MISSAL, use of Sarum, in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum [eastern England, third quarter 15th century]
A magnificent 15th-century Sarum Missal: a glowing example of medieval English illumination preserved in a contemporary chemise binding.
410 x 270mm. 204 leaves, later ink pagination 1-408, 39 lines, ruled space: 280 x 170mm, preserving original prickings (visible to f.58) and catchwords along with some gathering signatures, vellum page markers, eleven 4- to 6-line illuminated initials with marginal sprays, two 6-line penwork initials, flourished initials throughout (lacking Canon miniature and further single leaves and quires, an illuminated initial excised from f.107). Contemporary thick leather chemise over wooden boards, metal bosses (lacking fastenings and two bosses on upper cover).
Provenance: (1) Apparently originally produced for use in the diocese of Lincoln; the unusual sequence (‘Spirat odor renouatus’) in the Sanctoral for the translation of St Hugh of Lincoln is otherwise only known from a textually-close missal at the Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, Lincoln (M.J.II). (2) Chaunterell and Saunders families of Northamptonshire; in his will of 1509, a John Chaunterell of Westcheap, London leaves ‘my fayre mas booke written by hand’ to: (3) the church of St Giles, Northampton, in whose Lady Chapel are buried further members of the Chaunterell family, including William Chaunterell (d.c.1521). A 1525 inscription on f.84 – ‘ora tu pro me peccatore Wyllelmo aliquando existanti presbetero istius capelle anno domini millesimo quengentesimo vicesimo quinto’ – identifies an erstwhile presbyter of a chapel by the name of William, while the names of members of the extended Chaunterell and Saunders families have been added on f.80v in a fine 16th-century hand: ‘Roborte Chauntrell Margere Chauntrell Arture Chauntrell Marke Saunders Anne Saunders’).
Contents: Holy water service (ending imperfectly, leaf lacking after f.2), ff.1-2v; Temporal, Advent – Easter Eve (opening imperfectly and lacking a gathering after ff. 39 and 63), ff.3-80; Ordinary and Canon of the Mass (lacking single leaves after ff. 84 and 86), ff.80-90v; Mass of the Name of Jesus, ff.91; Temporal, Easter – 25 Sunday after Trinity and September Ember days (lacking a gathering after f.107), ff.92-126; Dedication of a church, ff.126-127v; Sanctoral, vigil of St Andrew – Faith (lacking a leaf after ff.136), ff.128-166v; Common of Saints (opening imperfectly, lacking a leaf before f.167), ff.167-182; Votive masses, ff.182-192; Mass of the dead, ff.192-197; ‘Ordo trigintalis institutus per quendam apostolicum’, f.197v; ‘Ordo ad faciendum sponsalia’, ff.198-202; ‘Ordo ad seruicium peregrinorum’, ff.202-203v; Benedictions, including of a new knight’s sword (ending imperfectly, lacking a leaf after f.204), ff.203v-204v.
The style of the illuminated initials suggests the present missal was produced in the third quarter of the 15th century, perhaps in a workshop in eastern England.