BUTLER, Charles

The principles of musik, in singing and setting: vvith the two-fold use therof, ecclesiasticall and civil

London printed by Iohn Haviland, for the author, 1636.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. [xiv], 135, [i]. [par.]-2, [par.], A-R. Roman letter, some Italic and Greek. Title within box rule with woodcut of King David with typographical ornaments, woodcut initials, headpieces and typographical ornaments, type set music, several woodcut diagrams in text, one full page, book plate of James Elwin Millard (1824 – 1894) on pastedown, his blind-stamp with monogram on fly.  First quire browned, age yellowing with some spotting thereafter, T-p dusty, occasional mark or stain. A good copy, in C19th three-quarter tan morocco over cloth boards, spine with raised bands, title gilt lettered, spine a little rubbed.

First edition of this rare and most important theoretical work on music, the most influential of the C17th, by the remarkable Charles Butler who was also the author of “The Feminine Monarchy”, a seminal work on beekeeping. Book One of ‘The Principles’ concerns itself with the rudiments of music and provides elementary instruction in the art of composition. It is divided under four comprehensive chapter headings, The Moods, Singing, Setting, and the ways of Setting. Chapters two, three and four are broken into sections and sub-sections; the section treating of an individual topic, and sub-section of a particular aspect of that topic. Butler supplies annotations after each section, making the detailed and often lengthy explanations more accessible to the reader.

“As a text it was quite obviously designed to be read at different levels and in different ways, but its principal appeal is to the educated amateur, aiming at the same type of audience as Morley’s ‘Plaine and Easie Introduction’ had sought. The Principles is basically a scholarly book which provides a good deal of sound practical advice. Reading without reference to the Annotations, the diligent amateur must have found a sensible and very sane book, often cutting through an enormous amount of arcane mystery in a deft sentence, while at the same time leaving the reader in no doubt that composers are born not made. The amateur who was something of a scholar could not fail to have been impressed by the precise and accurate documentation of Butler’s annotations, by the masterly command of sources, particularly of the classical and medieval authorities. The professional musician, too, could well have gained immense profit and pleasure from Butler’s text, which does not simply provide rules and regulations but explains the nature and antiquity of his art from Old Testament to modern times. …The number of surviving copies indicates a fairly large edition, perhaps as high as seven or eight hundred copies. Playford’s Sale Catalogues at the British Museum prove that copies were still changing hands at the end of the seventeenth century and a copy was offered for two and a half guineas at a Calkin and Budd Sale in l844, there described as “excessively scarce”, and selling at a higher price than all the English theorists, Morley included. ..’The Principles , of Musik in singing and setting’ is unique in one important aspect: it is the only book which sets out with a two-fold purpose, to instruct the musical reader, and to justify music’s existence. The first part of Butler’ s purpose needs no explanation, nor does it merit defence, but the apology for music stands in need of both. It may have been written as an academic exercise, or even perhaps as a provider of mere bulk to an otherwise slender volume, but it is much more likely to have been written because Butler seriously believed that forces were abroad in society that were determined to stamp out music and not simply from church worship.” John Shute. ‘The English theorists of the seventeenth century’ “Butler argued that the ‘reprehensible conduct of ‘debosht Balad-makers and Dance-makers’ in leading their silly proselytes hedlong into hell’ did not amount to a justification for the silencing of all musical sound. Instead, it argued the need for control.” Christopher Marsh ‘Music and Society in Early Modern England.’

ESTC S106982. STC 1496; Lowndes p. 333: “This tract, dedicated to King Charles I, was the only theoretical or didactic work on the subject of music, published in that king’s reign.”


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MORLEY, Thomas


A plaine and easie introduction to practicall musicke.

London, Peter Short, 1597.


FIRST EDITION, folio, pp. (vi) 183 (xxxv). Roman letter, printed side notes. Title within elaborate woodcut border comprising representations of great scholars of antiquity such as Ptolmey and Strabo together with allegorical figures of the sciences, a globe and Father Time at head, Mercury with caduceus at foot (McKerrow & Ferguson 99); woodcut headpieces incorporating Royal arms, large woodcut initials. Very extensive printed music, in red and black in places, some woodcut music and diagrams. Title and verso of last dusty, water stain to upper fore edge of that and next mostly marginal, the odd little marginal mark; generally clean and good in fine speckled C18th calf, spine and borders gilt, armorial bookplate on front pastedown, in slipcase.

