Italy (perhaps Tuscany), first half of 12th century.
US $3267 €2940
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in Latin, Deuteronomy 11,24–12,30 and 13,1–14,29; an almost complete leaf written in a good rounded romanesque hand with a strong ‘st’ ligature and both tall and uncial-type ‘d’, double columns of 54 lines, ruled with a hard point, three three-line initials and one two-line initial in red; recovered from use as a binding and with consequent wear and staining, a few small holes, trimmed at head with loss of perhaps two lines, verso worn in places, but generally in very good condition and almost entirely legible. 538 x 367 mm
A very large folio leaf from an Italian giant or ‘Atlantic’ Bible. This genre of romanesque Bible originated in Rome in the mid-eleventh century; the production and diffusion were no doubt due in part to the clerical reforms under Popes Leo IX and Gregory VII. In the early twelfth century manuscript production seems to have shifted somewhat from Rome and southern Umbria to Tuscany, whence the present leaf may originate.
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the opening of the Canon of the Mass; a complete leaf, 18 lines, written in a fine gothic liturgical script, dark brown ink, ruled lightly with ink, capitals touched with red, rubrics, initials in red and blue, large (five-line) initial ‘T’ (Te igitur) in a stylized leafy design in blue within a pink and green frame and against a burnished and tooled gold ground with leafy and floral extensions in two margins; recovered from use as a binding, with consequent soiling and creasing, burnished gold rubbed and slightly flaked, margins and corners trimmed. 375 x 240mm (276 x 184mm).
Southern German style illumination of a type that seems to have spread well beyond the borders of the German-speaking lands: compare, for instance, the opening of the Canon of the Mass in a Missal supposedly prepared in the diocese of Esztergom c. 1480 for a church in Poszony (Esztergom, FK MS I.20, fol. 67r; see I. Berkovits, Illuminated manuscripts in Hungary, 1969, p. 58 and pl. XXIII).
in French and Latin, with readings from the Gospel of John, the Book of Wisdom, and Ephesians; a partial bifolium (leaves not consecutive), double columns of 30 lines written in a good formal gothic bookhand in brown ink, ruled lightly with ink, five two-line initials delicately painted in pink or blue against burnished gold grounds and with ivyleaf extensions, ten one-line initials in burnished gold against pink and blue grounds, capitals touched in yellow, Latin passages underlined in red, original numbering in red at head of each leaf ‘xii. xix.’ and ‘xiii. iiii.’, rubrics; trimmed at foot, without loss of text, and at fore-margins, occasionally affecting a letter or two, but in excellent condition. 202 x 141 mm (172 x 120 mm)
The use of French indicates that the parent manuscript was intended for a lay reader or audience, while the quality of the script and illumination points to a prestigious commission. The passages in French are each preceded by the first few words of the original Latin text, underlined in red.