Saturday, 26 November 2016

A Curious Cutting

I have no new provenance-based post today, but I have written about a curious cutting (which does have some provenance issues), on the "Medieval Manuscripts Questions" blog here.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Vassar Leo X Cuttings (Part IV): Later Provenance


Having covered the origins of the cuttings at Vassar College from a Missal of Pope Leo X, from their creation to their dismemberment and auction in the 1838 Ottley auction, in a series of previous posts, it may be worth pursuing their provenance into more recent times.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

A Leo X Cutting Rediscovered

Two years ago, almost to the day, I wrote a post about a cutting from the same Pope Leo X manuscript as the two cuttings at Vassar College. At that time, I only knew of it from a photograph taken in 1993, and did not know its whereabouts.

A couple of months ago I recognised it in a box of leaves and cuttings that had just arrived at Christie's and had not yet been catalogued. It has now been put online here as part of their December "Online Only" sale.

We now have access to images of both the front and back, but the I have been unable to identify the text on the back.
High-resolution images (though rather pale; the images above have been adjusted) are on the Christie's website here (front) and here (back).

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Paths to Grace Exhibition Catalogue, 1991


When I originally started this blog it was my intention to post every week, even if it was simply to note the existence of a useful title in Google Books, e.g. here. Due to pressure of work I have not blogged for the past few weeks, and will probably only be able to write short blog posts in the coming few months.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

"Art History News" Blog and Recent Provenance

One of the blogs I follow is Art History News: it has nothing to do with medieval manuscripts, but it occasionally has something interesting to me -- about the art market, for example.

It has been following the Affair of the Fake Cranach since the story broke, and today has a post about how the series of fakes could probably have been unmasked sooner if more attention had been paid to their (lack of) provenance:
http://www.arthistorynews.com/articles/4201_Provenance

Forgery is very rarely an issue with medieval manuscripts, but what has become very prevalent in recent years is the "restoration" of illuminations by dealers. They have apparently found a very gifted artist to restore and visually improve damaged miniatures, and often the only way of knowing what has happened is to compare the present appearance, with a photograph taken a few years or a few decades ago: yet another reason why the tracing of recent provenance is important.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Stolen Leaves and Cuttings [15]

The final items in this series are Ethiopian, and thus less perhaps likely to be encountered by readers of this blog.

Folding manuscript with saints
Ethiopia, 15th – 16th century


28 loose leaves from a Martyrologium
Ethiopia 16th century
490 x 390 mm


I have been asked to spread the word about a number of leaves and cuttings that were stolen from a private collection in London a few years ago. Rather than post them all at once, I will aim to do one per day for the next several days, and then do a cumulative list that you can print out and keep handy for future reference. Please circulate the details to colleagues. If you see, or have seen, any of them please contact info@samfogg.com

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Stolen Leaves and Cuttings [14]


The Last Judgement
Historiated initial D from Psalm 101 in a Psalter
Germany, 13th century, first half
c. 145 × 99 mm


I have been asked to spread the word about a number of leaves and cuttings that were stolen from a private collection in London a few years ago. Rather than post them all at once, I will aim to do one per day for the next several days, and then do a cumulative list that you can print out and keep handy for future reference. Please circulate the details to colleagues. If you see, or have seen, any of them please contact info@samfogg.com