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Bruce and Dorothy Brown collection Item With digital objects
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Cuneiform Tablet of Amar-Suen [King of Ur]

Clay tablet (43x51x15mm) with economic text and figures from the first year of the reign of King Amar-Suen. The impression on reverse with a pictorial cylinder seal depicting a seated figure is a rare, early example of pictorial printing.

Hubert de Burgh (d.1243), Chamberlain to King John and Justiciar of England

20 lines on vellum, 230x240mm, in brown ink, in a large well-written Romanesque hand, undated, c.1201. The fine green heraldic seal is attached by a striped linen cord and shows on the obverse three leopards passant and the legend "Sigill: Huberti: de: Burgo" and on the reverse a standing figure and the legend "Celo: Secretum." (Minimal wear and staining, with four tiny holes, but otherwise in excellent condition.) A very fine charter in Latin as chamberlain to King John by which Hubert de Burgh grants to the Cistercian House of Abbey Dore in Herefordshire the land at Linchoit which Henry II had given to the Abbey but which had come into Hubert's hands as governor of Herefordshire when King John gave him Grosmont and the land around it. The grant is conditional on four priests praying for ever for his soul and that of the king. Witnesses include John de Kilpac, Walter de Muchegros and Henry de Grosmont. [Maggs catalogue 977, item 68]

Wooden Egyptian Block with Hieroglyphs

Fragment of wood, painted over gesso in red and blue on a yellow ground, with some white on the reverse. The front has at the top a frieze of stylized uraei, alternating with Maat feathers: below, a metopal border, which also flanks the main scene. This shows two deities at an offering table on which are Nile vases: at each side djed pillars. The seated figure on the left has the head of a cobra surmounted by a feather, holds crook and flail and is probably a personification of Maat. Above are two columns of epithets, which read 'Great God[dess], Lady of Heaven'. On the right is a standing figure, headless apart from the Feather of Truth, representing one of the transformations of Re on his journey across the
sky. The two columns to the right can be read 'Revered before Osiris, foremost in the divine booth, the good god, lord of...' and 'They grant all good and pure offerings, and all good and sweet things...' The decoration on the reverse,
included three larger standing figures, but these are much damaged. 21st-22nd Dynasty (1085-730 BC). 8 5/8"x10 1/8" (219x257 mm). Little of the blue remains on the front, which also has minor surface damage consolidated and is stained as shown. Slot for a dowel in top right corner. On a mahogany plinth.

MS Leaf on Vellum from a Qur'an, North Africa

Written In Dark Brown Kufic Script, Vowels In Red Dots. Text: Surah 54, vv. 17-32 [from Maggs Bros. export license] Mounted between two pieces of cardboard, using paper hinges. Clear plastic in cut-out of top piece of cardboard allows viewing. Leaf has several holes plus somewhat ragged edges; some text is affected ca. 22.5x16.5 cm

Petrus Veremudi, Grant

13 lines in Latin, on vellum, in an attractive large hand, ca. 5 1/2x1 ins. [140x410mm], indented at the foot. Very slightly browned and rubbed in places; a handsome document in good clear condition. Grant by Petrus Veremudi of Andradi to the Monastery of Saint John of Calvary of all his inheritance around the church of Saint Eulalia at Bureganes, and other inheritances including lands near the church of Saint Martinus at Porto and near Monte Nigro, on condition that a daily mass should be said for his soul and for the sins he had committed in the Monastery of St. John and in other places. The grant is to be placed in the hands of the Abbot Martinus, and is made for the benefit of those clerics who persevere in the holy life. The document concludes with the extraordinary admonition that "if any one of my lineage or anyone else should violate the provisions of this document may curse and excommunication and malediction befall him and may he be damned in hell like Judas and may he be accursed unto the seventh generation." The document has the names of two witnesses, Matthias and Gundisaius (i.e. Gonzales), and is confirmed at the foot in the name of the donor, and is signed by the scribe Johannes with his name and his large notarial mark of a decorated cross. Dated in the reign of King Alfonso (Alfonso IX, last King of Leon, 1188-1250), during the Archbishopric of Bernardus and in the see of Martinus, Bishop of Mondonedo. [Maggs catalogue 1030, item 95]

London Charter

Grant by Simon Bonde, citizen of London, and his wife Johanna, to Thomas son of Simon Dolseley, citizen and piperarius (pepperer or spicer) of London, of the rent from a tenement with its appurtenances in Cordwainer Street in the parish of St. Mary Aldermary. The list of seven witnesses includes John Not, Mayor of London in 1364, and Nicholas Chaucer. The list of witnesses is preceded by the statement that Simon Franceys is now Mayor of London, and Thomas de Brandon and Walter le Forestier, sheriffs. There is a note on the verso that the charter was read and enrolled in the Husting Court of Common Pleas on16 May

  1. 13.5 lines in Latin, on vellum, in a good hand, with flourished initial letter "S", of "Sciant". The original vellum seal tags are present but the seals are lacking. London, 3 May 30 Edward III.(1356). [Maggs catalogue]

Mowbray, Thomas, Earl of Nottingham and First Duke of Norfolk (1366-1399), Earl Marshal of England and Favourite of Richard II

Charter confirming and continuing the earlier grants and donations to the Augustinian Priory of Newnham in Bedfordshire by William de Beauchamp and other benefactors. 1 large page on vellum, ca. 22x27 1/2 ins. [560x700mm], 54 lines in Latin in a good upright gothic hand, commencing with a large illuminated initial letter 'T', ca. 5 3/4x4 1/2 ins., in gold, silver, red, blue, and white, containing the Mowbray arms within blue and white tracery over a gold coronet. London, 14 November 15 Richard II (1391). Small holes and splits in folds, but in sound and satisfactory condition. [Maggs catalogue 1061, item 141]

Sixtus IV, Born Francesco della Rovere, 1414-84. Pope

Builder of the Sistine Chapel, which was named after him. Papal bull in his name, confirming Galeatio Marscotti in his position as Officiali Officialatus of the church of Saint Petronius in Bologna. 1 page oblong folio on vellum (285x525mm) in Latin in a good italic hand, with an attractive calligraphic first line. Dated Rome, 18 Oct. 1471. The lead bulla of Sixtus IV in fine condition is attached by the original pink and yellow plaited cords. A few small holes not affecting the sense of the text; the document is in generally excellent condition. [Maggs catalogue 1001, item 158]

The Notorious Borgia Pope

Alexander VI, born Rodrigo Borgia (1431-1503) Pope 1492-1503; father of Cesare and Lucrezia Papal Bull In The Name Of Alexander VI, addressed to three clerics in Dalmatia; the Archbishop of Ragusa, the Bishop of Sigenik, and the Vicar of Veglia; concerning the acquisition of the revenues of the Church of St. Lorenz in Veglia by Zacharias de Garzoni, knight of the Order of St. John St. Peter's, Rome, 8 October 1494 1 page large oblong folio on vellum, ca. 380x635 mm 35 lines in Latin with large initial letter 'A' (of Alexander), calligraphic first line, and signatures of various officials at the foot. [Maggs catalogue]

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