THE GAETANI BIBLE

MS 661
MS Short Title GAETANI BIBLE
Text BIBLE WITH ST. HIERONYMUS PROLOGUES AND HEBREW NAMES
Description MS in Latin on vellum, Pisa, Italy, ca. 1310, 500 ff. (complete), 31x23 cm, 2 columns, (20x15 cm), 44 lines in a round Gothic book script of medium quality, signed by the scribe Phylippus on f. 223, red or blue initials with contrasting penwork flourishing in lilac or red, 95 illuminated initials with bar borders of cusped foliage or ivy-leaf sprays, 8 coats of arms in the Genesis initial, marginal notes in a 14th c. Italian loose cursive script.
Binding England, early 19th c., blue morocco gilt with light blue silk linings, sewn on 3 cords.
Context The 8 coats of arms of the initial for Genesis are: 1. the arms of the Church or the Papacy; 2. the arms of the Empire, presumably Emperor Henry VII (1308-1313); 3. the arms of Pope Clement V (1305-1314); 4. arms representing France; 5. the arms of the Putignanesi family in Pisa; 6. The Gaetani arms borne by pope Boniface VIII (1294-1302); 7. arms of the Gaetani family of Pisa; 8. arms of the counts of Spanheim, used by Lenfant de Spanheim. The presence of the arms of both the Empire and the Church may be an optimistic reflection of the declared intention of Henry VII to settle the discord between the Guelph and Ghibelline factions when he entered Italy in the autumn of 1310.
Provenance 1. Benedetto(?) Gaetani, canon of Pisa (with the arms of Gaetani family and the Papacy) (ca. 1310-); 2. Scholar at the University of Padua (14th c.); 3. John Kendall, Colchester (-1815); 4. Kendall Foundation, Colchester (1815-1865); 5. Sotheby's 9 March 1865 lot 353; 6. Frederick Startridge Ellis, London (1865-); 7. Quaritch Rough List 88(1899?):652; 8. Sotheby's 19.5.1936:9; 9. Otto F. Ege, Cleveland, Ohio (-1951); 10. Sotheby's 11.12.1984:41; 11. Dörling, Hamburg, Auktion 133, 29.11.1989:8; 12. Sam Fogg, London.
Commentary Colophon on f. 223: Finito libro referamus gratias christo. Qui scribsit scribat semper cum domino vivat. Vivat incelis Phylippus nomine felix. During the 13th c. the production of Bibles was so large, that the demand was covered for all of 14th c. and the beginning of 15th c. The making of a major Bible, like the present, in the 14th c. is most unusual. The elegant and unusual illumination has no parallel in other known MSS.
Place of origin Italy
Dates ca 1310 AD

Location