Single folio on vellum. Southern France or Italy, ca. 1380: 185 x 133 mm (justification 123 x 84 mm). Double column, 30 lines. Decoration: alternating red and blue two-line initials with contrasting penwork (red on blue, purple on red); rubricated. Text: seasonal instructions for using the breviary when the dates are near to, or coincide with, major feasts. Condition: mottled, stained, and worn but survives in its original (small) mat from the 1930s. Provenance: Otto F. Ege of Cleveland (d. 1951). This was one of Ege's earliest manuscript purchases; see S. Gwara, Otto Ege's Manuscripts (Cayce, SC, 2013), Handlist 170.
Book of Hours translated into Dutch, leaf for a beginning collector.
Single folio on vellum. The Netherlands, ca. 1470: 177 x 132 mm (justification 95 x 62 mm). Single column, 17 lines. Decoration: two-line initial in red or blue with contrasting penwork; alternating red and blue one-line initials. Contents: "Canticle of the Three Children" opening with the Benedicite and continuing with Psalm 148, all in Dutch. Provenance: owned and broken by the American dealer Otto F. Ege of Cleveland (d. 1951); see S. Gwara, Otto Ege's Manuscripts (Cayce, SC, 2013), apparently Handlist 185, the only examples known. Probably two of Ege's earliest pieces, of very few sold by him in a vernacular tongue. Condition: both have slight moisture damage resulting in loss of ink on recto and verso, as well as some bleeding and fading. Each has significant mat burn on all sides and slight masking tape residue. Pencil annotations ("sold Mrs. C. L. Nelson"), with original price (.35) and framing instructions.
Table of Contents from the Sanctorale of a vast Gradual.
Two folios on vellum. Spain, ca. 1600: 600 x 402 mm (justification 420 x 244 mm). Single column, 16 lines. These folios lay out the major feasts for the first half of each month. The February saints indexed are Dorothy, Romuald, Apollonia, and Valentine; they follow a mass for St. Agatha (5 February). The indexed May Feasts are Popes John and Felix, and St. Petronilla, followed by SS. Marcellinus, Petrus and Erasmus in June, for which a mass-set follows. Each of the feast days refers to a folio number later in the book, doubtless from the Common. Some of the texts, however, have folio numbers written above them, and these either refer to the full texts or else the complete chants. The penmanship is of the highest quality. These manuscripts are ideal for teaching about vellum production because they have visibly contrasting hair and flesh sides, as well as prominent spine follicles running along the middle of each folio.
Illuminated folio from a fine Italian Gradual.
Single folio on vellum. Italy, ca. 1490: 780 x 450 mm. Six four-line staves in red (51 mm). Decoration: three exquisite foliate initials U, G, and E in shades of green, red, and blue with white-leaf penwork highlights, two on gold grounds, the third on russet. Text: Psalm, versicle, and Gradual for Tuesday of Holy Week. This page comes from an as yet unidentified Gradual of unusual richness. Framed in a heavy museum quality frame with double glazing.
Miniature of All Saints from a mammoth French Antiphonal in the style of Jean Pichore.
Single cutting on vellum. France, probably Paris, ca. 1500-1520: 127 x 129 mm. Three partial lines of text on the opposite side with musical staves (20 mm), the rubric and opening of Psalm 32 Exultate iusti. Decoration: assembly of saints within a capital G in white and pink. At least five saints standing on a tiled floor below a bright blue sky can be identified on the basis of their attributes: SS. Paul (with sword) holding hands with St. Peter, Constantine (cross), Lawrence (gridiron), and Dionysius (decapitated). This is good illumination of the early sixteenth century, still in fine overall condition. A smudge to St. Dionysius affects his face. Minor losses to paint and gold, and abrasions here and there, but the colors remain bright and fresh.
Historia scholastica by Petrus Comestor (Peter the Eater, d. ca. 1178).
Single folio on vellum used as a book cover, hence worn and with losses. Southern France, ca. 1210: 283 x 200 mm but with 10 mm turn-ins on all sides (justification 215 x 138 mm). Double column, 44 lines. Text: from the Book of Esther, see J.-P. Migne, Patrologiae Latinae Cursus Completus (Paris, 1844-), 198:1492-98. Peter the Eater, who served as Chancellor of Nôtre Dame de Paris, wrote this sacred history on the literal meaning of Scripture for the students he taught. He completed the work around 1170, so this manuscript dates from a time only a generation or two after Peter's death and shows the astonishing spread of the text from Paris to southern France, possibly Montpellier in this instance. While the text survives in hundreds of manuscripts, it is less common in fragments.
Latin Prayer of a Penitent and a Eucharistic Prayer Attributed to Erasmus and Promulgated in 1535.
Conjoint bifolium on vellum (continuous text). Spain, ca. 1540: 116 x 83 mm (justification 88 x 53 mm). Single column, 26 lines. Undecorated. Text: the nearly complete prayer entitled Poenitentis and the complete prayer Sumpturi Corpus Dominicum as printed in Des. Erasmi Rot. Precationes (Oxford, 1704). These prayers probably did not form part of a larger compilation, since the Eucharistic prayers ends without running on. They were almost certainly copied from a printed source. One of the great humanists of the sixteenth century, Erasmus wrote these prayers the year before his death.
