Title on container spine: Biblia Latina MS Saec. XIII
A complete illustrated Bible, comprising both the Old and New Testaments. Some Latin marginalia.
Text: The ordering of the books follows, generally, the Greek rather than the Hebrew tradition. This "new ordering" confounded many but became established as the accepted order of books for the Bible, and with some few exceptions survives today. The text follows the Parisian sequence, including Psalms, followed by the Interpretation of Hebrew Names. The manuscript seems to have been checked by a corrector who has added insertions and corrections; several of these are substantial text passages surrounded by a red frame. Others are single words.
Layout: Written in two columns; 48 lines per page. Occasional traces of catchwords or leaf signatures in red.
Script: Written in brown and dark brown ink by several scribes in an extremely small gothic minuscule bookhand. This tiny and heavily-abbreviated script was recognized as ideal for the text of a small-format Bible; the hand once used for glossing the Bible is here being used for the Biblical text itself. Thus, the entire Bible could be bound in a single, portable volume.
Decoration: The manuscript belongs in the group known as the Bari workshop, the name deriving from a Parisian royal Gradual now in Bari, Italy. There are 72 illuminated initials, 2 to 28 lines high, mostly 4-line, in colors and burnished gold in leafy and floral designs, sometimes with dragons' heads. There are 84 historiated initials, 4 to 48 lines high, mostly 7- or 8-line. Headings are in red, capitals mostly touched in red, capitals in the Interpretations alternately red and blue, and running-titles and chapter numbers in alternately red and blue letters. The 2-line chapter initials throughout are in red or blue with extensive penwork in the opposite color (or both colors).
Binding: Bound in 17th-century calf with small silver title label on front cover. Spine title: Biblia Latina MS Saec. XIII.
Material must be requested at least 24 hours in advance of intended use.
Purchased, 2009. Accession 2009-305.
Provenance: 1. Eighteenth-century inscription of a friar, "Ex libris F. Josephi Marie De Ancona. 2. John Patrick Crichton-Stuart (1847-1900), third marquess of Bute, converted to Catholicism in 1868; perhaps bought in Italy (where he was confirmed by Pius IX); MS 23 at Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute, Scotland; by descent to the sixth marquess (1933-1993); his sale in Sotheby's, 13 June 1983, lot 2, to Alan Thomas, for the current seller, Bernard M. Rosenthal.