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Jane Geddes

Deluxe manuscript (Aberdeen, U. Lib., MS. 24) made in England around 1200. It is remarkable for its lavish illustrations, amply covered in gold leaf; for the wealth of its codicological data and for its close relationship to the Ashmole Bestiary. The book was left unfinished, so sketches and the detailed instructions for its colouring and assembly remain visible. The last few pages were completed in the 14th century. The book begins with a Creation cycle of full-page miniatures culminating in Adam Naming the Animals and Christ in Majesty. A portrait or narrative illustration of each animal precedes every text description.

The manuscript contains the press mark of King Henry VIII’s library, mainly assembled after the dissolution of the monasteries, but its provenance before 1542 is not known. Muratova (1986, pp. 118–144) uses cumulative information from a group of related manuscripts to suggest a provenance in the north-east Midlands; Geddes (...


A. C. de la Mare

(b Venice, 1727; d Venice, c. 1805).

Italian collector. He entered the Society of Jesus in Bologna in 1743 and was ordained in 1757, making his solemn profession to the Society in Parma in 1761. He collected his first historical manuscripts and medals in Parma but had to relinquish them when the Jesuits were expelled in 1767. He also collected paintings: for example he owned Correggio’s Zingarella (Naples, Capodimonte), which he ceded to Prince Chigi. After the suppression of the Jesuits in 1773, Canonici returned to Venice and started seriously collecting books, especially Bibles, and manuscripts of all kinds. In forming his collection he corresponded and competed with all the best-known Italian scholars and bibliophiles, frequently making exchanges. His greatest coup was probably the acquisition c. 1780 of a large part of the famous collection of Jacopo Soranzo (1686–1761), which included many manuscripts from Bernardo Trevisan (1652–1720). Canonici’s library was famous among his contemporaries, and after his death Giacomo Morelli tried unsuccessfully to negotiate its purchase for the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice. In ...


Ju-Hsi Chou

[Kao Feng-han; hao Nanfu Shanren]

(b Jiaozhou (modern Jiao xian), Shandong Province, 1683; d ?Shandong Province, 1748–9).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, seal-carver, collector and poet. The son of a minor official in charge of local education, Gao developed an interest in poetry, painting and seal-carving in his early youth, when he also began to collect old seals and inkstones. The great poet Wang Shizhen took a liking to him and left instructions before his death that Gao be admitted into the ranks of his disciples. A relative of the poet, Wang Qilei, also provided Gao with some formal instruction in the art of painting, beyond what he could learn from his father, an amateur painter of orchids and bamboo. Gao’s official career did not begin until 1729, when he took up an appointment as assistant magistrate of She xian, Anhui Province. In 1734 a new assignment took him to Taizhou, east of Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province. In 1736, having become entangled in a legal dispute involving a chief commissioner of the salt gabelle, he was briefly imprisoned; this and his deteriorating health, which resulted in the paralysis of his right hand, inevitably led to his resignation from officialdom....


(b Richmond, Surrey, Aug 1, 1745; d London, Feb 4, 1816).

Irish collector. He was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he was painted by Joseph Wright of Derby (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam), and began collecting music manuscripts. He subsequently studied the harpsichord in Paris with Jacques Duphly and travelled in the Low Countries, Italy and Spain (1772). He inherited his wealth from his mother, Catherine (d 1786), who was the eldest daughter and principal heir of Sir Matthew Decker, an Amsterdam merchant who around 1700 had purchased paintings in Antwerp for James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos. The Chandos collection was sold at auction in 1747, and Fitzwilliam was later to acquire two of the paintings—Gerrit Dou’s The Schoolmaster and Willem van Mieris’s Market Stall (both Cambridge, Fitzwilliam).

Fitzwilliam’s estates were at Mount Merrion, near Dublin, and in 1776 he took his seat in the Irish House of Lords, although he was to spend most of his life in London and Paris. In ...


(b Le Nivernais, 1697; d Paris, April 1768).

French collector. He sought consolation for the early loss of his wife and daughter in his collections of paintings and books, which contained extremely rare editions. He insisted that on his death the collections be sold item by item, in order to give collectors the opportunity to acquire individual works that they prized. His paintings included a ...


