SPL Hand Coloured Rare Book Collection Featuring Norman R Bobins

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Bible in Latin. An illuminated manuscript on vellum with the text from the book of Ecclesiastes

Germany?, 19th century
Germany?, 19th century

8vo. 170 x 130 mm. Two vellum blanks at the front and one at the rear 141 hand-numbered leaves single column 11 lines of text all done in majuscules in an attractive uncial hand. IN A PLEASING CONTEMPORARY NEO-GOTHIC BEVELLED BRASS BINDING with brown morocco spine upper cover with four large bosses (approximately 20 x 15 mm.) of oval cabochon pale green jade rectangular center piece of lapis lazuli (measuring approximately 31 x 22 mm.) two brass clasps each set with an oval cabochon of jade matching those on the cover (though slightly darker green). THE TEXT WITH FIVE LARGE AND NINE SMALLER FOLIATED INITIALS IN COLORS AND GOLD AND THE TITLE PAGE WITH A THREE-QUARTER BORDER IN A SIMILAR STYLE the border composed of an entablature atop two columns the columns supported by two gold lions at the bottom of the page. THE TEXT WRITTEN IN GOLD INK THROUGHOUT. Leather joints a bit worn (with small cracks beginning at top and bottom one of these with a neat old repair) the brass on the lower cover a little tarnished and rubbed hook of one clasp missing a couple of naturally occurring imperfections in the vellum otherwise QUITE A FINE EXAMPLE OF AN ATTRACTIVE NEO-GOTHIC MANUSCRIPT with faithful calligraphic replication of uncial script done on high quality parchment that is very clean and fresh the whole contained in an appealing and appropriate binding. This lovely modern manuscript contains the entire book of Ecclesisates called "Kohelet" in Hebrew. It does not attempt to be an exact reproduction of a Gothic manuscript but instead uses a script inspired by the earlier uncial hands and initials with an added touch of the Art Nouveau. Our unknown calligrapher / illuminator did not complete his work: the second half of the manuscript contains two blank pages and several smaller blanks yet to be filled in with an initial and one of the initials is half finished. The retrospective binding is reminiscent of jewellery from the early Middle Ages being plain polished metal set with large coloured stones. In all this meticulously executed work is a worthy successor to those created by Medieval artisans and it is a very uncommon thing: some modern illuminated manuscripts attempt to reproduce (with varying degrees of success) prayer books from the 15th century but we have never seen a modern illuminated manuscript in an uncial hand the script most often used in books from the fourth to the eighth century. Coloured plates in order: 1. Large foliated initial letter 'N'. 2. Large foliated initial letter 'V'. 3. Small foliated initial letter 'C'. 4. Small foliated initial letter 'D'. 5. Large foliated initial letter 'T'. 6. Small foliated initial letter 'R'. 7. Large foliated initial letter 'O'. 8. Small initial letter 'Q'. 9. Small foliated initial letter 'V'. 10. Large decorated initial letter 'V' & smaller letter 'E'. 11. Small foliated initial letter 'I'. 12. "Incipit cap. V." 13. Small foliated initial letter 'A'. 14. Small initial letter 'S'. 15. Another small letter. 16. Small decorative initial letter 'O'. 17. "Incipit cap. VII." 18. Decorative initial letter 'Q'. 19. Decorative foliated initial letter 'S'.