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MANUSCRIPT ILLUMINATION. Initial D and a border with miniatures of the Four Evangelists on a leaf from an illuminated CHOIR PSALTER ON VELLUM.
MANUSCRIPT ILLUMINATION. Initial D and a border with miniatures of the Four Evangelists on a leaf from an illuminated CHOIR PSALTER ON VELLUM.

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MANUSCRIPT ILLUMINATION. Initial D and a border with miniatures of the Four Evangelists on a leaf from an illuminated CHOIR PSALTER ON VELLUM.
[Posen, ?16th century]
460 x 370mm. An initial D of complex baluster and foliate forms in mauve, orange, blue and ochre with human-headed terminals against a golden ground, framed in interlace that continues to form the border with corner medallions with bust-length figures of the Evangelists with their symbols; the verso with 18 lines of gothic script written in black ink in a frame-ruling of red, with rubrics of red and versal initials of pink and grey (silver oxidised, creased along lower border).

The initial opened Psalm 21, for Prime from the Ninth Sunday before Easter until Palm Sunday, in a Choir Psalter. A catalogue entry pasted onto the verso, in German, identifies the leaf as coming from the Dominican convent of Posen, or Poznan, in Poland. The unusual format, palette and decorative vocabulary lend it an exoticism not seen in manuscripts from more mainstream centres of production.

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