1978, no. 18. — Peter Ludwig. — Getty Museum (MS Ludwig 14) [acquired 1983].

Reference: Schoenberg (SDBM_MS_1224).

Digital images: Getty Museum.

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Getty Museum


Sotheby 1898:

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¶ Hegesippus — Hystoria egisippi de excidio Jerusalem (12th century) [MS]

October 11, 2017

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Hegesippus. Hystoria egisippi de excidio Jerusalem.

Illuminated manuscript. Winchester, England, 12th century. 115 leaves.

Morris’s instructions to Quaritch were to pay no more than £150, and both he and Sydney Cockerell were surprised when the manuscript realized such a low price at Sotheby’s. Cockerell commented in his diary, 15 June 1896: “The Hegessipus [sic] MS in 12th c. Winchester binding only fetched £13 at Sotheby’s on Saturday!” Two days later he wrote, “In aftn. went down to Folkestone, to stay with W.M. at the Norfolk Hotel, which has proved very comfortable for him. . . . I took down the Hegessipus with the 12th c. binding, with which he was much pleased.”

When Bennett sold a large portion of the Morris library in 1898, F. S. Ellis grumbled, “What a dolt & idiot must that Bennett be to know no better than turn out that Hegesippus. Had the book sale been on the Ex[ecut]ors acc[oun]t of course I should have taken pains to explain to people the value of the book, but as we have already done so to Chatto I do not feel bound to say more to him about it & wd. ask you not to change it. It will probably go for a large sum—but possibly not & I shall send a moderate comm[ission] for it on the chance. Of course I could not afford to give what I consider its real value” (Ellis to Cockerell, 9 November 1898 [British Library Add. Ms. 52715]). The Athenaeum, in its account of the 1898 sale, offered a similar observation: “The surprise of the sale was perhaps the MS. of Hegesippus, ‘De Excidio Judaeorum, Lib. V.,’ in the original Winchester binding of the twelfth century, and this has gone to Mr. Yales Thompson’s choice collection. It occurred in the Phillipss sale of 1891 [sic], but the interesting character of the binding was not pointed out in the catalogue, so that it attracted no general notice and was knocked down for 13l.” (17 December 1898, p. 868).

Provenance: Thomas Thorpe (sold to Sir Thomas Phillips). — Sir Thomas Phillipps. — Phillips sale, Sotheby, 10 June 1896, lot 609 (sold for £13 to Quaritch for Morris). — Morris. — Richard Bennett. — Sotheby 1898, lot 580 (sold to Henry Yates Thomson for £180). — Henry Yates Thompson. — Thompson sale, Sotheby, 23 March 1920, lot 31 (sold to Quaritch for £740). — Charles William Dyson-Perrins. — Winchester Cathedral [gift from Dyson-Perrins, early 1948].

References: Ker, 4:601. — Schoenberg (SDBM_MS_3068)


Sotheby 1898:

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¶ St. Augustine — Commentary on the Psalms (12th century) [MS]

October 10, 2017

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Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo [Saint Augustinus]. Commentary on the Psalms 101–50 (Ennarationes in psalmos).

Illuminated manuscript. Germany, 12th century. 179 leaves.

Provenance: Thorpe catalogue, 1832, lot 119. — J. Ponce. — Ponce sale, Techener catalogue, 17 November 1845, no. 35. — W. and T. Bateman. — Bateman sale, Sotheby, 25 May 1893, lot 233 (purchased by Morris). — Morris. — Richard Bennett. — Sotheby 1898, lot 148 (sold to Quaritch for £50). — Laurence W. Hodson. — Hodson sale, Sotheby, 3 December 1906, lot 28 (sold to Quaritch for £48). — Quaritch catalogue 357, February 1920, no. 378. — Sir Alfred Chester Beatty. — Beatty sale, Sotheby, 24 June 1969, lot 45. —Alan G. Thomas catalogue 23, 1969, no. 3. — Thomas catalogue 26, 1971, no. 1. — Thomas catalogue 31, 1973, no. 6. — Thomas catalogue 34, 1975, no. 3. — Thomas catalogue 36, 1977, no. 1. — Philip Hofer (purchased from Bromer, 1979). — Houghton Library, Harvard University (MS Typ 703) [Hofer bequest, 1984].

