Medieval Manuscripts

Contact Alex Day

  1. MISSAL,

    the Canon of the Mass; a fragment of a bifolium (a single leaf preserving a small section only of the conjoint leaf), single...

    At the end of the first line on the recto is the rubric ‘infra actionem’, immediately before the prayer ‘Communicantes et diem sacratissimam celebrantes’. The expression ‘infra actionem’ originally referred to a variable formula to be inserted within the fixed text on special occasions, and...

    £650

  2. AUGUSTINUS.

    De civitate Dei; a complete bifolium (leaves not consecutive), double columns of 30 lines, rubric in red, initials...

    A handsome bifolium from a large folio copy of St. Augustine’s greatest work, a vindication of Christianity against pagan critics.

    £3750

  3. LECTIONARY,

    in French and Latin, with readings from the Gospel of John, the Book of Wisdom, and Ephesians; a partial bifolium (leaves...

    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.

    £1500

  4. GREGORY THE GREAT.

    Homiliae in Evangelia, book I, homily 2, from the beginning to near the end of verse 2, a single leaf, single...

    From a well-written manuscript of Gregory the Great’s Homilies on the Gospels, preached most probably during the liturgical year 590–1 and published the following year.

    £1750

  5. BREVIARY,

    including prayers and readings (from Genesis, Exodus and Bede) for Ash Wednesday to the end of Saturday in Passion week;...

    A fragment of a pocket-sized Breviary of relatively humble appearance. It comes from the Temporale of a ‘secular’ Breviary (i.e. for use in a church, either by a parish priest or a friar), containing nine readings at Matins for Sundays and major feast days and three readings for weekdays (monastic...

    £3750

  6. BIBLE,

    in Latin, Deuteronomy 11,24–12,30 and 13,1–14,29; an almost complete leaf written in a good rounded romanesque hand...

    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...

    £2500

  7. SFORZA, Ludovico, Duke of Milan.

    Letters patent granting various castles and lands to Bertrando de’ Rossi, Count of Berceto,...

    A significant document issued during the Italian War of 1494–1498 by Ludovico Sforza (also known as Ludovico il Moro, duke of Milan 1494–1499).

    £2000

  8. GERMANY – NUREMBERG.

    Manuscript letter, in Latin, from the Abbot of St. Aegidius, Nuremberg, complaining about the actions of...

    St. Aegidius fell under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the archbishopric of Bamberg, and the letter is a somewhat exasperated account of the archbishop’s efforts to extract taxation from the monastery (on account of its imperial ‘regalia’) and the abbot’s refusal to allow any such thing....

    £1500

  9. BREVIARY,

    with neumes, parts of the services for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day; a partial bifolium (leaves not consecutive),...

    Staves ruled entirely in red appear in the last decades of the thirteenth century (formerly the F-line would usually have been ruled in red and the C-line in yellow). During the same period neume forms throughout Europe generally became squarer in form, and by the end of the century the familiar square-note...

    £350

  10. MISSAL,

    the opening of the Canon of the Mass; a complete leaf, 18 lines, written in a fine gothic liturgical script, dark brown...

    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...

    £1500

  11. CHOIR BREVIARY,

    part of the offices for the Feast of the Annunciation (Lady Day); a complete leaf written in double columns with...

    An imposing and richly illuminated leaf from an English ‘Choir Breviary’ of exceptionally large size. The leaf has been preserved as an archival wrapper and survived the Reformation in remarkably good condition.

    £4000

  12. MISSAL,

    with readings and music for the 18th, 19th and 20th Sundays after Pentecost; a partial bifolium and a single leaf (text...

    The fine angular script and elegantly simple initials are typical of Cistercian manuscripts, although the absence of punctus flexus punctuation precludes a more definitive Cistercian attribution.

    £1800

  13. MISSAL,

    with readings and music for the feast of St. Clement (23 November); a complete vellum leaf, double columns of 37 lines...

    The final stage in the accurate placement of musical notation was the introduction of 4-line staves, and they came to be used in almost all music books from the thirteenth century onwards. The present fragment is a relatively early example of their use.

    £975

  14. MISSAL,

    with readings for the fifth week of Lent; a complete leaf, double columns written in black ink in two sizes of a good gothic...

    The post-medieval annotations may indicate an origin in or near Koblenz. They include the place-names ‘Obernlanstein’, ‘Niderlanstain’ and ‘Pfaffendorff’, i.e. Oberlahnstein, Niederlahnstein and Koblenz-Pfaffendorff.

    £400