LEAF FROM THE LLANGATTOCK BREVIARY, in Latin, ILLUMINATED
MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
[Ferrara, c.1450]275 x 201mm. Two columns of thirty lines written in brown ink in a gothic bookhand, rubrics in red, two four-line illuminated initials on recto in mauve, blue, green and burnished gold, with foliate and white filigree decoration, two-line initials (three on recto and two on verso) of burnished gold on grounds alternately of pink or blue with white filigree decoration, one-line initials in blue with red pen-flourishing, recto with two FULL-LENGTH BAR BORDERS of burnished gold with terminal or marginal sprays of scrolling penwork tendrils supporting foliage, flowers and golden disks, verso with one full-length bar border of burnished gold and blue with similar extensions and one elaborate foliate border with a small winged putto (two pinprick-sized holes at top, some oxidation to putto).
A fine leaf from a manuscript, sold in our rooms (8 December 1958, lot 190) as part of the estate of the 2nd Baron Llangattock. Many miniatures had already been removed and after the sale the remaining leaves were separated and dispersed. All aspects of the manuscript -- size, format and illumination -- correspond to those of the Missal of Borso d'Este, marquis and then duke of Ferrara (Modena, Biblioteca Estense, Ms W.5.2, lat. 239) and the Breviary was certainly made either for him or his predecessor Leonello, and intended, like the Missal, for use in the ruler's chapel. It is now usually identified with the Breviary recorded in accounts in the d'Este archives as having been illuminated for Leonello by Giorgio d'Alemagna, Bartolomeo de Benincà, Guglielmo Giraldi and Matteo de' Pasti: F. Toniolo ed., La miniatura a Ferrara dal tempo di Cosmè Tura all'eredità di Ercole de' Roberti (1998), pp.19, 20, 76-77.