An impressive church slavonic Old Believer illuminated manuscript. Containing the Apocalypse (The Revelation of St. John the Divine) with commentary by the bishop Andrew of Caesarea, 237 sheets + 3 blank sheets. Half Uncial Manuscript dated by the early 1812, distinct watermarks on paper are dated by 1810. Thick paper. Watermarks from A. Gantscharov’s papermill. Format: 33,5x21,0 cm. The manuscript contains 72 fantastic(!) full page miniatures, 74 headpieces, 74 initials , 19 endings. 24 lines to the page, written in black and red ink. Text and all miniatures framed in a yellow ordinary border with ornamented angles on. Contemporary blindstamped goatskin-covered (!) wooden boards, brass closures, rich gold embossing. In a very good condition. A copy from the A.A. Sivers’s private library.
The investigations show that the Apocalypse was written between 70 and 95 B.C. and possibly by more than one person. The patristic interpretation for the Apocalypse belongs to Andrew, bishop of Caesarea in Cappodicia (6th century). It was well known in the Slavonic writings, the earliest of the Russian scrolls was that of Novgorod from the 12th century. Illustrated scrolls of the Explanatory Apocalypse became widely spread since the 16th century, and in the 17th - 19th it was one of the most popular, most copied and illustrated works among the bookmen of the Old Believers with their eternal interest in Eschatology. Although copies which were made on a very high artistic and museum level are extremely hard to find. A scrivener would normally spend up to 3 years to achieve that quality. A wonderful example of a manuscript of the early 19th century! Rarity.