References: Light, Laura. The Bible in the Twelfth Century: An Exhibition of Manuscripts at the Houghton Library. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard College Library, 1988. See pp. 43–45. — Schoenberg (SDBM_MS_1508).


Sotheby 1898:

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¶ Boethius — De arithmetica (11th century) [MS]

October 10, 2017

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Boethius. De arithmetica. [and] Vitruvius Pollio. De architectura.

Two illuminated manuscripts bound together. Probably England, 11th and 12th centuries. 67 and 73 leaves.

Provenance: Sir Simeon Stuart [probably either the 3rd baronet, d. 1779, or the fourth, d. 1816]. — Morris. — Richard Bennett. — Sotheby 1898, lot 306 (sold to Quaritch for £61). — Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (Ms. lat. 601).

Reference: Schoenberg (SDBM_MS_11482).


Sotheby 1898:

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¶ Pope Gregory I — Moralia in Jobum (12th century) [MS]

October 9, 2017

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Gregory I, Pope [Gregorius Magnus]. Moralia in Jobum lib. I–XXVII.

Illuminated manuscript. 12th century. 5 vols.; 732 leaves.

Provenance: Morris. — Richard Bennett. — Sotheby 1898, lot 470 (sold to Leighton for £27 10s.). — Laurence W. Hodson. — Hodson sale, Sotheby, 4 December 1906, lot 280 (sold to Quaritch for £49). — Unlocated.

Reference: Schoenberg (SDBM_MS_3965).


Sotheby 1898:

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¶ Severus — Vita S. Martini (12th century) [MS]

October 6, 2017

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Severus, Sulpicius. Vita S. Martini.

Illuminated manuscript. England, 12th century. 146 leaves.

Provenance: E. Umfreville. — Morris. — Richard Bennett. — Sotheby 1898, lot 1118 (sold to Money for £27). — Frank McClean. — Fitzwilliam Museum (118) [McClean bequest, 1904].

References: James, pp. 255–57. — Schoenberg (SDBM_40029)


Sotheby 1898:

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¶ Steinfeld missal (c. 1180) [MS]

September 18, 2017

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Steinfeld missal.

Illuminated manuscript. North Germany, c. 1180 (with some leaves added c. 1440). 144 leaves.

Provenance: Steinfeld Abbey (formerly St. Mary Abbey Premonstratensian), Steinfeld, Germany. — Morris. — Richard Bennett. — Sotheby 1898, lot 1070 (sold to Quaritch for £95). — Charles Fairfax Murray. — C. W. Dyson Perrins. — Perrins sale, Sotheby, 1 December 1959, part 2, lot 57 (sold for £25,200). — Peter Ludwig. — Getty Museum (MS. Ludwig V4) [acquired 1983].

Reference: Schoenberg (SDBM_MS_1958).

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Getty Museum


Sotheby 1898:

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¶ Worksop bestiary (c. 1185) [MS]

September 8, 2017

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Worksop bestiary

Illuminated manuscript. England, possibly Lincoln or York, c. 1185. 120 leaves.

Cockerell’s diary records the details of his trip to Stuttgart in April 1896 to purchase the bestiary from Rosenthal; it is clear that Morris left it up to Cockerell to negotiate the price. When he returned to England, Cockerell took it immediately to Kelmscott Manor and noted in his diary, 4 May, “F. S. Ellis there & the book voted by everyone a magnificent one. W.M. greatly pleased.”

