Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures | 06 December 2017

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Lot no.

14

Bifolium from an early choirbook , in Latin

Sold for £2400

Est: £2500–3500

Bifolium from an early choirbook , in Latin, on parchment [southern Germany or Switzerland (perhaps Canton of Berne), early eleventh century]

2 leaves (conjoined) from a large volume, each with single column of 28 lines in an early gothic bookhand showing great influence from late Carolingian letterforms (written space: 247 by 145mm.), each with musical notation in neumes, opening lines of sections in ornamental capitals, red rubrics, five large simple initials, later medieval folio nos. at head of each leaf: ‘xi’ and ‘xiiii’, medieval marginalia, prick marks from line-ruling visible in outer margin, some sixteenth-century German scribbles, losses to foot of one leaf due to natural flaw in parchment, spots, stains, folds and discoloured areas due to reuse in a binding, else in good condition and on fine and heavy parchment, each leaf 330 by 220mm.

This is a handsome and stately early witness to ecclesiastical music. While the script is rotund and robustly Romanesque, there are earlier forms in the large red initial ‘A’, the undulating penstroke which ends the letter ‘r’ in places and the ligature of ‘us’ where these letters end a line (compare the tenth-century leaf from Regensburg sold in our sale, 9 December 2015, lot 3). The main readings are for the Feasts of SS. Fabian and Sebastian, Agnes, Agatha and Valentine, and to these twelfth- and thirteenth-century hands have added further readings for SS. Timothy the Apostle and Blaise, and another for the Cathedral of St. Peter in the wide margins. The addition of the name “Hymerehi ap[osto]li” in tiny Romanesque script in the lower margin of the second leaf, most probably refers to the hermit St. Himerius (also known as St. Immer) who died in 620 in St. Imier, Canton of Berne, with a chapel built there in the ninth century and a chancery in the twelfth century.

Western and Oriental Manuscripts and Miniatures

Wednesday 06 December 2017, 2.00pm

Bloomsbury London
Bloomsbury House
24 Maddox Street
London
W1S 1PP

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