John of Bury, Pupilla Oculi
John of Bury (de Burgo), Pupilla Oculi (The Eye’s Pupil). Two folios on vellum of English manufacture, with an obvious nap. England, ca. 1420: 261 mm by 189 mm (justification 179 mm x 131 mm). Double column, 38 lines in a good English bookhand with strong cursive elements, heavily abbreviated. Decoration: quotations underlined in red, parafs in blue, capitals touched in red, with (apparently) a contemporary foliation “C XII” and “C VII,” but these may be chapter and section headings. Letters in the margins cue new sections of the work, which, like many such encyclopedias, has been carefully laid out. Chancellor of Cambridge University and a Doctor of Divinity, John of Bury (d. after 1398) completed this work around 1385. “The Eye’s Pupil” was a revision of a popular manual of Pastoral Care called “The Priest’s Eye” or Oculus sacerdotis. William of Paull, a Yorkshireman, composed the Oculus between 1320 and 1326. The Pupilla was written for York canons educated at Cambridge and serving Thomas Arundel, at the time bishop of Ely. It quickly replaced William’s Oculus as the most widely used manual of Pastoral Care. Some 40 copies survive, but very few have ever been recorded on the market. These leaves came with a professionally printed cartouche, “This is an Original XVth Century Leaf from Johannes de Burgo Pupilla Oculi,” doubtless prepared by the bookseller who broke the manuscript. Condition: small spots, stains, folds, a missing cantle of vellum, but in very good overall condition.
William Durandus, Speculum iudiciale
Mammoth Folios of the Speculum Iudiciale by William Durandus, Bishop of Mende. Two folios on vellum. Italy, probably Bologna, ca. 1350: 437 mm x 280 mm (justification 340 mm x 202 mm). Double column, 75 lines. Decoration: one folio has a four-line colored initial I and two two-line initials in blue with red penwork; both have alternating red and blue pilcrows; rubricated. Text: Both from Book 2 of the Speculum Iudiciale, completed ca. 1271 and revised ca. 1291. Among the most important and innovative explications of canon and civil law ever written, William’s treatise became a staple of the legal profession for centuries.
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica (Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard)
Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologica (Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard). Single folio on paper. Flanders or Rhine region, dated 1413: 296 mm x 217 mm (justification 210 mm x 141 mm). Single column, 43 lines. Decoration: one two-line initial D in blue; alternating red and blue pilcrows; small initials tipped in red. Text: Book IV, distinctio 40, articuli 2-3, all concerning consanguinity and marriage. Condition: virtually perfect.
Decorative Book of Hours
Decorative Book of Hours. Single folio on vellum. Northern France, ca. 1450: 154 mm x 109 mm (justification 84 mm x 56 mm). Single column, 13 lines. Ruled in pink ink. Decoration: three two-line initials in blue with white penwork highlights on gold grounds. With multi-colored blossoms; marginal borders on both sides with blue and gold feathers, red blossoms, and gold ivy leaves; rubricated. Text: Matins from the Hours of the Virgin. Condition: perfect. Professionally matted.
Immense Lectern Bible from Austria or Bohemia, ca. 1507, with a Miniature of King David and Abisag
Immense Lectern Bible from Austria or Bohemia, ca. 1507, with a Miniature of King David and Abisag. Single folio on vellum. Austria or Bohemia, 1507: 410 mm x 270 mm (justification 307 mm x 204 mm). Double column, 34 lines. Foliated 41 in modern pencil in the upper right recto. Decoration: a large historiated initial E (approx. 95 mm x 90 mm) in blue on pale grounds depicting Abisag “serving” King David, who lies in a huge bed with green coverlet; a group of David’s retainers look on. The maiden Abisag wears a most elaborate costume with white polka dots. The group is situated in a grey vaulted space with Romanesque arches and windows. Text: This folio contains the end of 2 Samuel and beginning of 1 Kings (3 Kings in the medieval reckoning). David lies in bed dying. His men then search for a virgin who will sleep with David and warm him. The subject is quite unusual and not commonly encountered. This is a grand example of a late medieval lectern bible, exemplifying a trend in book production that gave rise to the Gutenberg Bible. In fact, the letter forms are so exacting because they imitated print. Curiously, this bible has rubricated chapter summaries. Condition: A satin in the outer margin on both sides, and hinge marks. A medieval repair affects the initial: the corner has been squared with a piece of vellum glue to the folio. Cuts and creases affect the perimeter of the initial, as depicted. Provenance: from the collection of Otto F. Ege, the Cleveland rare book dealer (d. 1951). He acquired one intact volume of this multi-volume manuscript, now Walters Art Gallery MS W.805 (dated 5 February 1507), along with a fragmentary second part, which he broke. This is the only illuminated folio from this bible known to us, although texts leaves do crop up occasionally (we offer one here); see S. Gwara, Otto Ege’s Manuscripts (Cayce, SC), Handlist 44 and 145.
