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BREVIARY (Use of Rome); Illuminated liturgical manuscript in Latin
1456. ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM, Northern Italy (Verona?), dated 1456, 137 x 101 mm. 450 folios, complete (collation, i6 ii-xl10 xli8 xlii-xliii10 xliv12 [-8, following f. 437, cancelled with no loss of text] xlv10 [-10, cancelled, with no loss of text]), horizontal catchwords, ruled in ink (justification, 86-83 x 65-64 mm.), written in southern gothic bookhands probably by two scribes, guide letters, majuscules touched with pale yellow, red rubrics, one- to two-line alternately red and blue initials, four- to three-line alternately red and blue initials with contrasting pen decoration in purple and red, THREE ILLUMINATED initials, with decorative borders in the outer margins, and TWO HISTORIATED INITIALS WITH FULL BORDERS, depicting bearded saints. BINDING: Bound in Italy in modern polished pink leather, binder's stamp, inside front cover, "R. Gozzi. Modena," front cover, coat of arms in gilt (azure, three bends or, in chief, gules three towers or, with a crown above), elaborate embossed silver clasps, with both clasps, front and back covers, depicting the sacrifice of Isaac (?), and the connecting fastener depicting Moses holding the tablets (possibly from an earlier Italian binding, or in an earlier style; compare the eighteenth-century Italian embossed silver binding, New York Grolier Club, MS 11, which includes a similar depiction of Moses), silk doublure and facing flyleaves, gilt edges, in excellent condition, slight wear at front hinge, in slipcase. TEXT: This is a luxurious volume, carefully written, with attractive penwork initials and five illuminated pages, including two full borders, in almost pristine condition with few signs of daily used, bound in an equally luxurious binding. Although this Breviary follows the liturgy of the Papal Curia, which was first adopted by the Franciscans in the thirteenth century, it was certainly made for a person of wealth, perhaps the patron of a Franciscan monastery. It includes an unidentified coat-of-arms, which when identified should help complete the story of its origin. ILLUMINATION: The style of illumination, distinguished by a vibrant and attractive color palette featuring deep red, vivid green, and purple, is in keeping with the style generally popular in Northeastern Italy, including Verona, Venice and Padua in the middle to the third quarter of the fifteenth century; although it has not been attributed to a particular artist manuscripts Antonio de Stefano in Verona use similar decorative motifs. PROVENANCE: Dated by the scribe, July 17, 1456. The rubrics identify it as Use of Rome and the sanctorale and calendar include numerous Franciscan saints. Unidentified coat-of-arms, presumably of the original owner or patron, f. 7, azure fleur de lis or party per pale quarterly gules a fess argent and or five torteaux and one hurt. The manuscript apparently remained in Italy until modern times when it was bound in Modena. CONDITION: In very good condition, ink on a number folios is faded and has partially powdered away (occasionally rewritten in darker ink), f. 1, darkened, text smudged and partially rewritten and repaired in the inner margin, f. 93v, slight damage to border, lower margin, f. 417v, lower half darkened, f. 413, small stain, trimmed, with slight loss of decoration in the upper margins on a few folios, although generous margins remain. Full description and photographs available at www.textmanuscripts.com reference number 517.
      [Bookseller: Les Enluminures ]
Last Found On: 2016-12-21           Check availability:      ABAA    

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