Lot 1
  • 1

Two bifolia from a large lectionary manuscript, in Latin, on vellum [Germany, c.1000]

7,000 - 9,000 GBP
8,750 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Vellum
4 leaves, comprising 2 near-complete bifolia, both 420mm. by 290mm. in total, double column, 24 lines in brown ink in a large and fine Carolingian minuscule with a pronounced st-ligature, rubrics in terracotta red (oxidising to silver in places) in ornamental capitals, twelve one- or 2-line red initials, two one- or 2-line initials in brown with green, yellow and oxidised red wash filling compartments, eleven large geometric initials (3- to 4-line) in penwork picking out elaborate shapes and scrolls within the body of the initial, multi-coloured with green, yellow and red wash, trimmed at edges with loss of about 10mm. of text from outermost columns, recovered from a bookbinding, and hence with occasional scuffs and stains, overall in remarkably good condition

Catalogue Note

These leaves are from a large and fine Ottonian manuscript, presumably used for public reading in a monastic community. The original dimensions of each leaf were approximately 260mm. by 320mm., and the large initials with their flourishes, foliate terminals and decorated panels closely compare to those of a tenth-century Psalter, now in Stuttgart Landsbibliothek (cf. H. Ehl, Anfänge der Deutschen Illustration im IX. Und X. Jahrhundert, 1925, pl.5) and other manuscripts of a generation before (R. Nolden, 'Über Fragmente karolingischer Biblen', Karolingische Beda-Handschrift aus St. Maximin, 1990, pp.35-41, esp. p.36).


The leaves contains readings for the first Sunday after Advent, the twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost, the Feast of All Saints and St. Caesarius the martyr (both 1 November) and the twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost, with instructions in the rubrics as to whether the section is to be said in a low voice by the reader ("Super oblatam") or sung by him towards the rest of the community ("Super populum").