A collection of miniature pages from the finest medieval manuscripts in the British Library, the largest national library in the world

Treasures from the British Library

Paris (France); Bologna (Italy) and others — 7th-16th cemtury

Treasures from the British Library

Treasures from the British Library

Paris (France); Bologna (Italy) and others — 7th-16th cemtury

  1. The British Library has some of the world’s most substantial holdings of manuscripts dating back to 2000 BC

  2. The backbone of the collection is rooted in a series of 18th century donations from inter alia the British Royal Family

  3. The ten individual pages compiled here come from some of the greatest treasures of medieval European illumination

Kassette Schätze der British Library

Hours of Amadée de Saluces

Adoration of the Magi

Seated at the door of the stable where Jesus was born, Mary is shown receiving the gift of the first and eldest of the Magi, who has laid down his crown beside him as he kneels. The other two Magi waiting with their gifts are styled as young Renaissance princes wearing crowns, short ruffled tunics, and tights; their entourages approach in the distance. All three have turbans with a distinctly Indo-Persian flare, hinting at their origins in rich and distant eastern lands.

Treasures from the British Library

Alternative Titles:
  • Kassette Schätze der British Library
Treasures from the British Library – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Treasures from the British Library – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Treasures from the British Library – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Treasures from the British Library – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Treasures from the British Library – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Originating from a series of donations by British monarchs and leading bibliophiles going back to the 18th century, the British Library is the largest national library in the world and is home to some of the greatest historical, cultural, and literary artifacts in the United Kingdom. Formerly part of the British Museum, it was made into a separate institution in 1973 and combined with other organizations and archives to create a research library that is second to none. Its holdings include one of the largest and richest collections of medieval manuscripts in the world, including manuscripts originating from the British Isles, Continental Europe, and around the world.

Treasures from the British Library

The British Library, the national library of the United Kingdom, is the largest national library in the world with a catalogue containing 150-200+ million items. Created in 1973, it had previously been a department of the famous British Museum, but also folded in some smaller institutions. The library’s construction was the largest public building project of 20th century Britain. It has some of the world’s most substantial holdings of manuscripts and historical items dating back to 2000 BC. The backbone of the collection is rooted in a series of 18th century donations, including the donations of the Old Royal Library by King George II (1683-1760) and the King’s Library by King George III (1738-1820), as well as three collections that were brought together in 1753: the Cotton, Harley, and Sloane Collections. These are further appended by the likes of the Arundel and Egerton Collections. This incredible assemblage boasts some of the finest examples of manuscript art not only from England, but from continental Europe, the Middle East, even as far as China.
The ten single pages assembled here not only represent some of the finest examples of medieval European illumination in the British Library, but in the entire world altogether:
1. Beginning of the Gospel of Matthew
Lindisfarne Gospels
Lindisfarne Priory, ca. 698
Dimensions: 24.0 x 34.0 cm

  1. Luke the Evangelist
    Harley Golden Gospels
    Aachen, ca. 800
    Dimensions: 23.0 x 37.0 cm

  2. Initial Page “B”
    Benedictional of St. Æthelwold
    Winchester, ca. 980
    21.0 x 28.5 cm

  3. The Three Magi
    Melisende Psalter
    Jerusalem, 1131-1143
    Dimensions: 14.0 x 21.5 cm

  4. Annunciation to Mary - Moses and Gideon
    Psalter of Henry the Lion
    Helmarshausen, after 1185
    Dimensions: 12.5 x 20.5 cm

  5. Annunciation and Visitation
    Oscott Psalter
    England, ca. 1270
    Dimensions: 18.5 x 29.5 cm

  6. Ascension of Christ
    Hours of John the Fearless
    Paris, ca. 1415
    Dimensions: 17.5 x 24.5 cm

  7. Mark the Evangelist
    Bedford Hours
    Paris, ca. 1423
    Dimensions: 18.0 x 26.0 cm

  8. Adoration of the Magi
    Hours of Amadée de Saluces
    Savoy, ca. 1460
    Dimensions: 18.5 x 27.5 cm

  9. Adoration of the Shepherds
    Book of Hours of Perugino
    Bologna, ca. 1500
    Dimensions: 13.5 x 20.0 cm

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Kassette Schätze der British Library
Date
7th-16th cemtury
Illustrations
10 miniatures
Content
Ten leaves from important manuscripts from the British Library
Kassette Schätze der British Library

Lindisfarne Gospels

Chi Rho Monogram, Gospel of Matthew

Following the account of Christ’s genealogy, Insular Gospel books often featured a second incipit page at Matthew 1:18 with the Greek letters Chi (X) and Rho (P). This monogram was initially used by Emperor Constantine the Great for his military banners, but subsequently became an abbreviation for Christ’s name in Latin and a symbol of his victory over Death.

An abbreviation for “Christi”, the letters “XPI” are presented prominently with incredibly elaborate interlace patterns and swirls rendered in the brightest and most expensive pigments available to contemporary artists. The frame surrounding the text is additionally adorned with animal heads and perfectly complements the large initial to create a perfectly balanced composition.

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Treasures from the British Library“

Kassette Schätze der British Library
Treasures from the British Library – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Treasures from the British Library – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Treasures from the British Library – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Treasures from the British Library – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
Treasures from the British Library – British Library (London, United Kingdom)
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Kassette Schätze der British Library

1 volume: 10 leaves under passe-partouts: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Coron Verlag – Gütersloh, 2002
Limited Edition
1995 copies
Binding
Box
Commentary
1 volume
Language: German
Price Category: €
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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