London, South Kensington
28 November 2011
LEAF FROM A 12TH-CENTURY NOTED BREVIARY, in Latin, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM wrapping SEBASTIAN SCHINDLERS' Rechnung vom Schiffmeister Ampt, in German, Switzerland, Autumn 1585 - Autumn 1586.
308 x 240mm. Vellum leaf: 31 lines written in caroline minuscule in brown ink, rubrics and initials in red, capitals touched red, ONE FIVE-LINE DECORATED INITIAL V also in red, ten lines of frühdeutsch unheightened neumes in open field (the leaf folded into three to create a wallet binding, upper and lower margins cropped affecting text, some browning, outer corners shaped). Enclosing 16 leaves (9 blank) of 16th-century shipmaster's accounts in a German dialect, written in a cursive hand in brown ink. Provenance: the linear, staffless neumes characteristic of Old German notation and the script point to a localisation in Switzerland or the neighbouring regions of northern Italy and southern Germany; the Swiss provenance is confirmed by the fact that it was used to bind the accounts of Sebastian Schindlers, shipmaster, listing expenses incurred for 1585-1586. Later accounts by Schindlers (Harteveld, cat.221, no 519), also bound in early fragments of liturgical manuscripts, show that he operated in the Lucerne region in the late 1580s. The paper bears a crozier watermark (Heawood, I, no 1174) that can be traced back to Basel in 1545.
AN EVOCATIVE METAMORPHOSIS OF A SWISS LITURGICAL MANUSCRIPT INTO A SWISS MERCHANT'S ACCOUNT-BOOK. The text of the binding fragment is the opening of Vespers on Holy Saturday with the Antiphon 'Vespere autem Sabbati que lucescit' followed by noted Psalm incipits and then lessons from Mark 16:1-3 and Gregory the Great's Homily XXI for Easter Day.
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