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A Byzantine Greek Psalter Psalter, in Greek, manuscript on vellum...

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A Byzantine Greek Psalter
Psalter, in Greek, manuscript on vellum [Byzantine Empire, 13th century]
A diminutive but handsome Byzantine Psalter in a 16th-century 'alla greca' binding.

87 x 55mm, ii (paper) + 175 leaves, single column, 21-24 lines in Greek minuscule, written space: 74 x c.40mm, 2-line capitals opening each verse, c.150 decorated initials in red, 3 headpieces decorated in red and blue (bound too tightly to collate, but probably lacking a number of leaves at the end, the leaves cockled, some staining and spotting). 16th-century blind-tooled leather sewn on 3 bands, the spine raised 'alla Greca', yellow, red and green head- and tailbands (edges scuffed and rubbed, lacking clasp and catch). Fitted box.

Provenance:
(1) The Greek minuscule employed here is clear and legible, and harks back to the so-called codices vetustissimi and codices vetusti of earlier centuries, but the enlarged forms of some of the letters, such as the beta, gamma, theta and phi are features of the 13th century: the scribe is evidently using an archaising hand. The diminutive size of the manuscript and the missing Odes at the very end (see Content) indicate that it may be one and the same as a Psalter once at the Monastery of St Catherine, Mt Sinai, Sinait. gr. 67, summarily described by V. Gardthausen, Catalogus codicum graecorum sinaiticorum, 1886, p.16, no 67, but no longer at Sinai by the time the manuscripts were microfilmed by the Library of Congress in January 1950 (Checklist of manuscripts in St. Catherine's monastery, 1952).

(2) Georges Zakos (1911-1983), antiquities dealer, bibliophile and collector of Byzantine seals. In the 1950s he was trading in the Istanbul Grand Bazaar, moving his business to Basel in the 1960s. He sold two large collections of seals to Dumbarton Oaks the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, but also other items to the British Museum. His widow Janine Zacos (d. 2003) donated a large part of his collection to the Cabinet des médailles in Paris. This manuscript sold as part of his collection at:

(3) Münzen und Medaillen, Auktion 78, 19 April 1993, lot 1795B, bought by:

(4) Sam Fogg, London, from whom acquired by:

(5) The Schøyen Collection, MS 1672.

Content:
Psalms 1-150, beginning: 'Μακαριος Ανηρ' ff.1-174v; Biblical Odes, beginning 'Ωδή Μωυσέως εν τη Εξόδω', ending 'θαυμαστος εν δοξαις ποιων τερατα' (LXX - Greek Septuagint - 86 1:11), lacking the end of the first Ode and Odes 2-9.

The Septuagint, often abbreviated as LXX, is the earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible from the original Hebrew. The full Greek title derives from the story recorded in the Letter of Aristeas to Philocrates that 'the laws of the Jews' were translated into the Greek language at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus by 72 Hebrew translators, six from each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

Provenance
Rahlf, A., Verzeichnis der griechischen Handschriften des Alten Testaments: für das Septuaginta-Unternehmen aufgestellt, 1914, p.289, no 67.

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Time, Location
11 Jun 2024
UK, London
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[ translate ]

A Byzantine Greek Psalter
Psalter, in Greek, manuscript on vellum [Byzantine Empire, 13th century]
A diminutive but handsome Byzantine Psalter in a 16th-century 'alla greca' binding.

87 x 55mm, ii (paper) + 175 leaves, single column, 21-24 lines in Greek minuscule, written space: 74 x c.40mm, 2-line capitals opening each verse, c.150 decorated initials in red, 3 headpieces decorated in red and blue (bound too tightly to collate, but probably lacking a number of leaves at the end, the leaves cockled, some staining and spotting). 16th-century blind-tooled leather sewn on 3 bands, the spine raised 'alla Greca', yellow, red and green head- and tailbands (edges scuffed and rubbed, lacking clasp and catch). Fitted box.

Provenance:
(1) The Greek minuscule employed here is clear and legible, and harks back to the so-called codices vetustissimi and codices vetusti of earlier centuries, but the enlarged forms of some of the letters, such as the beta, gamma, theta and phi are features of the 13th century: the scribe is evidently using an archaising hand. The diminutive size of the manuscript and the missing Odes at the very end (see Content) indicate that it may be one and the same as a Psalter once at the Monastery of St Catherine, Mt Sinai, Sinait. gr. 67, summarily described by V. Gardthausen, Catalogus codicum graecorum sinaiticorum, 1886, p.16, no 67, but no longer at Sinai by the time the manuscripts were microfilmed by the Library of Congress in January 1950 (Checklist of manuscripts in St. Catherine's monastery, 1952).

(2) Georges Zakos (1911-1983), antiquities dealer, bibliophile and collector of Byzantine seals. In the 1950s he was trading in the Istanbul Grand Bazaar, moving his business to Basel in the 1960s. He sold two large collections of seals to Dumbarton Oaks the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, but also other items to the British Museum. His widow Janine Zacos (d. 2003) donated a large part of his collection to the Cabinet des médailles in Paris. This manuscript sold as part of his collection at:

(3) Münzen und Medaillen, Auktion 78, 19 April 1993, lot 1795B, bought by:

(4) Sam Fogg, London, from whom acquired by:

(5) The Schøyen Collection, MS 1672.

Content:
Psalms 1-150, beginning: 'Μακαριος Ανηρ' ff.1-174v; Biblical Odes, beginning 'Ωδή Μωυσέως εν τη Εξόδω', ending 'θαυμαστος εν δοξαις ποιων τερατα' (LXX - Greek Septuagint - 86 1:11), lacking the end of the first Ode and Odes 2-9.

The Septuagint, often abbreviated as LXX, is the earliest extant Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible from the original Hebrew. The full Greek title derives from the story recorded in the Letter of Aristeas to Philocrates that 'the laws of the Jews' were translated into the Greek language at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus by 72 Hebrew translators, six from each of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.

Provenance
Rahlf, A., Verzeichnis der griechischen Handschriften des Alten Testaments: für das Septuaginta-Unternehmen aufgestellt, 1914, p.289, no 67.

[ translate ]
Sale price
Unlock
Estimate
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Time, Location
11 Jun 2024
UK, London
Auction House
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