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Details & Cataloguing

Western Manuscripts & Miniatures

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Five initials from decorated or illuminated manuscript choirbooks, on vellum [Italy, fourteenth to fifteenth century]
five initials on cuttings: (i) initial ‘G’, 75mm. by 70mm., in soft brown heightened with white penwork, enclosing sprays of coloured acanthus leaves edged in white on blue, orange and striking black grounds, on a cutting, 140mm. by 135mm., with remains of 2 lines of text on a 4-line red stave, northern Italy, late fourteenth century; (ii and iii) two initials from the same choirbook: the first with a ‘U’, 87mm. by 80mm., in pink with gold fruit and bosses in the body of the initial, enclosing delicate scrolling coloured vines, all on blue ground with one curling acanthus leaf extending into border, on a cutting, 202mm. by 180mm., remains of 4 lines of text with music on a 4-line red stave, the second a tall and elegant ‘U’, in soft brown with scalloped designs and red heightened with white penwork, terminating in a fleshy leaf with a trailing tip, enclosing stylised red foliage, on a cutting,  185mm. by 150mm., with remains of 4 lines of text as previous, both central Italy, late fourteenth century; (iv) initial ‘S’, 105mm. by 85mm., in soft pink enclosing elaborate interlacing blue strapwork terminating in acanthus leaves, orange banding at head and foot of initial, all on blue ground, on a cutting, 170mm. by 170mm., with remains of 3 lines of text with music on a 4-line stave, northern Italy, late fourteenth century; (v) initial ‘U’, 94mm. by 95mm., in soft brown entwined with green acanthus leaves and bars of foliage punctuated by a geometric knot or a circular boss, enclosing scrolling coloured acanthus leaves and another similar sprig reaching out into the margin, all on blue ground, on a leaf, 430mm. by 317mm., with 7 lines of text with music on a 4-line stave, central Italy (perhaps Umbria), late fourteenth or early fifteenth century; some small scuffs, else fine condition, all in card mounts
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Western Manuscripts & Miniatures

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London