VITA CHRISTI, AN ILLUSTRATED LIFE OF CHRIST AND OF THE VIRGIN, IN LATIN,...
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Vita Christi, an illustrated life of Christ and of the Virgin, in Latin, supplemented to become a Rosary and devotional volume, in Latin and Middle English, illuminated manuscript on vellum 106 leaves, 170mm. by 120mm., of which 51 are late romanesque and 55 are fifteenth-century, complete (at least in the form in which it was reassembled in the fifteenth century), collation: 4 modern vellum leaves + i6 [fols.1-6, all fifteenth-century, of 8, blank i-ii cancelled at beginning], ii8 [fols.7-14, all fifteenth century], iii3 [fols.15-17, all fifteenth century, of 4, iii cancelled], iv8+2 [fols.18-22 and 24-26 all late romanesque, fifteenth-century leaves fols.23 and 27 inserted after original v and viii], v8+2 [fols.28-31 and 34-37 all late romanesque, a fifteenth-century bifolium 32-33 inserted between original iv and v], vi7+2 [fols.38-40 and 43-46 all late romanesque (of 8, lacking iii after 39 by the fifteenth century), a fifteenth-century bifolium 41-42 inserted between original iv and v], vii7+4 [fols.47-49 and 52-57 all late romanesque (of 8, lacking i before fol.47 by the fifteenth century), two fifteenth-century bifolia fols.50-51 and 55-56 inserted between original iv and v and between vii and viii], viii8+3 [fols.58, 60-65 and 68 all late romanesque, a fifteenth-century leaf fol.59 inserted after original i and a fifteenth-century bifolium inserted between original vii and viii], ix1+8 [fol.69 late romanesque, fols.70-77 all fifteenth-century singletons], x8+3 [fols.78-79, 81-82, 84-85 and 87-88 all late romanesque, a fifteenth-century bifolium fols.80+86 inserted after original ii and vi and a fifteenth-century leaf fol.83 inserted after original iv], xi4+5 [fols.89-92 all late romanesque, probably the first 4 of an 8-leaf gathering lacking v-viii by the fifteenth century, replaced with fifteenth-century singletons fols.93-97], xii8 [fols.98-105, all fifteenth century], xiii1 [fifteenth century of 2, blank ii cancelled] + 5 modern vellum leaves, fifty-one late romanesque full-page miniatures, all originally blank on one side, one with early thirteenth-century text (fol.31r, 15 lines, "Ave ihesu xpiste, verbum patris ..."), fifteenth-century text with 18-21 lines, written in brown ink in several gothic liturgical hands, many rubrics in red, small initials in blue or burnished gold with penwork in red or black, large illuminated initials in highly raised burnished gold on red and blue grounds with white tracery and marginal sprays of gold and green leaves, fifty-seven fifteenth-century large or full-page miniatures, all other pages and original blanks filled with texts in a variety of gothic hands, some fifteenth-century captions and adaptions of the romanesque pictures, sewing holes above the romanesque miniatures showing that they once had textile covers, some considerable flaking and rubbing of the earlier miniatures, some scratching (perhaps deliberate, to the face of Herod, for example), occasional fifteenth-century retouching or repair, a few stains and signs of extensive use, edges gilt and gauffered (probably sixteenth-century), blind-stamped brown morocco by W. H. Smith (Douglas Cockerell, 1870-1945), clasps and catches, for Dyson Perrins The finest English illuminated manuscript known to be in private hands, and one of the most profusely illustrated English manuscripts in existence. It comprises a series of late romanesque paintings which were disassembled three hundred years later and re-used to ornament an even more extensively illustrated manuscript.
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