EGE, Otto F. (1888-1951)
Fifteen Original Oriental Manuscripts. 12th-18th centuries.
15 manuscript leaves of various sizes, each hinged to uniform card window mounts (18 1/2 x 13 1/16 inches). 14 leaves on paper and 1 on vellum, some heighted in gold or with other illuminations, each with printed paper slip identifying the manuscript leaf, with printed contents leaf.
Original black cloth portfolio with cloth ties.
Number 7 of only 40 sets of this celebrated portfolio of "Oriental" (i.e. non-Western) manuscript leaves, of which 8 are Arabic. Contains 15 manuscript leaves from the 12th century (Cairo) to the 18th century (Russia and Tibet). Languages represented include Arabic, Persian, Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopic, Tibetan, Greek, and Slavic
Otto Frederick Ege (1888-1951) was the Dean of the Cleveland Institute of Art, a lecturer on the history and the art of the book at Western Reserve University. He created a market for medieval manuscript leaves in America during the 20th century. Between 1917 and 1950, Ege acquired, deconstructed and subsequently dispersed medieval manuscripts and early printed books, wanting to give as many private collectors and public institutions as possible the opportunity of owning these individual leaves. He was convinced that his purpose of inspiring as many people as possible by bringing them in contact with historical and artistic heritage materials justified the means of scattering the manuscript fragments. From the 1940s onwards, he compiled his famous portfolios as limited editions, resulting in 40 portfolios with western medieval manuscript leaves and 40 portfolios with 12th to 18th century 'Oriental' manuscript leaves. The present portfolio includes: 1. Koran by Mohammed: Egypt, Cairo, "early 12th century 1122 A.D." (according to Ege). Arabic Mohammedan text, Arabic script, Naskhi style. See the description by Barbara Schmitz, "Islamic and Indian manuscripts and paintings in the Pierpont Morgan Library" (in: The Library, 1997, no. 40.1, 16.1) . 2. Koran by Mohammed: North Africa, late 12th century ; Arabic Mohammedan text, Arabic script, Maghireli Kufic style. 3. Prayer book of service for the dead: Syria, late 13th century; Syriac text, Nestorian script. 4. Excerpts from the Evangelists: Byzantium, late 14th century; Greek text, cursive Byzantine script. 5. Bible lessons [Lectionary]: Armenia, Asia Minor, 15th-17th century; Armenian text, Haikian alphabet, Armenian iron writing. See the description of The Morgan copy in Corsair. 6. Greek liturgy with Byzantine Greek notation: Byzantium, 15th century; Greek text, Greek script, Byzantine Greek neumes. 7. Hymnal: Ethiopia, middle 17th century; Ethiopic style script. 8. Anthology of poetry: Persia, early 17th century; Persian text, Nastaliq style script. 9. Mohammedan law: Turkey, Istanbul, late 18th century; Turkish Mohammedan text, Arabic, Shikastah style script. 10. Gulistan (Garden of roses) by Saadi [Sa'di]: Persia, late 18th century ; Persian text, Arabic, Nastaliq style script. 11. Koran by Mohammed: North Morocco, Fez, late 18th century; Arabic Mohammedan text, Arabic script, Naskhi style. See the description by Schmitz, supra. no. 47.2, 16.1. 12. Koran by Mohammed: Arabia, late 18th century; Arabic Mohammedan text, Arabic script, Naskhi style. 13. Prayer scroll: Tibet, 18th century; Tibetan Buddhist text, Tibetan script. 14. Church holiday songs: Russia, late 18th century; Church Slavic, text, Cyrillic script, Kriuki music symbols. 15. Bible stories: Russia, late 18th century; Slavic text, Cyrillic script. Other Ege portfolios are represented in several museums and libraries including The Newberry Library, Duke University, Cleveland Institute of Art, State University of New York at Buffalo, New York Public Library, Middlebury College, Wesleyan University, The Morgan Library, and the Brooklyn Museum.