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Detailed record for Additional 47683

Title Leaf from a giant Bible
Origin Italy, Central
Date 11th - 12th centuries
Language Latin
Script Caroline minuscule
Decoration 1 miniature in colours, of the seven-branched candlestick described in Exodus 25:31-39, accompanied by a text derived mainly from Isidore of Seville, Quaestiones in Vetus Testamentum, cap. xlix (Migne, Patrologia Latina, 83, columns 312-13) and the homilies on Ezekiel of St Gregory the Great (Book 1, Homilies 6; Migne, Patrologia Latina, 76, columns 831-32). On the verso, 8 miniatures in colours, of musical instruments, including the psalterium, cithara, tintinnabulum, sambuca, pennula and fistula, associated with the Epistola ad Dardanum doubtfully attributed to St Jerome (Migne, Patrologia Latina, 30, columns 213-15).
Dimensions in mm 535 x 345
Official foliation Parchment leaf with conjoint stub.
Form Parchment leaf with conjoint stub, kept in a folder.
Binding BM/BL in-house.
Provenance A house of the Camaldolite Order: inscribed in a 13th-century hand, 'Hic lib[er] e[st] de Camalduli', and in another hand, 'quaternos xxvii' (recto).
Thomas William Coke (b. 1754, d. 1842), 1st earl of Leicester of Holkham, politician and agriculturist: formerly Norfolk, Holkham Hall, MS. 750; probably purchased during his travels in Italy (1771-74).
Purchased with the assistance of the National Art-Collections Fund in 1952.
Notes Italian cutting.
A seven-branched candlestick of similar type but more roughly executed, accompanied by the same text, with minor variants, is to be found in the 11th - 12th century Psalter, Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana, MS. E. 24, f. 25b (see P. J. Willetts, 'The seven-branched candlestick as a Psalter illustration', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 42 (1979), pp. 213-215).
The illustrations of musical instruments are found in a number of other manuscripts, together with the text of the Epistola, or independently, as here, with brief descriptions deriving from the Epistola, Isidore's Etymologiae (Migne, Patrologia Latina, 82, columns 166-69) and homiletic sources (see H. Avenary, 'Hieronymus' Epistel über die Musikinstrumente und ihre altöstlichen Quellen', Anuario Musical, 16 (1961), pp. 55-80).
For an account of the instruments and the sources of the illustrations see Reinhold Hammerstein, 'Instrumente Hieronymi', Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, 16 (1959), 117-134; Tilman Seebass, Musikdarstellung und Psalterillustration im früheren Mittelalter: Studien ausgehend von einer Ikonolgie der Handschrift Paris Bibliothe`que nationale, fonds latin 1118 (Bern: Franke, 1973), p. 142.
The sources closest to the present leaf are a mid-9th century Psalter, Angers, Bibliothe`que municipale, MS. 18, ff. 12b-13 (see Hammerstein, p. 118 and two plates; Seebass, pp. 142-143, pl. 116; Victor Leroquais, Les Psautiers manuscrits latins des Bibliothèques Publiques de France (Mâcon: Protat fre`res, 1940-1941, pp. 19-24, pl. 7) and Rome, Biblioteca Vallicelliana, MS. E. 24, ff. 26, 26b (see Edward B. Garrison, Studies in the History of Mediaeval Italian Painting, 4 vols (Florence: L'Impronta, 1955-1956), II, pp. 86-90; Studi Medievali - Spoleto, 3rd series, II. 2 (1970), pp. 1062-1063; Seebass 1973, pp. 142-143, pl. 116).
Select bibliography The British Library Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts 1951-1955 (London: British Library, 1982), pp. 56-57.

T. C. Skeat, 'Manuscripts and printed books from the Holkham Hall Library. The Manuscripts', British Museum Quarterly, 17 (1952), 25-33 (p. 32).

Francis Wormald, ‘An English Eleventh-century Psalter with Pictures: British Museum, Cotton MS Tiberius C. vi’, The Volume of the Walpole Society, 38 (1960-62), 1-13.

Pamela Willetts, 'The seven-branched candlestick as a Psalter illustration', Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, 42 (1979), pp. 213-15, pl. 42b and 43a.

Iter Liturgicum Italicum, ed. by Giacomo Baroffio (Padua: CLEUP, 1999), p. 105.

* * *
Seven-branched candlestick

f. 1
Seven-branched candlestick
Musical instruments

f. 1v
Musical instruments

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