BOOK OF KELLS: Evangeliorum Quattuor Codex Cenannensis. [with] The Book of Kells M58 Trinity College Library Dublin; Commentary.

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THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK IN THE WORLD THE 9TH CENTURY BOOK OF KELLS FINE FACSIMILE EDITION “THE WORK OF AN ANGELIC RATHER THAN A HUMAN HAND”

Two volumes. Lucerne: Faksimile Verlag, 1990. Large quarto. Limited Edition of 1480 Facsimile copies with Arabic numbering. Large quarto; 340 leaves reproduced by Heinz Bigler Atelier “using a specially developed photographic technique and vacuum system for faithful rendering from the original”. Full cream kid by Burkhardt Bookbinders with 4 raised bands, fully stitched onto double cords. Housed in leatherbound presentation box also by Burkhardt and designed by Ernst Ammering of Ried im Innkreis, embellished with silver-plated mountings and gilt embossing; Authentication certificate loosely inserted. Commentary volume with English text, edited by Peter Fox; quarto pp 383; 111 photographic figures in text. Bound in quarter cream kid with black titles to spine; oatmeal clothcovered boards; housed in plain black cloth-covered slipcase. Unobtrusive stamp to Limitation leaf to rear and to title page of Commentary: Kindly donated in 2015 to St Mary’s R C Church Loughborough by Graham and Mary Embleton. Fine in Fine slipcase together with Fine
Commentary volume, also in Fine slipcase. A superb copy.
‘The Book of Kells’ or ‘Codex Cenannensis’ is a manuscript copy of the four gospels in Latin, written in Celtic style. Originally it was known as ‘Soisceala Mor Columchille’ or the ‘Great Gospel of Columcille’. The book takes its name from the monastery of Kells, County Meath, where it remained for centuries. It is the finest example extant of the art of illumination. Giraldus Cambrensis, the Norman chronicler, writing in the twelfth century stated: “If you look closely and penetrate the art, you will discover such delicate and subtle lines, so closely wrought, so finely curved, so intricately woven and so beautifully adorned with colours that are still so fresh, that you will acknowledge that all this is the work of an angelic rather than a human hand”, and he concludes “However often and however closely I scrutinize it, I am always astounded afresh, and always find more and more to admire in it”. The original manuscript was written on vellum which has stood the test of time. ‘The Book of Kells’ on offer here is the first complete facsimile limited edition in full colour. Commentary volume edited by Peter Fox, Librarian, T.C.D. Faithful rendition of the original manuscript MS58 preserved in the Library of Trinity College Dublin. The original Celtic gospel with its rich and complex decoration and a wealth of symbolism is widely recognised as one of the jewels of medieval book production and this incredibly advanced facsimile copy is as close a modern reader may be to handling the real document.

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