First edition of the most famous musical treatise in the English language, the first satisfactory musical treatise published in England and certainly the most enduring. A new edition was published in 1771 and the work was still in use into the C19th. Morley (1557-1604?) was a pupil of Byrd, to whom the present work is affectionately dedicated, and like him became a gentleman of the Chapel Royal, in 1592. In recognition of his services, Morley was granted the patent, previously held by his master, of printing books of music and selling ruled paper. In his day Morley was a celebrated composer in his own right (the present work contains a number of new songs) especially of madrigals where he was much admired for his grace and skill, but his fame rests principally on the present work which was practical, simple and eminently usable.

Divided into three parts that treat respectively of ‘teaching to sing’, descant, and setting and composing, it also includes whole pieces set out in ‘table format,’ i.e. a sort of version of a choir book where separate parts are laid out sideways on a double page so that the singers and players can use the volume sat around a table. Selling originally at four shillings the work was immensely popular, so much so that that perfect copies are now very rare.

“The ‘Plaine and Easie Introduction’ stands by itself. Written in dialogue form, it gives a pleasant impression of Morley’s personality and is of the greatest value for the side-lights which it throws on contemporary musical life, while for the English student of modal music it is indispensable, being still the most important English work on the subject.” Grove V p. 897.

STC 18133.  Lowndes IV 1615 ‘An ample and luminous general treatise’.  RISM p.598.  Gregory & Bartlett I 118.  Hirsch I 416.  Steele 161.


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Decorated Manuscript on Vellum.

Southern Spain, perhaps Grenada, or Portugal, c. 1600.


520 x 365 mm, 160 leaves, last numbered clxvii; I-XXI⁸ lacking 5ll. of text i.e. V₆, VI₇, IX₃, XIX₃ and XX₇ and 4 blanks: first and last and one from each of XII and XVI. Justification mostly 470 x 270 mm, in dark and light brown ink of varying quality in a very clean Spanish Rotunda, 6 staves of five lines per page in red with square and diamond shaped musical notation and text, sometimes interrupted by sections of text, most pages ruled in double blind lines, others in brown ink, from fol. 5-32 the written space is framed by double lines in black ink; original foliation visible in upper right in the second half of the codex, catchwords; rubrics in red, 90 elaborate calligraphic initials, 168 small painted initials (1-line + stave), 2 larger illuminated initials (2-line + stave). Heavy and sturdy vellum, typical for antiphonals, fleshsides and hairsides of vellum differ strongly in colour, few leaves broken in gutter, rather crude but functional repairs, a little water damage and ink bleeding, most pages are almost immaculate, some faded, minor ink erosion, occasional offprint, prickings in outer margins sometimes visible. Illumination overall in good condition. Remains of candlewax on inner side of front cover and scattered throughout the manuscript bear witness to its frequent use.

Beautiful contemporary, early 17th-century binding, calf over heavy wooden boards with delicate metal bosses and cornerpieces. Very soft spine, cracked at lower front, five raised bands, heavy headbands and thick threads in the quires, edges in red, remains of two clasps. Incipit: “Ecce nomen domini venit de longin quo et claritas..” (Isaia, 30, 27, Magnificat Antiphon at Saturday Vespers before the first Sunday of Advent) Explicit: “Crucem sanctam subiit qui infernum confregit” (Antiphon for Eastertide from Whitsunday).

This large antiphonal covers the liturgy from first Sunday of Advent to Eastertide. Its very heavy construction made it suitable for a high lectern for all members of the choir to be seen. With its very accomplished calligraphic initials and its 170 colourful painted initials it is quite lavishly decorated. Two larger initials (e.g. on fol. 30v) show an almost baroque approach to older Renaissance forms of grotesques, festoons, fruitbaskets and architectural floral elements. These two large initials open the liturgy of first Christmas day and Epiphany. The initials are painted on coloured square grounds, mostly in red and blue, with golden tendriled and spiralling decoration in liquid gold or silver. The smaller initials sometimes include charming faces of putti or masks and are in general quite playful in the arrangement of foliage that forms the letters.

