Parisian Bible leaf, c. 1225. Book of 1 Maccabees


From an early manuscript “Pocket Bible”.


Verso:   Ruled in red with text written on fine vellum in Latin in an extraordinarily precise gothic minuscule script in two columns of 43 lines. The text is written in remarkably tiny and well formed letters, so small that there are four lines of text to the centimetre, or eleven lines to the inch.  The heading “MACH” in Lombard style red & blue illuminated initials is the first half of the bifolium heading “MACHABAEORUM”.  Lombard style illuminated initials in red and blue also indicate the beginning of chapters and the chapter numbers.     See images below


Recto:   As Verso. See Verso image below


Origin:  Paris, France


Date:   Early part of the 13th century, c.1225


Content:  The leaf contains sections of Chapters 6 and 7 of 1 Maccabees.. The illuminated initial “A” begins Chapter 7: Anno centisimo quinquagesimo primo exiit Demetrius Seleuci filius ab urbe Roma, et ascendit cum paucis viris in civitatem maritimam et regnavit illic.  (In the hundred and fifty-first year Demetrius the son of Seleucus departed from the city of Rome, and came up with a few men into a city of the sea coast, and reigned there.)  


Condition:  This leaf is in excellent condition, particularly considering its age of almost 800 years.  There is the expected slight browning at the outer margins, but the text and illuminations are near perfect.  The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Notes:  The production of small format (“pocket”) bibles flourished in Paris in the 13th century. Written on extremely thin parchment in an extraordinarily tiny script, these codices were highly portable.  The parent book of this leaf was a high quality Bible of the Crusades period, used in the study of theology or preaching around the medieval countryside.

The Books of Maccabees are concerned with the Maccabees, the leaders of the Jewish rebellion against the Seleucid dynasty.  The books are held as canonical scripture by the Catholic, Orthodox and Coptic churches, but not by Anglican and Protestant denominations, who consider them to be apocryphal.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 160x110 mm. Text and illuminated area : approx.  120x70 mm.  Mat size: approx. 310x255 mm.  Presented in a museum quality mat, ready to frame. Packing & registered, insured post within Australia: $22.50.  Overseas destinations: ask for quote.  


Item No:  MBI 016

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