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[Spain, Catalonia, mid-15th century]

320 x 230mm. 316 leaves: 16, 2-268, 276, 28-408, 412, COMPLETE, catchwords on final verso of each gathering and with original foliation i-cccviii beginning after the Calendar and stopping before final added gatherings, this foliation followed here, two columns of 22 lines in an upright gothic bookhand in black ink between four verticals and 23 horizontals ruled in brown, justification: 215 x 66-19-64mm, rubrics in red, capitals touched yellow, one- and two-line initials alternately red and blue with penwork flourishing respectively in lilac and red, each Mass opening with a three-line flourished initial with exuberant and extensive flourishing, often containing small animals, birds or faces, four large painted initials on coloured grounds scattered with flowers and tendrils, THIRTEEN LARGE ILLIUMINATED INITIALS with spikey acanthus of pink, red, blue and green, with burnished gold infilling and disks and terminals sprays extending into the margins, often with perched birds, one of these with a full-page border of the same forms (worming to first and last leaves, occasional spots). Leather-backed wooden boards (textblock detached).

This Missal was modified for use in a Carthusian house with the addition of a Mass of St Bruno and the insertion of his feasts in the Calendar.

Calendar ff.i-vi; Masses from the Temporal from the first Sunday in Advent to the 25th Sunday after Pentecost ff.1-205; Canon of the Mass ff.207-214; Masses from the Sanctoral from St Stephen protomartyr to St Thomas Apostle ff.215-283; Common of Saints ff.283v-285; Dedication of a church followed by various votive masses and prayers ff.285-300; Masses of the Dead ff.300-308; Added Masses for St Katherine and St Bruno confessor.


The colorful borders made up of spikey foliage are an attractive example of Catalan illumination. The combination of stylized acanthus, star-flourished disks, flower-heads on hairline tendrils and little birds is also found in a manuscript in Paris (BnF, Espagnol 9) that has been localized to Catalonia or the province of Valencia: F. Avril et al, Manuscrits enluminés de la Péninsule Ibérique, Paris 1982, no 137. However, the symmetrical foliage infilling the major initials of the present manuscript is a specifically Catalan feature.

The illuminated initials are on folios 1, 16, 19, 139, 157, 165v, 175, 209v, 215, 239, 246, 257 and 270; and painted initials on folios 232, 177, 225 and 253.

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