Medieval Manuscripts

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  1. [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 for the...



    in Latin.

    England, 1st quarter of 15th century.

    A fragment of 21 leaves from a portable Sarum Breviary, with nineteenth-century Staffordshire provenance.



    in Latin, from the Hours of the Virgin and including the beginning of Psalm 97.

    Flanders or northern France, early 14th century.

    An exquisite leaf from an exceptionally early Book of Hours. The defective parent manuscript, which also contained a Vie de sainte Marguerite in French rhyming verse, was lot 76 in Sotheby’s sale ‘Western Manuscripts and Miniatures’ of 17 December 1991, subsequent to which the leaves were...


  5. BIBLE,

    in Latin, Jeremiah 30, 6–32,19 and 44,21–48,24

    Germany or perhaps Switzerland, mid-12th century.

    From a folio German romanesque Bible.



    in Latin, with parts of Augustine’s Sermones de Scripturis (Migne, Patrologia Latina 38, cols. 963–4)

    Germany, 11th 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...



    in Latin, with readings and music for the feast of the Nativity

    England, late 14th century.

    A richly illuminated leaf from a Sarum Missal, the decoration probably of provincial rather than London production.


  8. 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.


  9. 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...


  10. 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.



    Miracle stories of the Virgin, in Latin

    Germany, first half of 14th century.

    Two fragments containing rare fourteenth-century miracle stories.



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

    Southern Germany or Bohemia, mid-15th 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.



    Notarial register of Mei, notary public of Montepulciano.

    Italy (Montepulciano), September – November 1345.

    Fragments from a notarial register of Montepulciano compiled shortly before the Black Death.



    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...