Putto in initial P festooned with fruit.
Putto in initial P festooned with fruit. Single very large cutting on vellum. Spain, ca. 1600: 182 x 175 mm. Condition: the gold shows tiny crazing with minor losses here and there; some minor smuding, notably in the lower bow of the initial. While no Sistine Chapel choir book has illumination resembling this, the manuscript source of this cutting may have had a papal connection, for the putto holds the keys of St. Peter. It seems more likely, however, that this manuscript was illuminated for a prominent Spanish prelate or ecclesiastical foundation. An inscription on the verso reads "Album Marlay," suggesting that this miniature came from the collection of Charles Brinsley Marlay (d. 1912), known to have bought exquisite miniatures once belonging to Abate Luigi Celotti. Celotti had gathered exceptional manuscript art, some from the Sistine Chapel, during the Napoleonic upheavals in Italy.
Decorated Missal from Siena
Large illuminated missal. Single folio on vellum. Italy, probably Siena, ca. 1475: 342 mm x 250 mm (justification 220 mm x 163 mm). Double column, 30 lines. Original foliation “XXIII” in red pen; modern pencil foliation “31” in upper right margin. Decoration: two handsome three-line initials in bright colors on gold grounds (the grounds now worn); alternating red and blue two-line initials with contrasting penwork; rubricated. Curiously, the initials indicate the collects. Text: end of a mass for the fourth Sunday after Pentecost; a mass for the fifth Sunday (with initial); opening of the mass for Septuagesima Sunday, with the rubric for the stational church of St. Lawrence Beyond the Wall (San Lorenzo fuori le Mura) (with initial). Rubrics for the stational churches in Rome indicate those where the Pope traditional held masses, mostly during Lent. Provenance: the dimensions almost perfectly match those of a missal in Bruce Ferrini, Catalogue 1 (1987), no. 45, Use of Rome, illuminated by Sano di Pietro and doubtless from Siena. Condition: very good. Some soiling in the margins but clean overall.
Single folio on vellum. Flanders, ca. 1290: 104 mm x 76 mm (justification 75 mm x 51 mm). Single column, 19 lines. Decoration: one two-line initial I in gold on pink and blue grounds; 15 one-line initials alternating gold and blue with contrasting penwork; intricate line-fillers. Text: end of Ps 65 and opening of Ps 66. Condition: good; evidence of hinges on the verso.
The Bohun Family Bible from England, ca. 1350
The Bohun Bible, Perhaps a Gift of the Black Prince. Single mammoth folio on vellum. England, East Anglia, possibly Cambridge, ca. 1350: 447 mm x 310 mm (justification 311 mm x 205 mm). Double column, 22 lines. Foliated “10.” Decoration: large two-line initial S in gold on pink and blue grounds with white penwork and colored ivy leaf extensions in the margins; gold pilcrow on red and blue grounds; red and blue chapter numbers and running heads. Text: Proverbs 10.25 quasi tempestas … 11.24 semper in. Provenance: 1. Originally from the third volume of a four-volume set. BL, Royal MS 1 E.iv, whose dimensions and mise-en-page match but whose decoration differs, has been suggested as the first volume. Since one historiated initial from the Bible shows a Carmelite friar, and the earliest known provenance is in Cheshire, the bible may have come from the Carmelite house in Chester. The manuscript was perhaps commissioned by the Black Prince, son of Edward III, who endowed the foundation in 1353-58; 2. Owned by Richard Legh by 1613; 3. Richard Maria Domville (d. 1667) of Lymme Hall, Cheshire; given by him in 1665 to: 4. Sir Peter Leycester/Leicester (d. 1678), by which time a significant number of leaves was already missing; 5. Owned and dismembered by Myers & Co., Bond St., London, from 1927 onwards. Christopher de Hamel deduced the provenance information and identified hundreds of extant leaves worldwide: http://www.bsanz.org/download/script-and-print/script_and_print_vol._32_no._1_(2008)/SP_2008-Vol32-No1_pp49-63.pdf. Condition: excellent, the ink quite black and fresh, the initial nearly perfect, the vellum has a natural yellow tinge.
On the Sins of Pride and Sloth
William Perault (Guillaume Peyraut), Summa de virtutibus et vitiis. Three folios on vellum. Northern France or Flanders, ca. 1280: 332 mm x 238 mm (justification 241 mm x 158 mm). Double column, 38 lines in a very accomplished hand. Ruled in plummet; very black and legible ink. Some annotations, corrections, and insertions. Decoration: alternating red and blue pilcrows. Text: Two from the section on pride (De superbia): 1. Book II, part 1, capp. 7-8; Book II, part 1, capp. 10-12 and part 2, cap. 1. A third from the section on Accidia. Condition: excellent. Large and handsome leaves. One does not commonly encounter so fine a manuscript from a presumably monastic text. Given the date, the manuscript may have been written in William’s lifetime.
