[MANUSCRIPT]. NOTED LECTIONARY, in Latin and German, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON PAPER
[southern Germany, c.1500]
200 x 140mm. 143 paper leaves including final 29 blanks, original foliation in roman numerals to f.87. Text-only pages with 16 lines written in black ink between 17 horizontals and two verticals ruled in black, noted pages with five lines of text and hufnagelschrift neumes on a four-line stave with one line ruled red, written area 140 x 100mm, capitals touched red and rubrics in red, THREE LARGE ILLUMINATED INITIALS WITH PART-BORDERS (repair to upper corner of f.1, occasional small spots or stains). SIXTEENTH-CENTURY BLIND-STAMPED PIGSKIN, central panel of twining foliage within ruled fillets, field and margins stamped with rosettes, fleur-de-lis in lozenges and ferns, five brass bosses on upper and lower cover, two clasps and catches, brass border-strips at top and bottom, brown morocco lettering-piece (a few superficial scratches, some spotting and stains, joints splitting and surface splits to spine).
(1)The style of illumination indicates an origin in southern Germany. One of the clippings from sales catalogues pasted inside first flyleaf is in German. (2) DREXEL COLLECTION, given by Mrs. Lucy Drexel wife of Joseph William Drexel (1833-1888), banker, philanthropist, bibliophile and trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to the Library of the Museum, no 5147. (3) METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, withdrawn from the Library for ‘Bookease’ and presented to the Department of Medieval Art: their bookplates. To be sold for the benefit of the Acquisitions Fund.
CONTENT AND ILLUMINATION:
Readings for: matins and lauds for the Feast of the Visitation with noted antiphons, invitatory and responsories ff.1-33v; for the Feast of St Anne, mother of the Virgin ff.33v-35; for the Feast of the Virgin of the Snow ff.35-38; for the Presentation of the Virgin ff.38-40v; for matins and lauds for the Feast of the Transfiguration with noted responsories ff.41-58; Office for the Feast of St Monica with noted antiphons, invitatory and responsories ff.58v-80v; for the Feast of St Joseph ff.80v-86v; for the Feast of St Erasmus ff.86v-90v; for the Conception of the Virgin 91-98; the chant, Kyrie fons bonitatis…, neumes not supplied f.99r; SEBASTIAN BRANT (1457-1521), Ave durchluchte stern des meres, noted ff.100-103; a sequence of hymns Ecce iam noctis renuatur…, Verbum supernum prodiens…, Amorem sensus erige…, Audi benigne conditor…, Summi largitur praemii spe..., Martine confessor dei valens…, noted ff.103v-112v; recipes for potions ff.112v-114v.
It appears that originally the Lectionary finished at f.86v. The remaining texts are written in a variety of hands and formats although all seem to be near-contemporary in date and to belong together: the lessons for the Feast of St Erasmus (ff.86v-90v), follows directly on from the end of the original text, and is written in the same hand as the sequence of hymns (ff.103v-112v). The script of these is a gothic bookhand very similar to the original text. Matins for the Conception of the Virgin (ff.91-98) and the translation of Ave Praeclara maris stella by Sebastian Brant, author of The Ship of Fools, are written in two different cursive scripts. The first follows directly on from the Erasmus readings and the Brant immediately precedes the hymn sequence. The final addition is an intriguing group of recipes for the preparation of potions involving ginger, one effective against infidelity and two, based on rosewater, for one ’who wishes to have a good face’.
The inclusion and importance given to the Office of St Monica may indicate that the manuscript was made for the use of an Augustinian nun.