BREVIARY, use of Rome, in Latin, DECORATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
155 x 115mm. i + 416 + i leaves: 16, 210, 312, 4-1810, 198, 20-4210, horizontal catchwords in lower right margins of final versos, most flourished, two columns of 28 lines in black ink written in a gothic bookhand between four verticals and 29 horizontals, the first horizontal extending across the page, ruled in brown, justification: 102 x 31-8-31mm, rubrics in red, text capitals touched yellow, one-line initials alternately of red or blue, two-, three- and four-line initials alternately blue flourished red or red flourished violet, many additions on blank leaves and some additions and corrections in margins (ff.1-3 wormed and stained as though once pastedowns, water staining to top of leaves, holes in margins ff.93, 98, 316, tear to left margin f.111). Boards covered with vellum leaf from a Psalter with flourished initials and music of square notation on a 4-line stave; red morocco box lined with velvet.
1. The Calendar is for Mantua: notably in red, Anselm, bishop of Lucca also celebrated Mantua (18 March), and Longinus (2 Dec), the finding of his relics at St Barbara, Mantua. The presence of Francis (4 Oct) and Augustine (28 Aug) in red but St Dominic (5 Aug) in black, might suggest a member of an Augustinian or Franciscan house but other saints commemorated by these orders were not originally included. The celebration of the Roman basilicas (9 and 18 Oct) is Augustinian but the feasts are also found in Franciscan calendars. Both orders followed the use of Rome.
2. Additions to the Calendar, including the Dominican Vincent Ferrer (5 April) canonised 1455, and the Augustinian Nicolas of Tolentino (10 Oct) canonised 1446, were continued by a Brescian user who inserted numerous canonised bishops of Brescia, and also the Franciscan Bernadino (20 May), canonised 1450.
3. Pencilled note in Italian inside back cover; possible inventory number V.2837
Calendar, with many additions ff.1-6; Temporal, secundum consuetudinem Romane curie, ff.7-181; additional rubrics, underlined in red, heading in red, in a different hand, ff.181v-183v; added hymns, initials never supplied, in a different hand, f.186v; ferial Psalter ff.187-256; hymns ff.257-266; Sanctoral, from St Saturnin (29 Nov) to St Catherine (25 Nov), with St Thomas Becket out of sequence at the end, ff.267-361; Ordo ad catechuminum faciendum secundum ecclesiam romanam ff.362-365v; Communal ff.367-385v; added prayer f.386v; Office of the Virgin, secundum consuetudinem Romane curie ff.387-391v; Office of the Dead, use of Rome, with rubric for fratres, ff.392-395; incipits of Penitential Psalms, Litany, ff.395-397v; Office of the Transfiguration ff.397v-401; benediction of table for fratres in their refectory f.401; Office of Mary Magdalen, ff.402v-405; added prayer to Peter Martyr f.406; added prayers, very faded, including St Catherine of Siena, f.406v; lessons for various feasts from the Nativity to All Saints ff.407-416v.
Dated by the scribe f.181: Explicit officium feriale: Deo Gracias: Amen: die 19 augusti 1458. The initials D.S.A. appear at the end of the office of the Virgin, f.392. The scribe could have been a member of a Franciscan or Augustinian house in Mantua.
The Breviary was essential for clerics, since it contained the Offices that they were obliged to recite daily; some lay people were also prepared to tackle its complexities and might follow the use of a religious order. This functional volume, given its portable scale, was more probably intended for an individual Franciscan or Augustinian brother, perhaps the scribe himself.