Monday, 27 November 2017

Two New Cuttings Illuminated by the Master of the Brussels Initials: A Postscript


Christie's kindly send me some snaps of the cutting that is at the top of my previous post; personally, I think the iPhone snap (above) looks much more appealing, and the colours more believable, than the professional studio image used on the website (below):


Here is the snap of the back:

This does not look very promising.

I think that there is rubric "v." (for "versus") at the upper left, followed by a large red "U", which seems to be the start of the word Virgo, with the "ir" and "go" more-or-less visible:


The next line is much trickier. It begins with a minim, followed by one or more words perhaps ending "...t..s" and another word perhaps beginning "ill...":


Perhaps with a better photo, or with the cutting in hand, it would be possible to work out what the text is. We can make more progress, however, with the nearly-erased ink-stamp visible in the images above.

Here is a detail:

This defied identification until I remembered that one of the sister-cuttings was owned by Count Grigory Sergeievich Stroganoff, and on a hunch checked Lugt's Marques online and -- bingo! -- it is a perfect match:

[source]
Stroganoff's important art collection was sold in various auctions, including this one (shortly before his death in July 1910), which I suspect contains all his illuminated manuscripts:
Roma Casa di vendite Jandolo & Tavazzi, 18-23 April 1910, Vendita di pregevoli stampe, disegni antichi e moderni, acquarelli e miniature spettanti a S.E. il Conte Gregorio Stroganoff
This appears to be a very rare catalogue: hoping to locate a copy in the UK, I found that there is no copy listed on COPAC. In fact, the only copy listed on Wordcat is at the Hertziana in Rome, which occupies Stroganoff's former palazzo on Via Gregoriana!

I have contacted a friend in Rome who has kindly agreed to go and have a look at the catalogue for me, so I may do a blog post about Stroganoff in due course ...

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