France (perhaps the south), first half of 12th century.
US $2389 €1965
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Homiliae in Evangelia, book I, homily 2, from the beginning to near the end of verse 2, a single leaf, single columns of 25 lines written in a good romanesque hand in dark brown ink, ruled with a hard point (written space double-lined at inner and outer margins), a few initials set out in margin, space for a larger initial left blank; a few later medieval notes and markings (including a bearded man’s head and a human profile); some light soiling, scuffing and staining, but in very good condition, preserving prickings in outer margin. 266 x 188 mm (202 x 137 mm)
From a well-written manuscript of Gregory the Great’s Homilies on the Gospels, preached most probably during the liturgical year 590–1 and published the following year.
Although written in a different hand, a bifolium now at Columbia University (Plimpton MS 062) appears to be from the same manuscript: the dimensions, number of lines and distinctive ruling scheme are identical. Part of the text of the bifolium has been scrubbed away and a short geometrical treatise written in its place in a fourteenth-century hand, indicating that (as a copy of Gregory’s Homilies) the manuscript had fallen out of use by that time. The Columbia bifolium was once in the collection of George A. Plimpton (1855–1936).
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Another leaf from the same manuscript with an historiated initial depicting Christ between two haloed figures in one compartment, and a sheep between two wolves in another compartment, was Quaritch Catlogue 1088, no. 48. For the predominance of an orange and blue palette in medieval Bolognese painting see F. Avril, M. T. Gousset and C. Rabel, Manuscrits enluminés d’origine italienne, 1984, vol. 2 plates C–H; and Alessandro Conti, La miniatura bolognese: scuole e botteghe 1270–1340, 1981, coloured plates.