Politicizing the Game of Chess
Jacobus de Cessolis, Liber de moribus hominum et officiis nobilium super ludo scacchorum. One continuous bifolium and one individual folio on vellum. Italy, ca. 1400: 250 mm x 179 mm (justification 172 mm x 124 mm). Double column, 29 lines. Decoration: one pierced three-line initial U in red on the bifolium; one three-line initial M on a single folio; else alternating red and blue pilcrows. Text: Ernst Köpke, “Jacobus de Cessolis,” Mittheilungen aus den Handschriften der Ritter-Akademie zu Brandenburg 59 (1879), i-vii and 1-36: 1. (bifolium) 11.26 assistere … 13.12 captivos (including part of the section beginning De rochis); 8.32 ipsum quo cinctus … 9.24 diuturna experien<tia>.. This is one of the most fascinating texts of the Middle Ages. The Dominican Jacobus used chess as a metaphor of human moral (and immoral) behavior. Our version of the treatise was clearly revised with intercalated with observations on ancient politicians by leading men of letters and philosophers, including Seneca
Document Issued by the della Rovere Dukes of Urbino
Imposing initial I with swags of oak leaves and acorns in sepia ink from a document issued by the della Rovere Dukes of Urbino with their sigil. Single cutting on vellum, the remnants of letters visible on the right. Italy, doubtless Urbino, dated 1511: 366 mm x 105 mm. This is the lefthand column of a charter or financial instrument, with the sigil of the della Rovere family, a fabulous, delicate, and large initial I formed of an oak tree with three roots and a crown of leaves and acorns, all wrapped in a banderole. From it emanates a profusion of foliage terminating in large blossoms, acorns, and other foliate designs, mostly imaginary. The whole has been skillfully and beautifully drawn in sepia ink, the same used to produce the charter. The date 1511 has been written in an early modern black ink at the top. This apparent dating suggests that the document was issued by Francesco Maria I della Rovere (d. 1538), Duke of Urbino from 1508. The verso is blank, except for the blue owner’s mark of Fritz Hasselmann, identified by Peter Kidd (initials F H flanking a pyramid emanating beams of light and surmounted by a cross); his sale, Sammlung von alten Pergament Miniaturen; Handzeichnungen; Aquarellen alter und moderner Meister (Munich: Helbing 24 November 1892 lot 276); see: http://mssprovenance.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/fritz-hasselmann-d1894.html Condition: the document was originally folded, so there are three light creases. The verso has remnants of glue from an earlier mounting, as well as two hinges. Slightly soiled but nevertheless striking.
Grand Folio of Canon Law.
Grand folio of canon law. Northern Italy, ca. 1400: 432 mm x 279 mm (just 389 mm x 246 mm). Double column, 45 lines (text), 106 lines (gloss). Decoration: a single four-line pierced red initial U with contrasting penwork. Alternating red and blue multi-line initials and pilcrows in the text and glosses, all with contrasting penwork. Text: Decretals, book III, title 5, cap. 1, the section on prebends with an engaging disquisition on avaritia as relating to ecclesiastical annuities. At least five more strata of glosses. Condition: excellent, a lovely example.
Interesting Text on the Bible by Richard of St Victor
Richard of St Victor, Allegoriae in Vetus Testamentum. Three small fragments on vellum. Northern France, ca. 1180: 153 mm x 41 mm; 198 mm x 41 mm; 282 mm x 40 mm. The longest strip cuts across a bifolium, giving a single column width of 65 mm. Ruled in diluted ink. Text: J.-P. Migne, PL 175:643-49, parts of book I, chaps. xiv-xviii (on Noah’s Ark, the raven and the dove, the colors of the rainbow, and the drunkenness of Noah) and of book II, chaps. ix-xi (on Rebecca taken to Isaac, and the blessing of Jacob). Provenance: ex Coll. Cristoff Graf Vojkffy (d. 1970), Fugger heir.
Lombard's Great Gloss from a Paris Manuscript
Peter Lombard, Magna glossatura in Psalmos, the “Great Gloss.” Two small pieces on vellum, France, doubtless Paris, ca. 1220: ea. approx. 45 mm x 117 mm. Lemmata underlined in red ink. One initial in blue with contrasting penwork. Text: Psalm 140.5-7 (J.-P. Migne, PL 191:1236-39). Provenance: Maggs, London, 1987. Condition: from a binding and therefore defective as shown.
