Close XYL-36 St Veronica

 [France (?), early 16th century (c.1520?)]. Woodcut.

 Schr. 1724d. The saint is portrayed with a halo, wearing a flowing head-scarf or veil and ornate clothing. She stands facing the onlooker holding the cloth on which the Holy Face is displayed in her outstretched hands, so that it covers almost her entire body. In the background we can see a landscape, indicated by a tree to the left and buildings to the right; there are stones and grass in the foreground. The face of Christ is portrayed with eyes open, dense hair and beard, wearing the crown of thorns, surrounded by a nimbus of rays. Single-lined frame. Unique copy.

refs. Dodgson, Ashmolean, 32 (Bodl.8); Schreiber, Handbuch, VIII 102; Nicholson, s. n. (addition in the hand of Strickland Gibson (1877–1958), sub-librarian and keeper of the university archives, on the last page of Nicholson’s catalogue).

copy One eighth of a chancery sheet. c.92 × 70 mm (woodcut 76 × 54 mm). Chain-lines vertical. No watermark. Printed in black ink in a press on one side of the paper. Coloured in purple, dark pink, and brown-yellow. Prickings at the top of the leaf suggest that it was at one time sewn into a manuscript book. Described in a note signed by S. Gibson as having been found loose on 1 Apr. 1920 in MS. Marshall 123, a small-format illuminated Netherlandish book of hours on parchment (137 × 95 mm), consisting of three parts: calendar, simple catechetic texts, Penitential Psalms, and litany in Dutch; Hours of the Virgin in Dutch (fols 37r–175v); additional prayers in Dutch, including the Fifteen Oes and the Seven Joys, and shorter texts at the end in later hands; see H. Brugmans, Verslag van een onderzoek in Engeland naar archivalia, belangrijk voor de geschiedenis van Nederland, in 1892 op last der regeering ingesteld (The Hague, 1895), 479; SC 5310; Bibliotheca Neerlandica Manuscripta (www.leidenuniv.nl/ub/bnm [last accessed 29 Apr. 2004]). There are no stitching marks that might indicate that this was the host volume into which the woodcut was at one time sewn. MS. Marshall 123 has a late fifteenth-, or possibly early sixteenth-century, blind-tooled inboard binding, probably of Netherlandish origin. Brown tanned calf over gently chamfered oak boards; the head and tail turn-ins secured with trenails. 137 × 98 × 50 mm. The pastedowns are now lifted. All tooling is blind and executed with a three-line fillet and one small tool, a rosette. Two engraved fore-edge clasps (similar, though not identical to Szirmai, fig. 9.49 [e]) on tanned leather straps attached to the lower board with quatrefoil anchor plates. They closed on catch plates to the upper board, all furniture of copper alloy. The lower catch plate, and the upper strap and clasp, are now missing. Now kept in a maroon linen-covered box made at the Bodleian Library. Paper label on spine, preserving old shelfmarks ‘23’ and ‘92’. Shelfmark on the fore-edge: ‘78’. The name of an early seventeenth-century owner, Sophia Maria Reyers, is inscribed on fol. iiiv: ‘Dit bouck hoort toe Sophia Maria Reyers Deym Godt is myn Troost Anno 1614’. She also owned MSS. Marshall 109 and 119. Thomas Marshall (1621–1685). Old shelfmarks on fol. iiiv ‘53’ and ‘78’. Bequeathed to the University and received in 1689/90. Former Bodleian shelfmarks: MS. Bodl. Addit. B. 29; MS. Liturg. e. 2.

Binding: See XYL-25.

Provenance: Unknown. The former host volume, MS. Marshall 123, in which the woodcut leaf was discovered in 1920, belonged in the seventeenth century to Sophia Maria Reyes (fl. 1614), in the Netherlands, and passed with the collection of Thomas Marshall (1621–1685) to the Bodleian; see above.

shelfmark: Arch. G e.35(2).