Tadashi Kobayashi


(b Osaka, 1736; d Osaka, 1802). Japanese collector, scholar, poet, painter and calligrapher. As a boy he undertook the study of medicinal herbs at the apothecary’s shop owned by his father and other relatives. According to tradition he began to have an interest in art when he was about five or six and studied with the Kanō-school master Ōoka Shunboku. He also learnt bird-and-flower painting (kachōga) under Kakutei, a Zen priest from Nagasaki. He first met the literati painter Ike Taiga (see Ike family §(1)) when he was 15, and became his pupil. Taiga’s influence is evident in his Bunjinga (literati painting; see Japan §VI 4., (vi), (d)) and also in his calligraphy, in which he excelled. Kenkadō also studied seal-carving with Kō Fuyō, a friend of Taiga, and poetry with Katayama Hokkai. He became one of the most erudite and well-known literati in the region. By profession he was a sake brewer and amassed a fortune, which, however, he forfeited when he incurred the wrath of the authorities. He collected a vast range of objects including calligraphy, old writings and paintings, maps, ceramics, utensils for the ...


Maxime Préaud

French family of engravers, print-sellers and print-publishers. Nicolas de Larmessin I (bapt Paris, 17 Oct 1632; d Paris, 23 July 1694) was the son of the bookseller Nicolas de Larmessin. In 1647 he was apprenticed to the engraver Jean Mathieu (fl 1618–46), and in 1654 he married the daughter of the print-publisher and print-seller Pierre Bertrand (d c. 1678). Larmessin first worked for his father-in-law, particularly on the execution of series of portraits and almanacs, such as that of Anne of Austria (1663; see Weigert, no. 16). After Bertrand’s death and that of his widow (c. 1685), Larmessin took over their publishing business in the Rue St Jacques at the sign of the Golden Apple.

Nicolas de Larmessin II (b Paris, c. 1645; d Paris, 18 Dec 1725) was the brother of Nicolas I, with whose works his own are often confused; he engraved almanacs but is known particularly for his series of prints depicting grotesque costumes [...


(b Springhouse, Scotland, Aug 18, 1744; d Toulouse, 1811).

French book collector of Scottish birth. Having promised his father that he would leave Britain and never return while Catholicism was not the dominant religion, MacCarthy-Reagh settled in Toulouse. In 1776 he was granted naturalization as a Frenchman. He collected books from his youth and amassed one of the finest libraries in Europe, concentrating particularly on the acquisition of rare early printed books and illuminated manuscripts. He acquired a fine series of books printed at Mainz in the early days of printing, rare books printed in the late 15th century and the 16th, books printed on parchment, and very early books printed from woodblocks, regarded as the first experiments in printing. Among his collection he had a number of finely illuminated early printed books; one of these is a Latin Bible (sold Paris, de Bure, at Hôtel de Bullion, 27 Jan–6 May 1817, lot 66) published in Venice by Nicolas Jenson in ...


James Miller

revised by Molly Dorkin

Auction house founded in London by Samuel Baker (1713–78), a bookseller. His first recorded auction sale was of the library of Sir John Stanley on 11 March 1744 in the Great Room, over Exeter Exchange, in the Strand, London. While primarily selling books, from the start he included the fine arts. The business prospered, and Baker moved the firm to York Street, Covent Garden. His first sale there, in 1754, was of the library of the physician Dr Richard Mead, which was sold in two parts lasting 57 days and realized £5,508 10s. 11d. In 1767 Baker took George Leigh (1742–1816) into the firm, which then became Baker & Leigh. On Baker’s death in 1778, his nephew John Sotheby (1740–1807) inherited the business. The firm, renamed Leigh & Sotheby, continued to expand into other areas with the first of the seven sales of duplicate coins and books from the ...


(b Paris, Jan 18, 1670; d Paris, Nov 18, 1736).

French collector. The mistress of Victor-Amadeus II, Duke of Savoy (see Savoy, House of family §II, (11)), she created in Paris one of the most celebrated private collections of paintings, books and decorative arts of the first half of the 18th century. In 1683 she married Manfredo Ignazio di Scaglia, Conte di Verrua and titular head of one of the most prominent court families in Turin. She became the acknowledged mistress of the Duke c. 1685, and in 1690 her husband, whose position had become intolerable, abandoned Turin and settled in France.

For 15 years Mme de Verrue was at the centre of her lover’s entourage, and during this period she assembled her first collection, about which very little is known. During this period she bore the Duke two children, a son, and a daughter, Vittoria Francesca, who subsequently married (1714) Victor-Amadeus I, Prince of Carignano (...