Anonymous and Unpublished Sermons
Anonymous Sermons for the Sanctorale and Temporale. Two complete bifolia plus three columns all from other parts, and one small piece from a corner. Italy, ca. 1300: leaves of the bifolia measure approx. 278 mm x 208 mm (justification 200 mm x 151 mm). The columns measure approx. 277 mm x 105 mm. Sermons for the Purification and for Mary Magdalen are foliated 89 and 96. All the pages have a curious alphabetical reference system. Fol. 89, for example, has R and S in the upper recto, while verso has T and U. Fol. 96 has P-Q and X-Y. One column has A and Z, and since this same column bears the foliation “12,” it seems that one letter per column is the proper distribution—not accounting in this instance for I/J and U/V. This must be a system for indexing the contents. It was added after the discursive annotations, for the U on fol. 89 has been displaced to the center of the page. Many of the leaves are heavily annotated. Additions included indexing systems, such as “Dom. 2 post octavam epiphanye” or “De beata maria magdalena.” Some notes correct biblical references, e.g., “Treni i” (Lamentations chap. 1 rather than Ezekiel chap. 33). More discursive notes are explanatory (“pro ‘lavacri’ regenerationis vel renovationis spiritus sancti”), while others provide sources: B for Bede or Ys for Isidore. The manuscript was heavily used. Decoration: rubricated pilcrows and two-line initials. Text: the manuscript seems northern Italian and from ca. 1300. None of the texts, however, can be found in Schneyer’s Repertorium der lateinischen Sermones des Mittelalters, the most complete source of Latin sermons extant before ca. 1350. While apparently anonymous—they do not seem unique, since at least one of them (“Angelus deo apparuit”—Holy Innocents) can be found in a number of other sources, mostly German. Identifying and editing these fragments will prove challenging but not impossible, and perhaps the best place to start is some minor overlap with the Dominican Peregrinus of Opole. Provenance and Condition: from a binding and therefore defective, rubbed, soiled, and torn as depicted. An inscription “Prothocollo del 1571” suggests that the leaves came from a volume printed in 1571 of the Frankenthal Disputation.
Isaiah from an Extremely Early Pocket Bible
The Bible in a Rare Early Format. Single folio on vellum. Northern France, probably Paris, ca. 1220: 191 mm x 126 mm (justification 128 mm x 82 mm). Double column, 56 lines. Foliated 226. Guide letters for the rubricator appear in the margins. Multiple corrections and annotations. The format is exceptionally early, as the chapters run on in the same line and the chapter numbers appear in the margins. Decoration: Two-line alternating red and blue initials in running heads; one-line red and blue initials; versal initials tipped in red. Text: Is 12.5 <m>agnifice … 18.2 qui. Provenance: The parent manuscript once belonged to Otto F. Ege, the Cleveland dealer (d. 1951); see. S. Gwara, Otto Ege’s Manuscripts (Cayce, SC, 2013), Handlist 60. Condition: slight mat burn, otherwise fine.
Luxury Italian Missal with Part of the Canon
Bifolium on vellum. Italy, ca. 1350: 282 mm x 216 mm, about 15 mm folded (justification 201 mm x 142 mm). Double column, 26 lines. The text is discontinuous. Decoration: noteworthy contrasting penwork on 16 alternating red and blue initials; smaller alternating blue and red initials, and two single-line initials in gold, now slightly worn. Text: The first leaf has Temporale masses for the 24th and 25th Sundays after Pentecost, while the second is part of the Canon, with instructions for the celebrant to bless the host or chalice, extend his arms over the gifts, and bow deeply. Condition: the first leaf is in good condition, lightly soiled and cockled; the second, coming from the Canon, is very worn and dirty.
Curious Vernacular Manual of Canon Law
Epitome of Canon Law in Italian for the Use of a Parish Priest. Two bifolia on vellum. Italy, ca. 1500: irregular dimensions (some margins cut down) but approximately 260 mm x 165-188 mm. Double column, 57 lines. A late Gothic script of excellent refinement and execution. Decoration: three-line initials in red or blue with contrasting penwork in red or purple, often extending up and down the margins; rubricated pilcrows and capitals stroked in red. Text: a manual of Canon Law organized around the subject matter of various Decretals, which are cited by the standard system of numbers and letters: 17.q.4 = Causa 17, quaestio 4. Rubricated chapter numbers in the margins of each major division suggest that these folios preserve an Italian translation of a Latin epitome of the Decretals. Given the way the subjects change abruptly, the selection was probably made for the use of a parish priest who would have needed to know some rudimentary principles of Canon Law for the exercise of parish obligations. The very existence of this translation implies that any clergy consulting it (quite possibly as a crib for Latin comprehension) were not conversant enough in Latin to be aware of the subtleties of Canon Law. The late date makes this conjecture quite feasible, and the user was certainly not a canon lawyer. Condition: one bifolium creased across the middle, both folded at the top, edges soiled, folios irregularly cut, and some slight staining—but the text is entirely legible.
Testifying in Court
Fragmentary Index of Canon Law Cases on Giving Testimony. Single fragment on vellum. Italy, ca. 1350: approx. 280 mm x 76 mm, trimmed (justification 237 mm x 39 mm). Remains of a single column on both sides, from a text of either one or two columns. Decoration: alternating red and blue parafs. Text: a fragment index from a manual of Canon Law. Some cases can be deduced from the few words that introduce them: whether a cleric or monk can testify; whether a woman can testify in a capital crime; whether a judge or superior can be accused or prosecuted. Condition: from a binding and therefore creased, stained, soiled, and defective as shown. One side more legible than the other.
