UK: Important Manuscript Sold

Julia Bolton Holloway wrote in MEDTEXTL@listserv.illinois.edu:

I was visiting Simon Keynes in Cambridge today, and Tim Bolton, Sotheby’s
specialist in medieval manuscripts, came for lunch. He told the few present
people about a late 14th-century English manuscript, sold 9 days ago to a
dealer on the Continent. The manuscript (for the catalogue description
follow the link below) contains inter alia a hitherto unknown version of
Encomium Emmae, a few unique prophecies and apparently the fullest version
of Gildas. […]

http://www.sothebys.com/app/live/lot/LotDetail.jsp?sale_number=L08241&live_lot_id=31

M. O. Doherty wrote:

The MS in question, in case anyone else is interested in putting up a show of resistance, appears to be Exeter, Devon Record Office, Courtenay 1508 M Devon add/SS 11/1 . The sale comes as a very unpleasant shock; I’ve looked at this manuscript a couple of times over the last year or so and did not realise that it was not owned by Devon RO but (according to the sale catalogue) by the Earl of Devon. A reason (I think) that this MS is not better known is that the collection is not catalogued in any detail in an easily accessible catalogue (see the A2A record for this collection, in which this volume is not mentioned – http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/records.aspx?cat=027-d1508m&cid=-1 ).

This is an important MS, relevant to the locality where it is housed and is — or has been until recently — housed in a good archive where it is readily accessible to researchers (http://www.devon.gov.uk/record_office.htm ). To allow it to pass into private hands overseas seems very much a retrograde step.


Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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