Rare Books

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Current Exhibition

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From the scriptorium

From The Scriptoriumis a celebration of the extraordinary art of European manuscript illumination and features a small selection of facsimiles and original fragments from the Baillieu Library's Rare Book collection. Since its inception illuminated manuscripts have been objects of patronage and collection not only for the knowledge they contain but as works of art. The items here, arranged according to region: France, England, Germany and Italy, offer visitors an insight into medieval life and art and the opportunities for teaching and learning available in the University's Rare Book collections.
This exhibition coincides with, An Illumination: the Rothschild Prayer Book & other works from the Kerry Stokes Collection c. 1280-1685, the forthcoming exhibition and lecture seriesat the University's Ian Potter Museum of Art. One of the finest private collections of Medieval and Renaissance art in Australia, the Stokes Collection, offers unique opportunity to view and learn about life and art during the Medieval and Renaissance period, most importantly its centrepiece, The Rothschild Prayer Book a beautiful masterpiece of Flemish Renaissance art.

20 August 2015 - 20 November 2015
Ground floor Baillieu Library,
University of Melbourne

List of items on display
Italy

Catholic Church
[Leaf from a Breviary]
Italy, c. 1440
Vellum, 135 x 100 mm (115 x 85 mm).
Latin text scribed in Gothic script in two columns with eight two-line illuminated initials. Rubrics in red.
The text on this leaf is heavily abbreviated. The first two lines of the right column is an antiphon taken from Matthew 25:35: Venite benedicti patris mei, precipitate regnum, quod vobis paratum est ab origine mundi (Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world). In the lower of the right column is the beginning of a passage from Isaiah 58:7: Frange exurienti panem tuum at egenos vaogque induc in domum tuam (It is not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou brings the poor that are cast out to thy house?).
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

[Historiated initials 'L' and 'I' from an antiphonal] [manuscript]
[Brescia? 1490?]
Northern Italian style.
Both fragments come from the Sanctoral cycle of an Antiphonal. The artist, identified as Giovan Pietro da Cemmo, illustrates the martyrdom of St. Lawrence for the initial ‘L’ and a standing group of saints for 'I'.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Catholic Church
Das Stundenbuch der Sforza = The Sforza hours = Les heures Sforza.
Luzern : Faksimile Verlag Luzern, 1993-1995.
Latin text. German and English commentary.
Facsimile of manuscript of Add. 34294 in the British Library.
The book of hours of Bona of Savoy, widow of Galeazzo Sforza, Duke of Milan. Illuminations by Giovan Pietro Birago and Gerard Horenbout.
In this section of the hours Birago has characterised “the sound from heaven” as a chorus of celestial music performed by an orchestra of half-length musical angels in 17 vignettes, accompanied by a lesser number of putti and doves symbolic of the Holy Spirit.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Catholic Church
Das Gebetbuch Lorenzos de' Medici, 1485 : Handschrift Clm 23639 der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek, München
Frankfurt am Main : S. Fischer Verlag ; Stuttgart : Müller & Schindler, 1991.
Latin text. Commentary and translation in German.
Facsimile of manuscript of Clm 23639 in the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Munich.
The Prayer Book of Lorenzo De’Medici. The scribe for the manuscript was Antonio Sinibaldi. Traditionally, the miniatures have been ascribed to Francesco d'Antonio del Chierico.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Germany

Catholic Church
[Leaf from a Breviary]
Germany/Low Countries, c. 1450
Vellum, 170 x 130 mm (125 x 90 mm).
Four lines of music on four-line staves with square shaped neumes. Six lined of latin text written in Gothic texta quadrata script with illuminated Gothic capitals.
The music on the recto is the third antiphon for the Second Sunday after Pentecost: Surge et in eternum serva munimine sacro custodque tuos astripotens famulos. The verso includes Psalm 15. Conserva me, Domine (My God and my all).
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Biblia pauperum : Apocalypsis : the Weimar manuscript
New York : Hacker Art Books, 1978.
Text in Latin. Commentary in German with English translation.
Facsimile of the Weimar manuscript of the Biblia pauperum and the Apocalypse, preserved as Fol. max. 4 in the Zentralbibliothek der deutschen Klassik, Weimar.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Liber precum
Graz : Akademische Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt, 2003.
Cologne ca. 1487-1488.
Text Latin. Commentary in German and English.
Facsimile of the manuscript Ms. Lat. O.v.I.206 in the Russischen Nationalbibliothek, St. Petersburg.
This manuscript contains two texts, an illustrated set of prayers on the life and Passion of Christ, and a set of sermons and prayers in prose and verse.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Der Bamberger Psalter
Wiesbaden : L. Reichert Verlag, 1973.
Facsimile of the manuscript Msc. Bibl. 48 in the Staatsbibliothek Bamberg.
Thought to be produced in the Michelsberg Monastery, Bamberg, ca. 1220 - 1230.
The Psalter is the Book of Psalms used in liturgical as well as private worship. They  often included additional devotional texts such as a liturgical calendar, canticles, creeds, a litany of the saints, and prayer.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