Three Fragments of Rare Cantus Fractus from Two Graduals
Representative folios of Cantus Fractus chant with Large decorative initials. Italy, sixteenth century. Three folios on vellum from two manuscript Graduals: Folio 1, 705 mm x 535 mm (six five-line staves in red, 43 mm); 2. Folios 2-3, two leaves, each 555 mm x 413 mm (five five-line staves in red, 43.5 mm). Decoration: Folio 1, a very large blue initial H in the shape of a ribbon with orange and yellow highlights; blossoms in each corner, and grape clusters suspended from two upper folds and green leaves; alternating red and blue staff-high initials. Folios 2-3, a stylized initial E in shades of purple and green on blue grounds with orange, yellow, and blue highlights, and an staff-high initial A in blue with intricate penwork details. Texts: Folio 1, Kyrie; Fols. 2-3, Gloria and Sanctus. The notation is called “Cantus Fractus” (“broken chant”), also known as “Cantus simplex mensurabilis” (“simple measured song”). This is generally single-voiced music that substituted for chant. It was largely unknown until identified in the 1980s. Since the re-emergence of Cantus Fractus as a genre, it is widely held to be an important, yet still under-studied, aspect of music in the Renaissance and Baroque eras. The pair of folios is particularly interesting because the minim runs are much more common than usual, and the use of cut-C is especially distinctive. The slurs show which notes fit under one syllable. Condition: good; some fading on the recto of "Fol. 1."
Colossal Antiphonal Folio with Enormous and Handsome Initial
Glorious Initial D from a Mammoth Antiphonal. Single folio on vellum. Italy, ca. 1550: 709 mm x 536 mm. Six four-line staves in red, rake-ruled (50 mm). Decoration: large initial D (182 mm x 182 mm) for the Psalm 92 (Domum tuam) in red and blue with multi-colored piercings and elaborate interior swirls, blossoms, and lobes, on blue grounds with gold, green, and pink highlights; a pinprick in the very center indicates the use of a compass; three staff-high initials with fine piercings; rubricated. Text: from the Common, the anniversary of the dedication of a church. Condition: very fine, slight cockling and the usual creases, notably in the lower margin.
Spanish Gradual with Superb Penwork Initials
A Gradual with Consummate Penwork. Single folio on vellum. Spain, ca. 1550: approx. 500 mm x 380 mm. Eight five-line staves in red, rake-ruled (17.5 mm). Foliated xliii in red ink in upper right. Decoration: three staff-high initials, one in red with blue penwork, one in blue with red penwork, and one puzzle initial in red and blue with exceptionally fine red and blue penwork. Texts: Alleluia, Sequence, Offertory, and Communion for the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross; Office for the Feast of the Crown of Thorns. This is an unusual pairing found only in Germany, Scandinavia, and Spain, but not universally.
Colossal German Choir Breviary
Colossal German Choir Breviary with Texts for the Invention of St. Stephen, and SS. Oswald, Sixtus, and Afra. Four folios on vellum, two nested internal bifolia with eight pages of continuous text. Southern Germany, ca. 1450: 462 mm x 320 mm (justification 332 mm x 235 mm). Double column, 32 lines. Ruled in diluted ink. Two script sizes, the smaller for chanted text. The vellum has wonderful evidence of stitching repairs. Decoration: miniated two-line and one-line initials; rubricated; one cadel with a human head, apparently tonsured. Text: up to three lessons for Matins, and antiphons for Lauds, with ancillary versicles, responsories, and antiphons, for the feasts of the Invention of St. Stephen, and of SS. Oswald, Sixtus, and Afra. St. Afra, venerated widely in southern Germany and Austria, is the major saint venerated on these folios. Condition: very fine, some slight soiling and cockling. The handsome script and intensely black ink create an impressive appearance.
Rare Treatise on Polyphonic Chant
Exceptionally Rare Anonymous Treatise on Music Theory, including Polyphony. Single fragment on vellum, the remains of a bifolium. Northern France, ca. 1450: 68 mm x 275 mm. Single column on each folio with 10-11 lines. Some initials tipped in red. Text: this is an anonymous text that survives only on three other witnesses: Berkeley MS 744, BL MS Add. 23220, and Catania, Bibliotheche Riunite Civice MS e A. Urbino Recupero D.39. It has been edited by Oliver Ellsworth, and our portion corresponds to text on pages 70, 72-4, 76, and 78-80. It discusses tones (Dorian, Hypodorian, Phrygian) and syllables, mentioning Boethius and the Frenchman Johannes de Muris, a music theorist (d. post 1344). Condition: removed from a binding, therefore with some holes at the one end of the strip, and abrasions with loss of text on one side.