Provenance: Philip, Canon of Lincoln. — Augustinian Priory of Radford (also called Worksop Priory), Nottinghamshire. — Duke of Hamilton. — Royal Museum of Berlin (privately purchased from Hamilton Collection, 1883). — Sotheby, 23 May 1889, lot 2 (sold to Trübner). — Jacques Rosenthal (dealer, Munich). — Morris (purchased from Rosenthal, 30 April 1896, for £900). — Richard Bennett. — J. Pierpont Morgan. — Morgan Library (MS M.81).

References: Additional bibliography (Morgan Library). — Curatorial description (Morgan Library). — de Ricci, 2:1381, no. 81. — Morgan Catalogue, 4, no. 107. — Schoenberg (SDBM_MS_6054).

Images: Morgan Library.

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Morgan Library

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¶ Psalterium aureum (12th century) [MS]

July 25, 2017

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Psalterium aureum (the golden psalter).

Illuminated manuscript. St. Albans, mid-twelfth century. 193 leaves.

Bound into the beginning of the volume is a long note by Sydney Cockerell, of which the following is an excerpt: “After being undisturbed for sixty years it was lot 978 in the Phillipps sale at Sotheby’s June 1896. I urged William Morris to give Quaritch a commission, but the book was then in a very crumpled state, in a russia binding, and he preferred to concentrate on a Hagesippus in a fine Winchester binding of the 12th century, now no. 51 in Mr Yates Thompson’s collection, which he obtained for the absurdly low price of £13. 10. Quaritch bought this Psalter for £34 and I got him to send it to Morris at Folkestone with a Gratiani decretum, the prices for these mss. being £60 and £180 respectively. Morris received them on June 22 1896 and wrote to me on June 24 that he would keep them, but asked me to get a reduction from Q. I saw Q. the next day and he agreed to take £225 for the two MSS., which makes the price of this book, forthwith christened by ‘The Golden Psalter’, £56 5. –

“It was then flattened and rebound by my brother Douglas Cockerell, who was at that time apprentice to Mr T. J. Cobden-Sanderson at the Doves Bindery, 15 Upper Mall, Hammersmith. The oak-boards were from old ship’s timber. The stamps on the white pigskin back were designed by Morris for the special binding of the Kelmscott Press Chaucer. It was finished and brought back to its owner at Kelmscott House . . . on Sept. 11 to his great satisfaction. It was, I believe, the last manuscript that he handled and talked of a day or two before his death, which took place on Oct. 3, 1896. Mr Cobden-Sanderson’s charge was £10. 10. –, bringing the cost to £66. 15. –”

Cockerell adds that he had wanted to buy the Psalter at the 1898 Sotheby sale but could not afford it; hence he advised his friend Lawrence Hodson to purchase it. (Hodson, eleven years later, sold it Cockerell.)

While the book was in his custody, Cockerell arranged for Graily Hewitt to create a replacement for the missing first leaf.

Provenance: Benedictine abbey of St. Albans. — Richard Heber. — Heber sale, Evans, 10 February 1836 (sold to Thomas Thorpe for £5 18s.). — Thomas Thorpe catalogue (Catalogue of Upwards of Fourteen Hundred Manuscripts on Vellum and on Paper), 1836, no. 1084 (£8 8s.). — Sir Thomas Phillipps. — Phillips sale, Sotheby, 10 June 1896, lot 978 (sold to Quaritch for £34). — Quaritch. — Morris (purchased from Quaritch, 22 June 1896). — Bennett. — Sotheby 1898, lot 866 (sold to Quaritch for £97). — Laurence W. Hodson. — Sydney C. Cockerell (purchased privately from Hodson, 27 May 1909, for £150). — Brian S. Cron (gift from Cockerell, 20 December 1956). — British Library (Add MS 81084) [accepted by HM Treasury in lieu of inheritance tax and allocated to the British Library in 2005].

References: Cron, B. S. “The Recent Owners of the Golden Psalter” Private Library 5 (July 1964): 45–46. (Reprinted from Cron, The Recent Owners of the Golden Psalter (London: Merrythought Press, 1963).) — Schoenberg (SDBM_40020).


Sotheby 1898:

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