(London: 1919-20). 179 x 130 mm. (7 x 5"). 2 p.l., 78 pp.,  leaves.
FINE RUSSET GOATSKIN BY C. & C. MCLEISH (stamp-signed in gilt on rear turn-in), covers panelled with gilt rules, inner panel with scrolling gilt cornerpieces, raised bands flanked by gilt rules, vellum endpapers. ILLUMINATED IN VARIOUS WAYS AND ALWAYS WITH THE MOST EXQUISITE ARTISTRY AND THE GREATEST CHARM: rubrics in red, line fillers partly in red, partly in delicately painted flowers in various colors, several large and small initials, the smaller embellished with florals, the larger containing absolutely delightful miniatures, often angels, a number of lush floral borders, title page with a line illustration done in delicate gold penwork of an angel holding a chalice, a smaller kneeling angel on the leaf following the text done in the same technique, THREE BREATHTAKING LARGE ILLUMINATIONS, EACH WITH SUPERBLY REALIZED DETAIL AND EACH ACCOMPANIED BY A FULL VERY ELABORATE FLORAL BORDER, one showing the Virgin adoring the Christ Child while a host of angels watches from above, another of the Presentation in the Temple in a frame filled with angels, and a third of the risen Christ in glory seated between the Blessed Mother and St. Francis, enclosed by a large circle of angels whose brilliant gold shines from the page; also two smaller historiated illuminations, one of the seated Virgin showing the Christ Child to a group of youthful adoring angels, and the other showing a radiant Christ revealing the stigmata to two angels, Mary, and an elderly Franciscan; the text done mostly in black and red, but also with much gold, THE PAGE FACING THE "CHRIST IN GLORY" MINIATURE DONE ENTIRELY IN GOLD and with a full floral border highlighted in gold. Boards tending to bow a little, a few negligible cosmetic imperfections to leather, the inevitable very slight variation in the color of the vellum, but A VIRTUALLY FAULTLESS, EXTRAORDINARILY BEAUTIFUL BOOK.
Created by a talented female artist, this manuscript, containing the text of the service of Holy Communion, has been lettered and illuminated by hand with the greatest of skill and touching devotion. The content and illustrations here, many of which depict children, suggest that our manuscript was intended as a unique gift for a young person--probably a girl--on the occasion of their First Communion. The inspiration of the Medieval Book of Hours is clear here, but the artist also has been guided by Pre-Raphaelite illustration. This influence is especially apparent in the five wide, intricate floral borders (two of them double-page, and each different from the next in color and the types of blossoms depicted). The charming figures are perhaps closer to the style of the children's books of Kate Greenaway, except that the level of aesthetic achievement here is much higher. It seems evident that the artist had a special fondness for the Franciscan order, because in her splendid illumination of the seated Christ in Glory, St. Francis (identified by the mark of the stigmata on his hand), is seated next to the Lord. This is a particularly outstanding illumination, in which the glowing gold, orange, and lavender of the sunset sky are echoed in the color scheme of the floral borders. A much cooler color scheme, but equally lovely, is used for the small illumination of the Madonna and Child seated on a rainbow, surrounded by angels who hold a long garland; here the violet sky suggests twilight, when the stars first become visible. Edith Bertha Crapper (1892-1979) painted miniatures as well as illuminated books, and was a member of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters. Her works are represented in the National Gallery and in the Victoria & Albert Museum. Comparing this manuscript with those produced by Alberto Sangorski is difficult, as the styles are in some ways quite different; but, simply put, the present manuscript is equal in beauty to any Sangorski manuscript--or any other modern illuminated manuscript--that we have ever handled. (ST16455)
Add to Cart Price: $16,000.00
PJP Catalog: 78.039