Contemporary Portrait of Philip II of Spain
Illuminated Carta Executoria de Hidalguía in Spanish issued in the name of Philip II of Spain in favor of Pedro Guillem de las Casas in the city of Jaén, dated 1590. 52 folios on vellum, complete. Granada, 1590: 309 mm x 215 mm (justification 238 mm x 132 mm). Single column, 35 lines, apparently ruled in graphite. Unfoliated. The text and additions are written entirely in Spanish. Decoration: 1. A single large frontispiece (254 mm x 179 mm) of Christ carrying the cross in an arched colonnade, detached, eighteenth- or nineteenth-century, in bright crayon and well-executed; perhaps depicting the harrowing of hell (denizens in hell below Christ are surrounded by hell-fire). SS. Sebastian and another saint with a cilice belt stand in flanking panels. 2. Seven beautifully executed miniatures of saints in bright colors, each approximately 60-70 mm x 55-65 mm, including SS. John the Baptist, James, Bartholomew, John the Evangelist, Francis, and others (one probably Justice); three miniatures of Christ blessing, the Holy Spirit as a dove, and King Philip II of Spain enthroned with scepter and orb, in a realistic contemporary portrait showing the prominent “Hapsburg chin.” 3. Four large colored initials, one in gold sporting a grotesque mask. For the pages with saints, the addressee shares the same name as the saint: Juan Sánchez de Castillo, Bartolomé de Medina, Juan de Monte Molin, etc. With the exception of St. John the Baptist, which has paint losses, the miniatures are bright, fresh, and of exquisite execution. Proof of the artist’s skill can be found in the delicate brocade (perhaps representing cloth of gold) behind King Philip. These miniatures were doubtless produced by a prominent miniaturist in Granada, which boasted a coterie of highly regarded artists at this time, including members of the Cano family. The script has innumerable decorative letters, strapwork initials, and cadels of consummate execution. Text: This document elevates Pedro Guillem de las Casas to the rank of hidalgo or “gentleman.” Pedro also seeks restitution for taxes paid in the past, and asks to be exempted from future taxation in respect of his new rank. Additional pages dated 1608 have texts contributed by Pedro’s son, Juan (now in Baeza), meant to prove his father’s status. Binding: contemporary, and almost certainly original, binding in purple velvet over pasteboards, now rather worn but perfectly serviceable. The seal that would have accompanied the document is missing. Condition: Overall good condition, doubtless the identical condition it was in at a nineteenth-century sale with clipping glued to the front pastedown. Condition: good. Two folios are reinforced with linen tape. The miniature of St. John the Baptist has paint losses to the face and elsewhere. Miniatures of St. John the Baptist and a female figure with a sword and scales (perhaps Justice) have been removed and returned to their exact places, but rather clumsily. No damage has been done to the miniatures, however.
Recovered Bifolium Containing “Postillae” on the Gospel of John
Biblical theology from a French center of learning. Bifolium on vellum. France, probably the south, perhaps Montpellier, ca. 1275: 293 mm x 448 mm (justification 213 mm x 160 mm). Double column, 56 lines. A handsome, squat Gothic script. Decoration: running heads and paraphs in red or blue; scriptural lemmas underscored in red. Text: “Postillae” on the Gospel of John, probably by either Nicholas of Lyra or Albertus Magnus. Provenance: collection of William Chmurny (d. 2013). Condition: used as a book wrapper, hence the usual darkening, minor chips, folds, trivial worming, and some glue stains, otherwise entirely legible; clean and bright spot about 170 mm x 170 mm where a label of title block was previously glued.
Canon Law Authored by Pope Innocent IV from the Collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps
Folio from the Collection of a Vellomaniac. Single folio on vellum. Southern France, ca. 1325: 323 mm x 222 mm (justification 287 mm (trimmed) x 163 mm). Double column, 69 lines. Lightly ruled in plummet. Decoration: ten two-line initials in alternating red and blue with contrasting blue or red penwork; seven three-line initials, three in gold with blue penwork, alternating red and blue with contrasting penwork; paraphs alternating red and blue; rubricated. Text: In Quinque Libros Decretalium Commentaria,” book VI, title xvii, a major work of canon law by Pope Innocent IV. Provenance: a Bliss/Dring fragment from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps; collection of William Chmurny (d. 2013). Condition: recovered from a binding, trimmed at the head with loss of text, verso slightly faded with glue stains around the edges extending through leaf to recto, overall somewhat dingy but all text legible; gold initials worn. Some contemporaneous marginal notations, slightly affected by trimming.
Doctrinale by Alexander de Villa Dei with Scholia
The Doctrinale puerorum, a versified Latin grammatical treatise. Single folio on vellum. France, ca. 1375: 203 mm x 143 mm (justification 153 mm x 37-67 mm). Single column, 30 lines. Ruled in diluted ink. Decoration: paraphs in red, capitals touched in red. Text: lines 607-669 on fourth declension nouns from the Doctrinale puerorum by Alexander de Villa Dei (Villedieu) (ed. Kehrbach, Berlin, 1893). Curiously, some verses seem to have been erased and re-written. Provenance: collection of William Chmurny (d. 2013). Condition: recovered from a binding, hence with the usual staining from binder’s glue; the verso rather indistinct but legible; numerous chips alone spine edge, a few long but narrow holes affecting one line of text and some marginalia. Extensive marginalia in several hands, some underlined in red, probably added by a master and then a student using this text for instruction. Alexander de Villedieu (or Alexander de Villa Dei, d. ca. 1240) was a Franciscan and Master of the University of Paris. Composed around 1200 in Leonine hexameters, the Doctrinale puerorum remained popular for 300 years.
