[Peter Weiss] A Manuscript Prayerbook written and decorated by Peter Weiss in a dialect spoken in Mähren a “Markgrafschaft” which, at the time of this prayer book, belonged to the Habsburg Empire on paper. 1794
8vo. (150mm x 115mm) 226pp. Prayerbook decorated with opening full page illustrated spread depicting crucifixion facing a highly decorated title page. Heavily decorated and illustrated throughout with half-page drop letters and ornate initials with floriate leaf motifs on most pages. Each page within a ruled border. Text in a fine gothic italic ink script c.15ll per page in German. Paginated in a number centred at the top of each page. Some initials are touched in gold. Large date ‘Jahre 1794’ towards the end. Closing spread heavily illustrated with ‘Peter Weiss’ identified and a figure illustrated with a headscarf (?). All in a style which resembles, what was called, a 100 years later, pointillism, dot or touch painting. Made and bound by the author (presumably) whose initials P.W. are in gilt on the front cover and identified as Peter Weiss on the final spread.
Bound in contemporary leather, worn and cracked but solid and ornate gilt around the outers of the front and rear boards. Initials P.W. to front board.
This charming C18th prayerbook is written in an unusual dialect. A similar example, but written in Sorbian and dated 1826 was sold in the Estelle Doheny sale, New York, Friday 14 December 2001, Lot 13. Sold for $4,113.