||Two leaves. 455 by 305mm. Double column, 22 lines, ruled in pale pink, written space 314 by 203mm; gothic liturgical hand.
Text: (leaf 13b), Jeremiah 47:3–48:17.
Decoration: Large 2-line initials in burnished gold on blue and pink grounds with white tracery and branching leafy marginal extensions. The illuminations are associated with the Bohun family, earls of Hereford, who were the most important patrons of book illustration in fourteenth-century England (de Hamel, Transitus 56). The leaves have sometimes been described as the ‘Bohun Bible leaves’ since the publication of Lucy Sandler’s Gothic Manuscripts, 1285–1385 (London, 1986; 2:146 (no. 132)), in which she connects the illuminations to the other ‘chief manuscripts’ of the Bohun family (de Hamel 56).
Provenance: From an English lectern Bible, likely intended for use by the Carmelites of Chester. The parent manuscript was presumably owned by Richard Legh, of East Hall, High Legh, Cheshire, in 1613. It next passed in 1665 to Sir Peter Leycester (1614–1678), of Nether Tabley, Cheshire, whose daughter, Elizabeth (d. 1587), married Legh’s eldest son. The manuscript was given to Leycester by Richard Maria Domville (1600–1667), of Lymm, Cheshire. It remained at Nether Tabley until the mid-1920s, when the manuscript was purchased and subsequently broken up by Myers and Co, New Bond Street, London. One of the Reed leaves was purchased from Maggs in 1954, and the second from the Folio Society’s Collector’s Corner catalogue 38 (June 1966), no. 180. See de Hamel’s article in the 2008 Script & Print referred to below for a full account of the provenance.
References: Manion, Vines, de Hamel no. 76; Reed Early Bibles no. 17; The Medieval Imagination: Illuminated Manuscripts from Cambridge, Australia and New Zealand edited by Bronwyn Stocks and Nigel Morgan (South Yarra, Victoria: Macmillan Art Publishing, 2008), no. 8; C. de Hamel. ‘The Bohun Bible Leaves’ in Transitus: Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in Australia and New Zealand, Script & Print Special Issue 32:1 (2008): 49–63.
Shelfmark: RMM Fragment 13b.
Description reproduced from Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in New Zealand Collections (London, 1989) by permission of the authors (Christopher de Hamel, Margaret Manion, and the family of Vera F. Vines).