Monumental French Commentary on the Decretals of Gregory IX
Mammoth French commentary on Decretals of Gregory IX. Single folio on vellum. France, ca. 1375: 426 mm x 294 mm (justification 303 mm x 209 mm). Double column, 56 lines. Ruled in diluted ink. Decoration: three two-line initials in red or blue with contrasting penwork; one three-line initial in red and blue with contrasting penwork; paraphs alternating red and blue; header initials alternating red and blue; rubricated. Text: a commentary on the Decretals of Gregory IX, the text here dealing with penalties to be imposed on offending clerics; a few marginal notations also present. Provenance: collection of William Chmurny (d. 2013). Condition: faint horizontal crease across the middle and about a dozen small ink spots very slightly affecting text; otherwise excellent, with wide margins. An imposing and attractive leaf.
Aquinas on the Trinity from the Collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps
Interesting Text of Dominican Theology. Single folio on vellum. Northern France or southern Netherlands, ca. 1350: 302 mm x 207 mm (justification 203 mm x 168 mm). Double column, 53 lines. Ruled in plummet. Foliated “32” in upper right recto. Informal hand in uneven lines, an idiosyncratic cursive for a leaf of this size. Decoration: Initials tipped in red, paragraph in red. Text: “Quaestiones disputate de veritate”, quaestio X, De trinitate. This discussion of the Trinity and the image of God is supported by citations from Boethius and Augustine. Provenance: Bliss/Dring fragments from the collection of Sir Thomas Phillipps; collection of William Chmurny (d. 2013). Condition: Recovered from a binding, the recto surprisingly legible; minor wrinkling along one edge; glue stains on verso with some text illegible; a few holes, though not affecting the text.
NEW! Monumental German Lectern Bible ex Otto F. Ege
Mammoth Lectern Bible from Germany ex Otto F. Ege. Single enormous folio on vellum. Germany, ca. 1450: 446 mm x 305 mm (justification 309 mm x 200 mm). Double column, 46 lines. Ruled in diluted ink. Decoration: three two-line initials alternating red and blue with contrasting penwork extending at least ten lines in the margins; running heads in red or blue with recto a later correction; chapter numbers in red. Text: Isaiah 30.10 que recta sunt … 33.8 Dissipa. Provenance: From the collection of Otto F. Ege; see S. Gwara, Otto Ege’s Manuscripts (Cayce, SC, 2013), Handlist 233; collection of William Chmurny (d. 2013). Condition: excellent; slightly wrinkled, thinning and chipping to bottom edge, slight spots and stains here and there; in original Ege mat.
NEW! Large and Heavily Glossed Folio of Civil Law
Handsome glossed manuscript of the Digest. Justinian, Corpus iuris civilis (the “Digest”). Single folio on vellum. Southern France, possibly Montpellier, or perhaps Italy, dated 1238 (based on information provided by the seller) and certainly first half of the thirteenth century: 435 mm x 272 mm, essentially the entire page full of writing. Double column of text in 40 lines surrounded by dense glossing. Decoration: 40 large two-line initials in blue with red penwork in the text; corresponding lemmas are indicated by smaller two-line initials alternating red and blue. Condition: some slight folds, cockling, and minor staining at top.
NEW! Opening Folio from the Doctrinale by Alexander de Villa Dei in an Italian Script
Fourteenth-Century Italian Copy of the Doctrinale. Alexander de Villa Dei (Villedieu), Doctrinale puerorum. Italy, ca. 1375: 279 mm x 202 mm (justification 192 mm x 91 mm). Single column, 29 lines. Decoration: Five-line initial S in red with intricate penwork swags extending into three margins; two two-line rubricated initials with red penwork on verso; rubricated. Text: the Doctrinale, Pars I, vv. 1-28 (prolog); Cap. I, vv. 29-58 (ed. Reichling, Berlin, 1893). Condition: from a binding, hence faded and rubbed; large repair in one margin, and smaller on the side; minor slit to one side. Text on the back very difficult to read, but entirely legible with UV lamp (a great lesson for UV experience).
NEW! Folios from the Ordinary of the Mass in a Stately Missal or Ordinal Executed in a Handsome Liturgical Script
An ordinal or missal with exceptional script. Two folios on vellum. Northern Germany, ca. 1480: 351 mm x 235 mm (justification 282 mm x 171 mm). Double column, 14 lines. Ruled in diluted ink. This is one of the finest examples of liturgical Quadrata I have ever encountered. The letters are ½” high. Foliations in pencil now erased. DECORATION: on the folio with the Creed only letters tipped in red; on that with the Offertory: one two-line initial S in red, multiple one-line initials and crosses alternating red and blue. TEXT: 1. nearly the entire Nicene Creed, missing only these words from the beginning: "Credo in unum Deum, Patrem omnipotentem, factorem cœli et terrae, visibilium omnium ... “; 2. From the Offertory in the Ordinary of the Mass. The colored crosses indicate when the celebrant should bless himself. CONDITION: very good, with light soiling from use.