Digital Commonwealth

Bible : Old and New Testament

Item Information

Bible : Old and New Testament
Title (uniform):
Former owner:
Chevalier, Nicholas
Former owner:
Morris, William, 1834-1896
[ca. 1250–1299]
Manuscripts, Latin (Medieval and modern)
Writing, Gothic
Boston Public Library
Rare Books Department
Collection (local):
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts (Collection of Distinction)
451 leaves : parchment, ill. ; 318 x 230 (215 x 155) mm.
Terms of Use:
No known copyright restrictions.
No known restrictions on use.
Notes (ownership):
Provenance: Unidentified arms of early owner on f. 4v (or three roses argent); used from the 16th century on for birthnotes by one Durant family, living near Montargis (see inscriptions, partially effaced, final folio recto and verso); Nicolas Chevalier (1562-63), his arms were on the former old calf binding (see William Morris sales catalogue); William Morris, his sale (London 1898, n. 169; SDBM 39991) to Pickering (Pickering description inside front cover).
Notes (acquisition):
Immediate source of acquisition: Acquired by Sydney Cockerell for BPL in December 1900, accessioned 29 April 1901.
Notes (citation):
Ricci, S. de. Census of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts in the United States and Canada, vol. I, page 917
Ms. codex.
Bibliographic record created by BPL staff based on description by Dr. Lisa Fagin Davis.
Secundo folio: intelligunt. Taceo …
Origin: Written in France in the second half of the 13th century.
Currently shelved under call no. MS f Med 1; formerly BPL G.401.11.
In Latin.
Bibliography: Haraszti, Z. "Medieval Manuscripts in The Library," More Books III (1928), 57; on Cockerell's acquisition of this manuscript for the Library, see Stoneman, W. "'Variously Employed': the Pre-Fitzwilliam Career of Sydney Carlyle Cockerell" in Art, Academia and the Trade: Sir Sydney Cockerell (1867-1962) (Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, XIII:4 (2007)), 354-5.
Notes (object):
Collation: Parchment, fol. iii (modern paper) + 451 ; 1-15⁸, 16⁶, 17-34⁸, 35-36⁶, 37-43⁸, 44⁸+¹ (fol. “346” tipped in singleton, currently loose and laid in, final canon table leaf), 45-54⁸, 55⁶, 56-58⁸ ; catchwords preserved, lower center margin of the final verso of each quire ; original foliation of roman numerals in lower margin of each recto, skips 330-339 and thus reaches 426 instead of 416 at the end of the Biblical text. The index has no original foliation.
Layout: Two columns, 56 lines, bounding and writing lines in light plummet.
Script: Written in a gothic bookhand, with some cursive features in brown ink with red rubrics. Chapter numbers alternate red and blue epigraphic capitals.
Decoration 1: f. 1r: 25-line historiated initial (the [F] of "Frater"), Jerome (nimbed) seated at a writing desk, in gold and colors with diapered blue background and a dragon in the stem of the letter; f. 4v: 22-line historiated [I] of "In principio," with the days of creation in round medallions arranged in two parallel registers (days 1-4 at left, 5-6 at right), with three rectangular panels extending from the fourth day to the right along the lower margin (Christ in Majesty; Bishop kneeling in prayer; two monks kneeling in prayer), in gold and colors, hunting scene above of a man shooting an arrow at a stork holding a gold ball in its mouth and standing on a long stem from which hangs an unidentified coat of arms (or three roses argent); 5-to-12 line evangelist portraits with attributes in gold and colors on f. "349" (Matthew), "359v" (Mark), "366" (Luke), "376" (John); Canon tables on ff. 329v-"346v:", two to four columns, lines alternating blue and red, in decorative interlaced red, green and blue frame.
Decoration 2: two-line historiated initials throughout alternating red with blue or blue with red filigree; psalm verse initials mid-line alternate red and blue; 10- to 20-line initials throughout in red and blue with elaborate red and blue filigree infill also extending into margins.
Binding: Ca. 19th-century brown morocco, with "Biblia Sacra/Latine/Manuscriptum/Saeculi XIII" stamped on the spine. Conservation rebinding performed in 2015.
Table of Contents:
1. ff. 1-329: Old Testament, begins with Jerome's Epistola 53 (Stegmuller 284): "Frater ambrosius tua. . ."
2. ff. 329v-"346v" (see pagination note below): Canon tables, that on f. 336v left blank.
3. ff. "347"-"348": chapter headings for Evangelists.
4. ff. "348"-"349": Evangelist prologue (Steg. 4779, Johannes Marchesinus, attributed to Jerome in manuscript).
5. ff. "349"-"359": Matthew.
6. ff. "359"-"365v": Mark (Steg. 607 and 611).
7. ff. "365v"-"376": Luke (Steg. 618 and 624).
8. ff. "376"-"383v": John (Steg. 624).
9. ff. "383v"-"388v": Romans (Steg. 651, 670, 674, 675).
10. ff. "388v"-"392": I Corinthians (Steg. 683).
11. ff. "392"-"394v": II Corinthians (Steg. 699).
12. ff. "394v"-"396": Galatians (Steg. 707).
13. ff. "396"-"397": Ephesians (Steg. 721).
14. ff. "397"-"398": Philippians (Steg. 728).
15. ff. "398"-"399": Colossians (Steg. 736).
16. ff. "399"-"400": I Thessalonians (Steg. 747).
17. ff. "400"-"400v": II Thessalonians (Steg. 753).
18. ff. "400v"-"401v": I Timothy (Steg. 765).
19. ff. "401v"-"402": II Timothy (Steg. 772).
20. ff. "402"-"402v": Titus (Steg. 780).
21. ff. "402v"-"403": Philemon (Steg. 783).
22. ff. "403"-"406": Hebrews (Steg. 793).
23. ff. "406"-"416v": Acts (Steg. 640).
24. ff. "416v"-"417v": Letter from Jacob to the Twelve Tribes (Steg. 809).
25. ff. "417v"-"419v": Epistle of Peter (no prologue).
26. ff. "419v"-"420v": Epistle of John (no prologue).
27. ff. "420v"-"421v": II Epistle of John (no prologue).
28. ff. "421"-"426": Apocalypse (Steg. 835).
29. ff. "426"-"453": Jerome's Index of the Bible.
Call #:
MS f Med 1
BPL G.401.11 (no longer used)