Friday, 19 May 2017
On a recent Saturday in New York I visited the Public Library and examined a few manuscripts that were - understandably - not considered sufficiently beautiful or interesting for inclusion in the 2006 Splendors of the Word exhibition.
Posted by Peter Kidd at 20:03
Saturday, 29 April 2017
I spent part of the Easter weekend sorting through my filing-cabinet of photocopies. Among them was a brief article by Judith Oliver in an old issue of the Walters Art Gallery Bulletin, called "Manuscripts, Scissors, and Paste" (vol.31, no.3, December 1978, pp.[1-2]), in which she discusses two examples of manuscripts being cut up.
Saturday, 22 April 2017
Saturday, 15 April 2017
In a previous post I mentioned some cuttings from an early 15th-century Parisian Book of Hours, each with a miniature in the style of Jacquemart de Hesdin. I took the reproduction above from the 1983 Sotheby's catalogue in which they were last sold, as lot 99.
A reader contacted me to ask if I knew where they are now, and I didn't. But I thought that it ought to be possible to work it out.
Saturday, 8 April 2017
I have written about a dismembered Missal of Leo X several times, most recently here. Browsing images of cuttings in Parisian collections I came across this initial "P", in the Musée des arts décoratifs, shown above.
The online description is vague:
Posted by Peter Kidd at 08:09
Sunday, 2 April 2017
I suggested that a good clue would be whether or not a bible listed in the catalogue of Henry's books published in 1880, as being bound in BR[own] M[orocco], could be identified with the Haddaway Bible, which is known to have been lot 645 in the sale of the Huth Library at Sotheby's, 15 November 1911, and following days. If the Haddaway Bible, when sold in 1911, did NOT have a brown morocco binding, then it is almost certainly not the one described in the 1880 catalogue, and my hypothesis would be proved incorrect.
On reading that blog, Bill Stoneman very kindly consulted a copy of the 1911 catalogue and sent me a scan of the relevant pages:
It is also notable that the early 13th-century manuscript is incorrectly dated "XIVth Century", just as the manuscript had been in the 1880 catalogue. It therefore seems that we now have proof that the Haddaway Bible did indeed belong to Henry Huth.
But Bill then went further and made a remarkable discovery. Next to the Huth auction catalogue on the shelves at the Houghton Library is a finely bound copy of the 1880 catalogue, with (i) the Huth leather book-label on the upper pastedown,
These enhancements demonstrate that this was Alfred Huth's own copy of the catalogue of his father's library.
The marginal annotations next to each catalogue entry consist of a price, an initial letter (such as "E", "L", "Q", and "S"), and a two-digit number.
The price is doubtless the purchase price (or possible a probate valuation?), the initial letters must indicate the source (since "Q" is unlikely to stand for anything other than Quaritch), and the final two digits are presumably the year: on the pages shown above they range from 56 to 76. If "Q" is Quaritch, "E" is probably F.S. Ellis, "S" is probably Sotheby's, and "L" is doubtless Joseph Lilly: according to the ODNB entry on Henry Huth, "Joseph Lilly ... exercised a good deal of influence on his purchases over the years and was generally his agent".
The next step in tracing the provenance of the Haddaway Bible will therefore be to trawl auction and Lilly catalogues for 1856. For the latter, David Pearson's Provenance Research in Book History: A Handbook, tells us "The best collection will be found in the Bodleian Library, which hold about 180 Lilly catalogues, 1827-70 ... many of these were previously Sir Thomas Phillipps's copies".
Posted by Peter Kidd at 16:08
Saturday, 1 April 2017
|Henry Huth (1815–1878)|
The outlines of its provenance are well known, and get repeated when leaves appear on the market, most recently at Christie's, December 2015, lot 5. Sometimes the first owner is recorded as Henry Huth (1815–1878), and sometimes as his son, Alfred Henry Huth (1850–1910), also a bibliophile, who added to his father's collection. The manuscript was broken-up in 1981 so some evidence on flyleaves may have been lost forever, but I thought it worth seeing if there is any evidence that the book did indeed belong to the father before the son.
Posted by Peter Kidd at 12:18