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Initial S on a leaf from an  Antiphonal, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
Initial S on a leaf from an Antiphonal, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

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Initial S on a leaf from an Antiphonal, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM

[Tuscany, late 14th century]
475 x 325mm (leaf); 130 x 120mm (initial). Large leafy initial S in mauve and blue, with foliate infilling of mauve, blue, orange and burnished gold on a black ground, the whole on a square ground of burnished gold within a mauve and blue frame. The leaf with seven 4-line musical staves in red ink with square neumes and text in round Italian liturgical gothic script in black ink; on the verso two pen-flourished Lombard initials in red and blue (slight smudging).

This dramatic and imposing initial introduced the text Sancta et immaculata virginitas, a Responsory at Matins for Christmas Day.

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