BREVIARY, in Latin, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[Austria or perhaps Bavaria] 1479
155 x 110mm. i + 538 + i leaves, foliated 1-77 in ink, in pencil to 210, and sporadically thereafter in pencil with some errors, complete apart from a final missing leaf unless it once had a calendar: i-ix 10, x8, xi-xxxiv10, xxxv6 (of 10, vii-x cancelled), xxxvi-xxxviii10, xxxix12, xl-xliv10, xlv-li8, lii9 (of 8, +ix), liii11 (of 10, + i), liv-lv10, lvi8, catchwords frequently visible, ruled in ink for 31-32 or 42-44 lines (ff.434-499v) of text per page, written in several scripts, perhaps by several scribes, extensive rubrics in red, TEN ILLUMINATED INITIALS in the Psalter, ONE TEN-LINE ILLUMINATED INITIAL WITH THREE-SIDED FOLIAGE BORDER including a bird, NINE SIMILAR SMALLER INITIALS (a few leaves with tears, not affecting legibility of the text). 17th?-century cream vellum over wooden boards, blind-tooled, two straps with metal fittings, leather tab-markers at fore-edge (somewhat bumped at the corners, the upper joint cracking).
Two colophons are dated Monday 8 February 1479 and 19 May 1479 (ff.499v and 538); the manuscript was apparently written for an Augustinian house ('sanctissimi patris nostri Augustini' f.458) dedicated to John the Evangelist ('patris nostri et patroni' f.398); saints in the Sanctorale point to an origin in south-east Germany or more probably north-west Austria, including Florian with nine lessons and full office f.397, Ulric (venerated especially at Augsburg and Salzburg) f.434, Coloman (venerated especially at Melk, Vienna and Linz) f.478v, and Virgilius of Salzburg f.499v. Frequent additions indicate continued use until the 17th century; from the library of Schloss Jegenstorf, near Bern; sold by Klipstein and Kornfeld, 13-15 November 1947, lot 345.
Ferial Psalter ff.1-77v; Hymnal ff.78-94, including the feasts of St Kylian f.87 and Ursula f.90; Prayers ff.94v-7v; Temporale ff.98- 339v, with blank f.321v and Gospel readings for Sundays ff.322-339v; rubrics for the Sanctorale, ending with deleted text and stubs of cancelled leaves ff.340-42v; Sanctorale ff.343-499v, with Augustine's main feast as 'summum festum' f.458, and his translation as 'medium festum' 477v; blank f.500r&v; Common of saints and the Dedication of a church ff.501-36; prayers, including several each for John the Evangelist and Augustine ff.536v-38; added liturgical elements on front flyleaf and added prayers, including ones for John 'apostolo et patrono' and Augustine f.538r&v.
The attractive illuminated initials, clustered in the first part of the volume, are typical of Bavarian and Austrian work, most of them using highly burnished gold and a distinctive pale green and pink. The largest initial has conventional foliage except in the lower margin, where the artist reveals his ability to paint a naturalistic rose-plant and bird.