There are two different types of painted initials, probably by different hands. One shows monochrome letters in almost austere, but elegant and humanistic shape on square grounds that could be either dotted or decorated with tendrils, while the other has polychrome initials formed of different kinds of leaves and foliage in 2 forms that are derived from renaissance Italian illumination. Both share the same palette for the square grounds and decoration, so we may assume that both painters worked in the same workshop. In addition to the style of the accomplished Spanish rotunda and calligraphy, the illumination points to Spain as place of origin. The more elegant initials resemble those in MS Egerton 3296 of the British Library, the Carta executonia de Hidalguia which was made for Philipp II in 1597 (cf. in particular fol. 59v). That manuscript was made in Grenada.

The contemporary binding is particularly beautiful and well preserved, which is rare. To find an antiphonal with all traces of long and continuous liturgical use in its contemporary binding is an unusual pleasure, as so many have been dismembered, and the bindings lost. The present binding with its delicate brasswork also points to Portugal or Southern Spain around 1600 or the early 17th century. Provenance: French private collection. No signs of earlier provenance distinguishable. An ornate, later, but not modern, cast iron book stand, perhaps constructed for this volume, is included in the price.


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Decorated Manuscript on Vellum.

Spain, c. 1550, later additions dated 1769.


540 x 400 mm, 169 leaves, lacks first leaf of original codex, else complete, 1(2) (front pastedown is part of the first bifolium), II2, II6, IV1-8 (lacks 1), V-XIII8, XIV2, XV-XXIII8, XXIV6+1 (stub in front of 1 originates from back pastedown, 1 attached to stub from back pastedown was part of the original manuscript, integrated into the last quire when the last six leaves were added in 1769), the first three quires were added later , i.e. the third at the same time as the last, while the first two are younger, the manuscript originally ended with the folio numbered 147.

Justification 400 x 265 mm, 445 x 265 in the added parts, in dark brown ink in a Spanish Rotunda, 5 staves of five lines in red with square musical notation and text, ruled in double blind lines; catch words, original foliation in roman numbers in red, modern arabic numbers in upper right in black ink; versals touched in yellow, rubrics in red, countless calligraphic tracery-initials with brown penwork and touched in yellow and green, alternating with puzzle-initials in red and blue with elaborate penwork in rectangular shape, penwork appears in purple, red and blue. One large illuminated initial at the beginning, one illuminated cartouche at the end. Heavy and strong vellum, typical for antiphonals, good condition, a few calligraphic initials a bit faded or flaked, vellum sometimes slightly darkened, a few edges worn or thumbed; few minor tears, trimmed at upper margin; where text and notes had faded they were rewritten (e.g. fol. 15). Calf over wooden boards with blind tooled roll stamps with floral decoration, bosses and two clasps, all in 15th-century style, c. 1900.

Incipit today (first leaf of third quire): “In festivitate Patrocinii Sti Jph/Ad Vesperas Antiphona Jacob autem …. Angelus domini apparuit Joseph dicens Joseph fili David noli timere ….” => (Matt. 1, 20) liturgy of the feast of St Joseph, written by the same hand as the last section, Incipit of core manuscript: “… illi continuo relictis retibus et navi secuti sunt” (Matt. 4, 20) Explicit of core manuscript, fol. 147: “Sancti vitalis martyris omnia fiant ut in festo sancti alberti epi:~”Incipit of added last quire: “Versikel: ad Tertiam: Constituit eum dominum domus suae …” Explicit of added last quire: “Amen.// Lo Escrivo Fray Francisco Xavier Martinez Anno de 1769”

