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Illuminated Manuscript

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Illuminated Manuscript

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Masonic Illuminated Manuscript recognizing the contributions of President Carl Amherst, Provincial Grand Master for Kent, for organizing a festival in support of "Aged Freemasons and Widows of Freemasons"
1 Masonic Illuminated Manuscript recognizing the contributions of President Carl Amherst, Provincial Grand Master for Kent, for organizing a festival in support of "Aged Freemasons and Widows of Freemasons"
London 1891 Full Morocco Very Good 
Three hand-decorated and written certificates mounted and matted onto heavy card, and bound in an elaborately decorated full morocco binding, with an ornate centerpiece of actual metal mounts (probably brass). The certificates are quite colorful, and the calligraphy is surrounded by and ornamented by gilt and Greek motive decoration, a crown and a touch of the Medieval. The oblong album is 15 by 13 inches, 38 by 33 cm. Light soiling and/or foxing to the margins. Light wear and soiling to the binding itself. 
Price: 475.00 USD
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Spanish Legal Manuscript and Patent of Nobility Regarding the Cordoba Family
2 Spanish Legal Manuscript and Patent of Nobility Regarding the Cordoba Family
Valladolid, Spain 1571 Contemporary Full Calf. Modern buckram cloth chem Good 
Folio. 32 by 21 cm. 46 numbered vellum leaves, 49 vellum leaves in total, plus a few paper blanks front and rear. On an early page is a painting of the elaborate Cordoba family coat-of-arms, within which are several towers and armored figures depicted, and radiating out from are 25 banners. Also containing by our count 84 instances of illuminated lettering, most often a single letter but not infrequently a word or more, almost always in either case enclosed in a box or rectangle with other ornamentation surrounding the letter. The manuscript itself is essentially a record of a lawsuit involving the Cordoba family which brought to recover property improperly seized by the city of Talamanca in the collection of tax. In the suit the Cordobas asserted that on account of their nobility they were exempt from taxation. The family was able to establish their noble status and thereby prevail in the lawsuit. Thus the document is strictly speaking, not a straightforward patent of nobility, which is a document that accompanies an ennoblement or elevation in noble status ab initio but rather a testament to noble status that long predates the document. For many, the primary interest of the document, though, is not its literal contents but rather its age and beauty. As to the latter, there is the writing, the illumination and the illustration. The writing is in a Gothic script then in common use but to the untrained eye, quite inscrutable when it comes to reading it. Few would not recognize its elegance, and here the writing is rendered with a preternaturally neat hand. The full calf binding is certainly early, if not contemporary, with the document. It is decorated with gilt Baroque devices on both the front and back. The front also has the name "Cordoba" impressed in gilt. The binding itself is heavily rubbed and abraded. Ribbon ties but for a tiny remnant are perished. Still, an appropriate and handsome complement to the contents. 18th century endpapers, either from the 1700s or 1800s. The document appears to have once been folded and the vellum is wavy throughout. Some leaves are heavily soiled and dampstained, but never is the text obscured. The modern slipcase and chemise are in fine condition but even with the leather title label on the spine, are nothing more than a good functiional method to preserve the prize within. 
Price: 5000.00 USD
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[Illuminated Manuscript]  The Festival of St. John the Evangelist
3 [Illuminated Manuscript] The Festival of St. John the Evangelist
Full Morocco Very Good 
Square-ish 8vo. 19 by 17.5 cm. 10 leaves of content, all of which is on the rectos, including title, dedication page, seven pages of verse and final page of ornamental initials. Written in a bright metallic ink, black or red, and delicated ornamented with watercolors in a Gothic manner. Additionally, in the tradition of Medieval illuminated manuscripts, the first letter on each page is dressed up with color ornamentation, with two initial letters decorated pictorially, with portraits of the Virgin or saintly woman and of a monk, and most of the other initial letters with a whimsical geometric design of some sort These initial letters are rendered in a Florentine style. On one page, also, the first letters of each line is enhanced with surrounding watercoloring, although of a more modest dimension and design than the page initial letters. In our view, this is most definitely not a flamboyant, ostentatious illuminated manuscript; its beauty is of a quieter type, in keeping with the more modest size of the book itself. We find the decoration has a sublime quality, achieved through its tasteful restraint, with not a false note struck nor a single discernible error in its execution. We do not know the identity of the artist, who was almost certainly an amateur, as were the majority of Victorian era illuminists. We would infer that he was a man, based on the dedication, and that strikes as notable, as we believe the majority of amateurs doing this kind of work at the time were women. Condition: rubbing along the joints. Some other abrasions on the morocco, plus a faint stain from a resting glass on the front cover. A few light fox marks on the leaves within. 
Price: 975.00 USD
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