SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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late 16th century
late 16th century

Octavo. 21 x 15 cm [2pp.] 1 illuminated frontispiece, 560pp. [3 blank]. Undated but late 16th century, signed by the scribe Jacob Sarkissian. Binding: Early red dyed goatskin, stamped in blind with decorative rosettes. Internally some light age toning, otherwise in near fine condition. The manuscript opens after a two page preface with an evangelist portrait of St. Luke. The remainder of the manuscript appears to be the unusual compilation of an Armenian version of the Commentary on Aristotle's Categories ascribed to David the Invincible, writings by St. Gregory of Nysa and a few poems by King Sempad of Armenia. The manuscript is written in two columns throughout in black Notrgir, or 'miniscule' script with gold rubrics and headings in red, illuminated opening with birds, and several other illuminated marginal flourishes throughout, and a half page illumination on p.252 of David the Invincible. Overall, a fascinating collection that juxtaposes Greek Aristotelian texts transmitted to the East with a more traditional Armenian Church and secular texts. Provenance: Descent through a NY family. The MS was originally owned by Vaughn Armenian (d.1910 Constantinople). His American wife (m.1903) declined the families invitation to stay in Armenia following his death, and returned with the MS to America. Coloured plates in order: 1. St. Gregory of Nyssa. 2. Decorative page of text with beautiful illuminations. 3. David the Invincible and a royal scribe.