France
Catholic Church
[Heures a l'usage de Rouen]
[Paris : Antoine Verard, not before late 1507]
This characteristic book of hours is printed on vellum in 22 lines of Gothic bastarda type and is illuminated in the style of a manuscript. It is adorned with numerous woodcut and metalcut illustrations and borders which represent biblical typological scenes and the Dance of Death. It is a fine example of the continued importance of decoration in the advent of print.
G.F. Pendlebury Collection, 1996
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Catholic Church
[Leaf from a Bible]
Paris, c. 1260
Vellum, 160 x 105 mm (120 x 80 mm).
Gothic micro-miniscule script in two columns of 43 lines. Features one Lombard style illuminated initial “F” and versal initials.
The leaf contains text from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah. It includes all of chapter 42, with large sections of chapters 41 & 43. The illuminated “F” on Verso begins Chapter 43. Factum est autem cum complesset Jeremias loquens ad populum universos sermones Domini Dei eorum (And it come to pass that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the Lord their God…).
The parent book was a high quality “portable” Bible of the Crusades period, used in the study of theology or preaching of the Gospel around the medieval countryside. It was in England by the 17th century, and later in the famous collection of William Foyle (1885-1963) at Beeligh Abbey.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Catholic Church
[Leaf from a Breviary]
Northern France, c. 1480
Vellum, 150 x 110 mm (130 x 65 mm).
Latin text scribed in Gothic bookhand in two columns with embellishments and illuminations.
The two-line red initial “R” beings the hymn “Rerum creator optime”which is attributed to St. Gregory the Great (540-604) and sung at Wednesday Matins in the Roman Breviary. The illuminated “D” then begins Psalm 52: Dixit insipiens (Foolishness and perversity of sinners).
The Breviary is a book furnishing the regulations for the celebration of the Mass and containing the pubic or canonical prayers, hymns, psalms, readings and notations for everyday use, especially by the Catholic clergy.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Der Kreuzritterbibel = The Morgan Crusader Bible = Le Bible des Crusades.
Luzern : Faksimile Verlag Luzern, 1998-1999.
Latin text. Commentary in English, German and French.
Facsimile of the manuscript M.638 in the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York .
The Crusader Bible itself does not illustrate the entire Bible, but only portions of Genesis, Exodus, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and Samuel. The miniatures and text on this page depict The King is Displeased (2 Kings 4:8–12); The Tribes under One King  (2 Kings 5:1–3); The Conquest of Jerusalem (2 Kings 5:6–9).
Possibly commissioned by Louis IX of France and produced in Paris ca. 1244-1254, the manuscript came into the possession of Shah Abbas the Great, King of Persia in the 17th century where Persian explanations were inscribed in the margins; a later owner added commentary in Judeo-Persian.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Das Bedford-Stundenbuch = The Bedford hours
Luzern : Faksimile Verlag, 2006.
German with English translation.
Facsimile of the manuscript MS Add. 18850, British Library, London.
A beautiful work of late medieval manuscript art. It was produced for the wedding of John, Duke of Bedford, to Anne of Burgundy on 13 May 1423.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

Bible moralisée
Graz, Akademische Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt, 1973.
French text. French and German commentary.
Facsimile of manuscript Codex Vidonbonensis 2554 in the Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek, Vienna, Austria.
The Bible moralisée is a medieval picture bible which originated at the French royal court during the early 13th century. Composed of short biblical passages and related commentaries with moral or allegorical lessons, the text was accompanied by extensive illustrations in an interrelated medallions or rondels (eight per page) design.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

England
Bestiarium : die Texte der Handschrift Ms. Ashmole 1511 der Bodleian Library Oxford in lateinischer und deutscher Sprache
Graz, Austria : Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1986.
Latin text. German translation and commentary.
Facsimile of manuscript Ms. 1511 in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.
The original manuscript was produced in the beginning of the 13th century in England and is considered one of the finest early Gothic illuminated bestiaries. It was bequeathed to the University of Oxford by Elias Ashmole (1617-1692). The image on the left depicts a Hyena devouring a corpse, the right, Bonnacon leaves its mark on knight in coat of mail as he (the Bonnacon) is attacked.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Das Bestiarium aus Peterborough = The Peterborough bestiary
Luzern : Faksimile Verlag, 2003.
Text Latin. Commentary in German with English translation.
Facsimile of the manuscript MS. 53 (fol. 189-210) in the Parker Library, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.
Produced in East Anglia, England ca. 1304 - 1321 The Peterborough Bestiary is one of the largest of its kind. It includes 104 miniatures which adorn all pages of the manuscript and 108 colourfully decorated initials which precede the individual chapters on each animal.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

The Lambeth Apocalypse : MS 209 in the Lambeth Palace Library
London : Harvey Miller, 1990.
Latin text. English commentary.
Facsimile of manuscript MS 209 in the Lambeth Palace Library.
The manuscript is a copy of the text of the Revelation of St. John illustrated with 78 gilded miniatures placed above the text and theological commentary. The two miniatures shown here are: The Third Seal: The Rider on the Black Horse who is presented to dismay John by the third living creature the bull and The Fourth Seal: The Rider on the Pale Horse who appears to be followed by a vision of the damned.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Other

The book of hours of Pannonhalma : the codex preserved in the library of the Abbey of Pannonhalma
Budapest : Corvina Kiadó, Helikon Kiadó, 1982.
Latin text. Bastarda characters in 15 lines.
Facsimile of the manuscript Codex. 118.I.43 in Abbey of Pannonhalma Library.
Rare Books, Baillieu Library, University of Melbourne

 

Related events
AN ILLUMINATION: the Rothschild Prayer Book & other works from the Kerry Stokes Collection c. 1280-1685
Exhibition and Lecture Series
From 28 August - 15 November 2015
One of Australia's finest collections of Medieval and Renaissance art will be exhibited to the public curated by Margaret Manion.
Ian Potter Museum of Art, Swanston Street Carlton, Vic 3010

 

Forthcoming

 

 

Past Exhibitions


Online Exhibitions

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The Facsimile and the Manuscript

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To all the Little Masters and to all the Little Misses: The Morgan Collection of Children's Books

Aubrey Beardsley - A Tribute

FabricAsian - Celebrating an aspect of material culture for which Asian societies have long been renowned

Libri: six centuries of Italian books from the Baillieu Library’s Rare Books

 

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