INHABITED PENWORK INITIAL 'A' ON A LEAF FROM A GRADUAL [Upper Rhine, perhaps Switzerland, 14th century]
The technique of decorating the initial with reserved designs is characteristic of the Upper Rhine area, including Switzerland. The provenance of this cutting is unknown, but the limited palette and absence of gold would be consistent with a Cistercian house. See Ellen J. Beer, Beiträge zur oberrheinischen Buchmalerei in der ersten Hälfte des 14. Jahrhunderts, unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Initialornamentik (Basel & Stuttgart: Birkhäuser, ).
240 x 125mm (9⅜ x 5 in.) overall, a cutting from the top left corner of a leaf, window mounted on paper in a double-sided frame, the verso with part of three lines of text and music in hufnagel notation on 5-line staves. The very first antiphon, for the beginning of lent, from a Gradual, ‘A[d te levavi animam] me[am deus meus in te con[fido ]’, the verso with part of the following versicle, ‘[Vias tuas domine] no[tas fac mihi] et semitas tuas [edoce me]’.
AN ARMENIAN ILLUMINATED HEADPIECE, [Armenia, 16th? century]
Unlike luxury western European manuscripts, in which the main textual divisions are marked by historiated initials, horizontal headpieces such as the present example, emulating the form of a carved lintel above a grand doorway, are characteristic of luxury Byzantine and Armenian manuscripts. The decorative repertoire combines repeating patters with asymmetrical stylised and semi-naturalistic plants and birds.
182 x 125 mm (7 x 5 in.), the top part of a leaf only.
Please note this lot is the property of a private consignor.
This lot ships from the US.
Please note that lots in this sale being shipped beyond the US are unlikely to be dispatched in advance of Christmas/Holiday delivery deadlines. To ensure domestic US shipment in time for Christmas/Holiday delivery, full clear payment must be received by Wednesday, 13 December.
Please note this lot is the property of a private individual.
Need Help? Email our Specialists or call +1 212 636 2002 with questions.
Karl Katz (1929-2017)
Asked by The New York Times how he would define Art, Karl replied, ‘If it's not visual and it’s not visceral and it’s not communicative, it’s not a work of art’ -- and responding and communicating about art were the determining features of Karl's entire working life. The title of his autobiography, ‘’The Exhibitionist: Living Museums Loving Museums’ says it all. He was not only instrumental in the foundation of new museums, starting with The Israel Museum, but also introduced new directions for established ones. It was during Karl’s tenure at The Metropolitan Museum of Art as Chairman for Exhibitions and Loans and then Chairman for Special Projects that its ground-breaking program of major exhibitions was firmly established. He masterminded the launch of many blockbuster shows that both raised awareness and visitor numbers of the Met and brought iconic treasures from museums world-wide to the US. His resourceful and determined negotiations to secure such loans sometimes had a colourful impact on his personal life: he secured the Book of Kells for Irish Art under threat of damnation from the Archbishop of Dublin; negotiations with the Greek government for the Art of the Aegean led to Karl's enduring friendship with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis; and borrowing from the British Museum for Viking Art led to taking tea with Her Majesty the Queen.
Recognising the role that other visual media could play in spreading an understanding of visual art and culture, Karl founded the Met’s Office of Film and Photography, and this role was continued by MUSE Film and Photography, the nonprofit he founded in 1991 where he continued as Executive Director. It is characteristic of his openness to new developments that he and his wife Elizabeth chose an online-only auction as the way to bring their collection to the market.
The manuscript illuminations offered in Script and Illumination are the art works that Karl and Elizabeth were surrounded by: the immediacy and intimacy of these small paintings making them perfect living companions. The breadth of interest shown in Karl’s working life – involvement with museums as disparate as the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora and the P.T. Barnum Museum and, in MUSE’s films, from The Book of Kells to Ai Wei Wei – is also evident in the Katz collection. The paintings date from the thirteenth to the eighteenth centuries, were made in Asia and the Middle East as well as Europe and come from Christian, Islamic and Hindu cultures. In subject they range from the Lives of the Saints, Loves of the Gods, Arthurian Romance, Portraiture, Science and Natural History. Great names of medieval illumination – for example Niccolo di Giacomo da Bologna and Girolamo dai Libri – figure alongside unidentified artists, the feature that unites the works is the quality or charm of their execution. The collection was put together over several decades and now, through its dispersal by auction, other collectors have the chance to experience the pleasure and satisfaction that these pieces have brought to Karl and Elizabeth.
