The Bohun Family Bible from England, ca. 1350
The Bohun Bible, Perhaps a Gift of the Black Prince. Single mammoth folio on vellum. England, East Anglia, possibly Cambridge, ca. 1350: 447 mm x 310 mm (justification 311 mm x 205 mm). Double column, 22 lines. Foliated “10.” Decoration: large two-line initial S in gold on pink and blue grounds with white penwork and colored ivy leaf extensions in the margins; gold pilcrow on red and blue grounds; red and blue chapter numbers and running heads. Text: Proverbs 10.25 quasi tempestas … 11.24 semper in. Provenance: 1. Originally from the third volume of a four-volume set. BL, Royal MS 1 E.iv, whose dimensions and mise-en-page match but whose decoration differs, has been suggested as the first volume. Since one historiated initial from the Bible shows a Carmelite friar, and the earliest known provenance is in Cheshire, the bible may have come from the Carmelite house in Chester. The manuscript was perhaps commissioned by the Black Prince, son of Edward III, who endowed the foundation in 1353-58; 2. Owned by Richard Legh by 1613; 3. Richard Maria Domville (d. 1667) of Lymme Hall, Cheshire; given by him in 1665 to: 4. Sir Peter Leycester/Leicester (d. 1678), by which time a significant number of leaves was already missing; 5. Owned and dismembered by Myers & Co., Bond St., London, from 1927 onwards. Christopher de Hamel deduced the provenance information and identified hundreds of extant leaves worldwide: http://www.bsanz.org/download/script-and-print/script_and_print_vol._32_no._1_(2008)/SP_2008-Vol32-No1_pp49-63.pdf. Condition: excellent, the ink quite black and fresh, the initial nearly perfect, the vellum has a natural yellow tinge.