The Horrific History of St. Albans Bible

Nicholas C. Rossis

You may remember Erik Kwakkel or Leiden University from earlier posts like A Fantasy Tip From History: Medieval Spam. Erik recently shared the incredible history of St. Albans Bible. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

A Horror Story

In 1964, the New York rare book dealer Philip Duschnes (d. 1970) bought and subsequently broke a splendid medieval Bible produced in early-fourteenth-century Paris.

St. Albans Bible | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksLeaf from the St Albans Bible auctioned at Christie’s on 10 July 2019 (now part of the McCarthy Collection). Source

Every page is adorned with exuberant decoration, usually with gold leaf. With so much beauty on each page, to Duschnes the manuscript must have seemed ideal for breaking and selling by the leaf. In 1965, he began offering individual leaves for sale in his catalogue 169, stating that others from the same manuscript were available. Cut to order.

Yikes!

Breaking a book

St. Albans Bible | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksSt…

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About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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3 Responses to The Horrific History of St. Albans Bible

  1. Many thanks for the share, Charles! Apparently it’s common practice to desecrate books like that, as they can fetch more that way. Sigh…

    Like

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