Medieval Manuscripts

Contact Alex Day


    Antiphonal, with neumes, containing music for the blessing of the Paschal Candle on Holy Saturday.

    Southern Germany or Bohemia, mid-fifteenth century.

    An unusual and striking antiphonal leaf written entirely in red and notated entirely in burnished gold, signalling the importance of the text for Holy Saturday.


  2. WORMALD, Francis; Jonathan ALEXANDER, editor.

    An Early Breton Gospel Book: A ninth-century Manuscript from the Collection of H.L....

    Cambridge, ‘Printed [at the University Press] for presentation to the Members of the Roxburghe Club’, 1977.

    First edition, dedicated and presented to the Roxburghe Club by Philip Bradfer-Lawrence, a member’s copy presented to Adrian McLaughlin.



    Homiliary, in Latin, with parts of Augustine’s Sermones de Scripturis (Migne, Patrologia Latina 38,...

    Germany, eleventh century.

    The first leaf here contains parts of sermon 178 from Augustine’s Sermones de Scripturis. Chapter six of the sermon is based on Ecclesiasticus 31,8 and part of 31,10: ‘Blessed is the rich that is found without blemish, and hath not gone after gold’, and ‘Who might offend, and hath not...


  4. [SPINELLI.]

    Illuminated arms of the Spinelli family of Florence.

    Italy (Florence), c. 1460s.

    Florentine border decoration of very high quality from what must have been a luxurious manuscript produced for a member of the wealthy Spinelli family. Sadly there is no indication of the contents of the parent manuscript, nor have we been able to identify a likely candidate, but ruling just visible...



    Large historiated initial ‘I’.

    Italy (Umbria), c. 1300.

    A very elegant initial in a style characteristic of Umbrian illumination of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. It can be compared to the oeuvres of the First Master of the Gubbio Choir Books and the Master of the Deruta-Salerno Missals, the latter named after two Missals made...


  6. LA SALLE, Jean-Baptiste, Saint. 

    Les règles de la bienséance et de la civilité chrétienne, divisées en deux parties. 

    Rheims, Le Batard [– Barbier], 1808. 

    Rare edition of La Salle’s pedagogical work, printed in civilité type and bound in printed and manuscript waste.  The Règles of St Jean-Baptiste La Salle (1651–1719) first appeared in 1702 and, an immediate success, were reprinted innumerable times until well into the nineteenth...


  7. CORRADO III TRINCI, Lord of Foligno.

    Letter in his name in Italian to Cipriano, ‘lieutenant of the territory of Trevi’,...

    Foligno, 9 February, no year but c. 1430s.

    The family of the Trinci ruled over Foligno, first as independent princes and then as vicars of the church from 1305 to 1439. The sender of the present letter is probably the third Corrado, last of the dynasty, ‘detested for his cruelty’ (Litta, Celebri famiglie Italiane vol. I fasc. 6,...


  8. BORSO D’ESTE, Duke of Modena, Duke of Ferrara.

    Letter in his name in Italian, addressed to Feltrino Boiardo.

    Modena, 3 July 1453.

    A letter from early in Borso d’Este’s rule as first Duke of Modena. It is addressed to the condottiero Feltrino Boiardo, instructing him to raise taxes from the territories of Casalgrande, Dinazzano and Montebabbio for the support of a brigade of men-at-arms.


  9. DE CICON, Marguerite. 

    Manuscript regarding the seigneurial rights of Marguerite de Cicon. 

    Montureux-lès-Baulay, France, 1627. 

    A remarkably detailed manuscript, and a very attractive object, detailing the seigneurial rights of Marguerite de Cicon in the small town of Montureux-lès-Baulay, situated between Nancy and Dijon in the Burgundy region of eastern France. 


  10. [MISSAL.]

    Missal, in Latin, with readings for the first Sunday in Advent.

    Southern Netherlands or northern France (Arras?), c. 1425.

    A remnant of what must have been an exceptionally grand missal, with illumination of considerable finesse. We have been unable to trace any other leaves from the same manuscript.



    with neumes, containing antiphons, responses and versicles for Trinity Sunday, the Octave of Pentecost, Sundays after...

    Germany, 1st half of 12th century. 

    Two bifolia from a notably early antiphonal. 



    Pupilla oculi.

    England, c. 1400.

    John de Burgh’s Pupilla oculi was a handbook of canon law and pastoral theology for parish priests. It was mainly derived from the Oculus sacerdotis by William of Paull (or Pagula), written in 1320–28, and was probably composed c. 1380–85, when for part of that time John de Burgh...


  13. SPENCER, Eleanor P. 

    The Sobieski Hours: A Manuscript in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle. 

    London, [Rampant Lion Press for] Academic Press, 1977. 

    Limited edition, dedicated and presented to the Roxburghe Club by Robin Mackworth-Young, a member’s copy presented to Adrian McLaughlin. 


  14. MASTER B.F.

    Three very large historiated initials cut from a set of choirbooks.

    Italy (Lodi), early sixteenth century.

    Three extremely fine initials by the enigmatic artist known as Master B.F., one of the most inventive and accomplished illuminators of the Italian High Renaissance. They come almost certainly from a magnificent set of about twenty choirbooks belonging to the Olivetan monastery of Santi Angelo...



    Use of Luçon, in Latin, with readings for the Fourth Week of Lent and Holy Thursday in the Temporal;

    France (Paris), late fourteenth century.

    A rediscovered leaf from the Missal of Etienne de Loypeau, bishop of Luçon, with a miniature by the so-called Master of Death and border decoration attributable to the ‘A Master’ of the Belles Heures of the Duc de Berry.


  16. [GRADUAL.]

    Vast historiated initial ‘A’ cut from a Gradual.

    Italy (Umbria), end of thirteenth century.

    A spectacular initial on the scale of a small panel painting. The verso includes the text ‘[neque] irrideant me inimici mei […] [un]iversi qui te expectant’ and the versicle ‘Vias tuas domine de[monstras]’, indicating that the initial would have introduced the introit ‘Ad te levavi...



    Verneuerte Feuer-Ordnung / Eines edlen ehrenvesten Rahts allhie zi Nürnberg / wie es zur Zeit / wann bey Tag oder...

    Nuremberg, Michael Endter, 1656.

    Scarce expanded edition of this guide to preventing and mitigating fires in Nuremberg, bound using a musical manuscript fragment and Hebrew printed waste.



    Very large historiated initial ‘H’, probably for the antiphon Hodie nata est beata virgo Maria for the Nativity...

    Italy (Siena), c. 1300.

    A very fine large initial painted in a style associated with the Master of the Gradual of Cortona, an artist named for a Franciscan gradual produced c. 1290 for the church of San Francesco in Cortona (now Vatican City, BAV, MS Ross. 612).