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Detailed record for Additional 38121

Title Life of John (ff. 1-2v, 45-47v); Apocalypse, imperfect (ff. 3v-44v)
Origin Netherlands, S or Germany
Date last quarter of the 14th century or first quarter of the 15th century
Language Latin
Script Gothic
Decoration 4 full page miniatures (ff. 3v, 4v, 5v, 6v) and 90 half-page miniatures, two on each folio (ff. 1-2v) and on versos only (ff. 7v-47v), in colours with gold on gold or diapered grounds. A puzzle initial in red and blue with pen-flourishing (f. 4).
Dimensions in mm 320 x 200 (250 x 150)
Official foliation ff. i + 47 (f. i is a paper paste-down to the inside upper binding + 1 unfoliated paper flyleaf at the beginning and 2 at the end)
Collation i1 (f. 1); ii8 (ff. 2-9); iii8 (ff. 10-18, where f. 13 is a partial folio of text, and probably an insert); iv8 (ff. 19-26); v8 (ff. 27-34) vi1, where f. 35 is a partial folio of text, and probably an insert); vii8 (ff. 36-43), f. 44 is a partial folio; ff. 45-47 are now singletons.
Form Parchment codex
Binding Post-1600. Brown leather.
Provenance Alfred Henry Huth (b. 1850, d. 1910), book collector, his bookplate inside the upper binding: bequeathed by him to the British Museum in 1910 (see Catalogue of the Fifty Manuscripts (1912), no. VIII).
Notes Full digital coverage available for this manuscript: see Digitised Manuscripts at http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts.
Contains no commentary.
The images on ff. 1-2v and ff. 45v-47v illustrate scenes from the life of John the Evangelist; the remaining folios are from the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation). The text ends on f. 22 and thereafter the rectos are blank, though the miniatures continue on the versos.
Part of James's 'First Family' of Apocalypses. The layout and subjects of the miniatures are closely related to that of two Flemish manuscripts, believed to have been copied from the same English exemplar: Manchester, John Rylands Library Lat MS 19 and London, Welcome Institute, MS 49 (formerly in the Sneyd collection). The manuscript is also related to British Library, Additional MS 19896, a German manuscript, and an early block-book of the Apocalypse, made in the Netherlands in the 15th century, derived from the same or a similar exemplar (see James, Apocalypse in Art (1927), pp. 47-48).
Paper interleaves have been added between the folios.
Select bibliography L. Delisle and P. Meyer, L'Apocalypse en français au XIIIe siècle (Bibl. Nat. Fr. 403) (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1901), p. xii.

Burlington Fine Arts Club, Exhibition of Illuminated Manuscripts (1908), no. 163.

Catalogue of the Fifty Manuscripts & Printed Books bequeathed to the British Museum by Alfred Huth (London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1912), pp. 10, 11, pl. 7c.

[J. A. Herbert], Illuminated Manuscripts and Bindings of Manuscripts Exhibited in The Grenville Library, Guide to the Exhibited Manuscripts, 3 (Oxford: British Museum, 1923), p. 37.

Montague Rhodes James, The Apocalypse in Art, The Schweich Lectures of the British Academy, 1927 (London: British Academy, 1931), no. 69.

Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts in the British Museum in the Years 1911-1915, 2 vols (London: British Museum, 1925, repr. 1969), I, p. 21.

Leonie von Wilckens, 'Hinweise zu einigen fruhen Einblattholzschnitten und zur Blockbuchapokalypse', Anzeiger des germanischen Nationalmuseums (Nuremburg, 1978), 7-23 (pp. 13, 14, 16).

Richard Kenneth Emmerson and Suzanne Lewis, 'Census and Bibliography of Medieval Manuscripts containing Apocalypse Illustrations, ca. 800-1500: II', Traditio: Studies in Ancient and Medieval History, Thought and Religion, 41 (1985), 367-409, no. 69.

Elke Purpus, 'Die Vorläufer der Blockbücher der Apokalypse', in Blockbücher des Mittelalters (Mainz: Gutenberg-Museum, 1991), pp. 99-118.

Peter K. Klein, 'The Apocalypse in Medieval Art', in The Apocalypse in the Middle Ages, ed. by Richard K. Emmerson and Bernard McGinn (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993), pp. 159-99 (p. 197).

The Apocalypse and the Shape of Things to Come, ed. by Frances Carey (London: British Museum, 1999), p. 88 no. 18 [exhibition catalogue].

Nigel Morgan, 'A Model Sheet of Apocalypse Drawings, the Fifteenth-century Netherlandish and German Manuscript Apocalypse, and the early Block Books' in New Offerings, Ancient Treasures, Studies in Medieval Art for George Henderson, ed. by Paul Binski and William Noel (Stroud: Sutton, 2001), pp. 389-414.

Alan Coates, Kristian Jensen and others, A Catalogue of Books Printed in the Fifteenth century now in the Bodleian Library, 7 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), I, p. 7.


Images
* * *
 
John the Evangelist and Drusiana

f. 1
John the Evangelist and Drusiana
John sails to Rome

f. 1v
John sails to Rome
Domitian persecutes John

f. 2
Domitian persecutes John
 
John exiled to Patmos

f. 2v
John exiled to Patmos
John on Patmos

f. 3v
John on Patmos
The seven churches and the seven candlesticks

f. 4v
The seven churches and the seven candlesticks
 
God and the elders

f. 5v
God and the elders
The Lamb receiving the Book

f. 6v
The Lamb receiving the Book
John and angels; the earthquake

f. 9v
John and angels; the earthquake
 
The adoration of the Lamb

f. 10v
The adoration of the Lamb
The Woman and the dragon with seven heads

f. 20v
The Woman and the dragon with seven heads
Souls in hell

f. 42v
Souls in hell
 

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