Lot 3
  • 3

Two angels on leaves from manuscripts on vellum [Italy, twelfth and fifteenth century]

3,000 - 5,000 GBP
3,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Vellum
3 leaves: comprising (a) bifolium from a Lectionary, each leaf 310mm. by 213mm., with a detailed line drawing of an angel holding a book (50mm. high), 4 large initials in red with green and yellow infill, double column, 28 lines in brown ink, leaves foliated '11' and '14', good condition, Italy (probably southern Italy, mid-twelfth century); (b) leaf from an illuminated choirbook, 510mm. by 350mm., with a large initial 'G' ("Gloria in excelsis ...") on burnished gold grounds, enclosing an angel emerging from a flowerbud, holding a censor and pointing to the heavenly light emerging above, foliate extensions and bezants in border, 6 lines of text with music on a 4-line stave, minor thumbing to initial and edges trimmed with some losses to outermost edges of initial, else good, northern Italy, late fifteenth century

Catalogue Note

Other leaves from the same manuscript as (a) have appeared in Pirages, cat.57, no.64 and in our rooms, 8 July 2008, lot 2, and 7 December 2010, lot 1 (with a line drawing of a lion). The presence of the small letters 'c','s' and 't' here indicates that the text is from the Passion performances. They are most probably instructions to the singer ('c' for celeriter, sing faster; 's' for sursum, sing higher; and 't' for trahere, sing slower) or mark the parts for the synagoga, cronista and other members of the choir: see E.C. Dunn, 'Voice Structure in the Liturgical Drama' Medieval English Drama, 1972, 44-63, and S. Rankin, 'An early Eleventh-Century Missal Fragment', Bodleian Library Record 18, 2004, 232-3.