Additional charges, including buyer’s premium, value added, sales or compensating use or equivalent tax, any and all shipping expenses, including costs, packing and handling, any loss/damage liability fees, customs duty, import tax, any local clearance fees applicable for your country, and all other applicable charges will apply.
In addition to the hammer price, the buyer agrees to pay to us the buyer’s premium together with any applicable VAT, sales, compensating use or equivalent tax in the place of sale. Please refer to our Conditions of Sale for further details on buyer's premium.
VAT: All lots shall be sold as part of the Margin Scheme unless stated with the Dagger symbol (†) or the words “Dagger Lot”, the Omega symbol (Ω) or the words “Omega Lot”, the Star symbol (*) or the words “Starred Lot” or with the Theta symbol (θ) or the words "Zero-rated Lot." Please refer to our Conditions of Sale for further information on VAT symbols.
You are responsible for any VAT (including any Import VAT) payable as a result of the sale of the lot. VAT charges and refunds depend on the particular circumstances of the buyer. In all circumstances EU and UK law takes precedence. For the purposes of this online-only auction, the VAT amount in the buyer’s premium for EU private buyers cannot be refunded. For buyers outside the EU, VAT may be refunded if certain conditions are met including showing proof of a ‘controlled’ export outside the EU within 30 days of shipment (for lots marked with the Star symbol (*) or the words “Starred Lot”, or with the Omega symbol (Ω) or the words “Omega Lot”, on Temporary Admission) and for all other lots proof of export within 3 months of shipping. For buyers outside the EU where items are shipped outside the EU through Christie’s Art Transport, you will not be required to pay the VAT at settlement. Please contact Christie’s Client Services on +44 (0) 207 839 9060 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
For details on private and company bidding registration, tax information (including refunds and exemptions), and CITES lots, please see our FAQs and Conditions of Sale or contact us by email at email@example.com or by telephone on +44 (0) 20 7839 9060.
You must pay the full amount due (comprising the hammer price, buyer’s premium, any applicable value added, sales, compensating use or equivalent tax, any and all shipping expenses, including costs, packing and handling, any loss/damage liability fees and all other applicable charges) no later than 23:59 (GMT) on Thursday, 14 December 2017. This applies even if you wish to export the lot and an export license is, or may be, required. You will not acquire title and own the lot until all amounts due to Christie’s have been received by Christie’s in full and funds cleared.
Provided that your purchased lots are paid for in full and funds cleared by the payment deadline, Christie’s will store your purchased lots free of charge until the relevant deadline for shipment, at which time purchases will be shipped to you at your expense and pursuant to the instructions you provided at the time of payment. You must indicate if you wish to have your purchases shipped domestically or internationally at the time of checkout. Payment for your purchase, including any applicable charges for shipping, and a provision of your final shipping destination, must be returned to Christie’s by the payment deadline to qualify for this extended free-of-charge storage. If shipping arrangements have not been confirmed for any items sold or such items have not been paid for in full, and funds cleared by the payment deadline, administration and handling fees may be charged at Christie’s full discretion. If such shipments can be facilitated, purchases will be shipped to the address you provide at checkout. Purchases cannot be delivered to P.O. boxes. Please ask for details from your customs agent, applicable government entity or other organization.
If you opt to collect your purchase(s) at Christie's, 20 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY 10020, USA, please kindly email Christie’s Client Service centre at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your collection at least 48 hours in advance and to secure any relevant forms. Payment must be made online prior to collection.
If you do not collect your purchase(s) within two weeks after sale close Christie’s reserves the right ship them to you at your expense.
Should you send someone to collect your purchase(s) on your behalf, please complete a Letter of Authorization and send it to us at email@example.com prior to collection. Your representative must present a valid picture ID at the time of collection, such as a driver’s license or passport.