PROCESSIONAL, for the use of Dominican nuns, in Latin with some rubrics in German, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[Rhineland?, 15th century]
145 x 110mm. i + 65 leaves: 110, 216, 311 (of 12, lacking 8), 410, 59 (of 10, lacking 10), 68, final leave(s) missing, ruled in plummet with single verticals, five lines of music and text written in formal gothic script apparently by more than one scribe, rubrics in red, ONE PUZZLE INITIAL IN RED AND BLUE with blue infill and pink flourishing, smaller initials alternately blue with red flourishing or vice versa. MEDIEVAL UNRESTORED BINDING, presumably original, of cream pigskin over wood boards with cushioned edges, both covers blind-tooled with a variety of stamps, the upper cover in an overall lattice pattern with a large dragon in a lozenge, a large stag in a lozenge, the name 'Maria' on a scroll, a smaller fleur-de-lis in a lozenge, a foliate motif in a square, an acorn, a rose, a rosette, and small fleur-de-lis within a circlet; the lower cover in an overall saltire pattern with most of the same tools, but with a large potted plant in a lozenge instead of the stag; the spine blank, offsets of former manuscript pastedowns, strap-and-pin clasp. (The strap replaced but perhaps medieval).
Written for use in a Dominican convent, with the prayers 'Magne pater sancte Dominice' and 'Deus qui ecclesiasm tuam beati Dominici confessoris' (f.18r-v); a rubric mentions the churches of Sts Mary and Dominic ('ante fores ecclesie de beata virgine... Item in ingressu ecclesie de beato Dominico' f.48v); ff.53v-55 have rubrics in German (e.g. 'Die ersten czwu swestern vor dem altar'); in the margin below the antiphon for a confessor, an early modern hand has added in pencil 'ora pro nobis Beate Beno' (f.22), doubtless referring to one of three confessor-saints of this name: the bishop of Metz and founder of Einsiedeln Abbey, Switzerland (d.940), the bishop of Osnabrück, Lower Saxony (d.1080), or the bishop of Meissen, Saxony (d.1106); signed by 'Sor Maria Pia Theodora Gräfin Ord. Predicatorum' and three other Dominican nuns, one dated 1771 (f.i r-v); item 1 in an unidentified German-language catalogue (clipping, back pastedown); bookplate of Victor v. Stedingk.
Chants and prayers for major feasts from Palm Sunday to the Assumption ff.1-65v, including Good Friday f.30, Easter f.33, Ascension f.35v, Corpus Christi f.38v, the dedication of a church f.42v, and for the reception of novices f.48v.
An appealing little volume in its original binding, doubtless carried by a Dominican nun in procession on high feast days.