Prologue to Job, in Latin, leaf from an illuminated Bible manuscript on vellum; Austria or southern Germany, second half of fifteenth century
Single complete leaf, with double column of 44 lines in a rounded and angular late gothic bookhand, capitals touched in yellow, red rubrics, running titles in tall calligraphic red script at head of each column, two large initials in dark green or blue, with foliate scrollwork picked out in their bodies, the larger enclosing liquid gold foliage with coloured flowers on burgundy ground, both on burnished and pounced gold grounds enclosed with coloured frames which sprout sprigs of acanthus leaves and gold bezants, a small ‘2’ in lower outer corner of recto, one small original flaw to parchment (without losses to text), some small spots, else excellent condition, 380 x 270mm.; in cloth-covered binding
Schøyen Collection, London and Oslo, their MS 599; acquired from Quaritch cat. 1088, Bookhands of the Middle Ages III, 1988, no. 75, in December 1989.
The larger of the initials here with its scrollwork design, and infill of liquid-gold single-hairline foliage set within an internal gold border, is notably close to a leaf from an Austrian Bible, probably produced in Vienna in the second quarter to the middle of the fifteenth century (Lilly Library, Bloomington, Indiana, Ricketts MS 17: reproduced in C. de Hamel, Gilding the Lilly, 2010, no. 65).