Ink on vellum
430 folios; 12.4 × 9.06 × 4.3 in. (31.5 × 23 × 11 cm)
Not on view
The scribe Matthias of Raudnitz produced this Bible during the early chaos of the Hussite wars in Bohemia, completing it in 1421 according to the colophons. The manuscript’s text is written in a single, clear hand with capitals highlighted in red or yellow. There are red annotations in the margins throughout, citing parallel passages and sources for quotations. Matthias wrote his first colophon in burnished gold. The manuscript contains 90 large initials in a variety of colors, including the capital I at the beginning of Genesis, which contains a cameo-like painting of God holding the world. The manuscript retains its original binding.
Explore the full text of the Lipnice Bible with annotations here: https://lipnicebible.ff.cuni.cz/en/view
Completed in 1421 by the scribe Matthias of Raudnitz, who probably began the manuscript in Prague but finished it at the castle of Lipnice. Purchased before 1920 by Charles William Dyson Perrins (1864–1958); Purchased at auction in 1960 by Maggs Brothers, LTD. Acquired before 1991 by Sam Fogg, LTD; Acquired in 1991 by Joost R. Ritman; Purchased at auction in 2003 by Antiquariat Herbert Tenschert. Acquired in or after 2004 by Joost R. Ritman. Acquired before 2012 by Newenza Trading (International) Ltd; Purchased in January 2012 by Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC.
Notes:  At the end of Revelation, on folio 393, it says, “Finished in the year of our Lord 1421.” The gold colophon below it adds, “(Here) the shield of faith ends, with which the sons of God fight; the eye of the just, the stumbling block of the non-believers. Matthias of Raudnitz.” This is apparently a reference to the Hussites, who had taken control of Prague. Another colophon appears on folio 420 after the index of Hebrew names, saying, “In the year of our Lord 1421, in the month of May, finished in Lipnice.” Lipnice is about 65 miles to the southeast of Prague, where Matthias probably started the manuscript. His bookplate on the front pastedown, with a second one indicating this was manuscript number 125. Perrins, a noted British bibliophile, was the son of one of the creators of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce and ran the company after his father’s death. The date derives from the manuscript’s inclusion in the 1920 catalog of Perrins’s collection by Sir George Warner, which also said that it was purchased privately https://archive.org/details/PerrinsManuscriptsText/page/n323/mode/2up  Sotheby’s, London, November 29, 1960, Lot 118. After Perrins’s death, Sotheby’s auctioned off his collection of manuscripts in three separate auctions.  Sotheby’s, London, A Third Selection of Illuminated Manuscripts from the Tenth to the Sixteenth Century: The Property of Mr. J.R. Ritman Sold for the Benefit of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, Amsterdam, June 17, 2003, Lot 15. The bookplate of Ritman’s Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica is on the front pastedown.  The dealer’s notes do not provide a date for Ritman’s re-acquisition of the manuscript, just that he did.  Newenza’s website says, “Recently one of our associated companies has been involved in the purchase of a rare collection of antique books, which are now being sold worldwide, customers range from private collectors, museums, Sotheby's and Christies” (http://www.newenza.com/international_trade.html).  The Green Collection purchased the manuscript through Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG in Stalden, Switzerland, where it was on consignment from Newenza.
Lucie Doležalová and Karel Pacovský, eds., Lipnická bible. Štít víry v neklidných časech pozdního středověku (Lipnice Bible. Shield of Faith in the Turbulent Times of the Late Middle Ages) (Spolek Za záchranu rodného domu Jana Zrzavého: Okrouhlice, Czech Republic, 2021).
Lucie Doležalová, “Lipnická bible (Museum of the Bible, Oklahoma City, Green Collection MS 486) (The Bible of Lipnice),” Ubi este finis huius libri deus scit: Medieval Library of Augustinian Canons in Roudnice nad Labem, M. Dragoun, L. Doležalová, and A. Ebersonová eds. (Scriptorium: Prague, 2015), 262–267.
Gabriele Bartz, Marion Hanke, and Beatrix Zumbült, Pagina Sacra: Bibles and Biblical Texts, 1050–1511, Catalog 10 (Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG: Stalden, Switzerland, 2011).
George Warner, Descriptive Catalog of Illuminated Manuscripts in the Library of C. W. Dyson Perrins, D.C.L., F.S.A., v. 1 (University Press: Oxford, 1920).
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