This large antiphonal underwent interesting modification and has an interesting story. It contains the Proprium de Sanctis starting with St Joseph (19th of March) to St Vitalis/St Albertus episcopus (4th of November for Vitali, but the identity of “St Alberti” is difficult as Albert the Great was only canonized in 1931, and he was not particularly venerated in Spain, unlike St Vitalis, whose relics were transferred to Nájera). As the original manuscript continues with the text from St Matthew’s gospel, we may assume, that the younger addition of the third quire only replaced a damaged or outdated older quire with the same text. The incipit states that this Antiphonal belonged to a church or convent devoted to St Joseph, father of Jesus. Apparently it was still in use in 1769, when brother Francisco Xavier Martinez amended it. The style of the square penwork initials in the core of the manuscript as well as the calligraphic tracery, including the southern rotunda script point to Spain as place of origin. The 18th-century additions were also made by someone who was trained in Spain, as the name of the scribe suggests. The decoration of these added sections, however, is puzzling. The added pages look like they had been exposed to more humidity. Here, some of the smaller decorated initials as well as the decorative cartouche at the end and the big initial A at the beginning look influenced by extra-european indigenous art. Although the shape and design of the letters is European, though old-fashioned for the 18th century, the colours and design of the floral decoration might have been influenced by American native art. Many hypotheses could be suggested, one of them that the original manuscript was produced in Spain, taken to a missionary monastery somewhere in Southern or Central America, where it was repaired and amended by locals. The index of saints at the beginning of the codex was added later, as the headline states: “Tabla o indice nuevo de las missas que tiene esto libro”. The names of the saints, certain feastdays and liturgical sections of the mass refer to pages and words within the manuscript which are easily found with the help of the initials. The younger foliation was also added by the same scribe who added this index. The index lists names of saints that were typically venerated in Spain: SS Ildefonso, Raymundo, Beato Gonzalo, Francesco Xavier, Ygnacio, Ysidoro. Especially the saints Francesco Xavier and Ygnacio as founders of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) represent central figures of the missionary movement that started from Spain and Portugal. Francesco Xavier was beatified only in 1741 by Pope Benedict XIV. A paper stamp on “fol. 148” shows a figure of a saint with a staff in the centre, surrounded by some text, which reads “[P]ROVINC[IA] HISPANOR[omana?…] (illegible); the book may have been used both on the Spanish peninsula and in the missions abroad.

Provenance: The antiphonal was produced in Spain for a church that was dedicated to St Joseph, probably sometime in the middle of the 16th century. The index of saints, that was added after 1741 points to a couple of Spanish saints, but to no specific region. Saints that have only been canonized shortly before, have been included (Francesco de Sales in 1665, Gonzalo was beatified in 1741). It may have belonged to a Jesuit community. It could well have been used in a mission outside Europe, probably America, but returned to Spain, as the paper seal suggests. It was in use for at least 200 years.


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CAROSO, Fabritio

Il Ballarino.

Venice, Francesco Ziletti, 1581.


FIRST EDITION. 2 parts 4to. ff. [viii] 16 184 [iv]. Italic letter, occasional Roman. Ziletti’s star device on both title pages, Caroso’s engraved portrait on B4v, 22 full-page engravings (6 repeats), large woodcut initials and ornaments, musical scores. First title page slightly dusty with hole expertly filled (no loss), one corner missing (p. 78 – no loss), small marginal wormhole towards the end, a couple of very light marginal spots, small C19th armorial bookplate on pastedown. A very good, clean, unsophisticated copy in limp vellum.

First edition of this beautifully illustrated manual and one the most important works detailing late Renaissance Italian, French and Spanish courtly dance. In it, dancing master Caroso describes fifty-four steps, provides rules for style and etiquette, and illustrates specific choreographies for eighty dances fashionable at the time, most of them designed for one couple and each provided with appropriate music notated in Italian lute tablature. Divided into two ‘Trattati’, both dedicated to Bianca Cappello De’ Medici, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, the manual opens with various poems on the dedicatee and Caroso, and with his letter to the reader, in which he praises the art of the dance and says that he has been practising it for the past twenty-seven years. Next come Caroso’s finely engraved oval portrait at the age of forty-six, here in a particularly clear impression, framed by a scrollwork border containing Caroso’s arms and two half-satyr, half-angel female figures at the sides (repr. Mortimer, cit. infr.).

The first treatise comprises fifty-four rules on, i.a., bows and curtsies, fast and large steps, jumps and partner changes, how to wear cape and sword, how a graceful lady should return to her chair after the dance, etc. The second treatise explains in detail eighty dances, each dedicated to one of the most illustrious ladies of the time, including: Margarita Gonzaga d’Este, Duchess of Ferrara; Leonora d’Austria, Duchess of Mantua (repr. Mortimer, cit. infr.); Lucretia d’Este della Rovere, Duchess of Urbino; Felice Orsina Colonna, Duchess of Tagliacozzo and Paliano and Vice-Queen of Sicily. The fine engravings by Giacomo Franco show the correct position of the body and limbs at different stages in the measure, the manner of holding hands (repr. Mortimer, cit. infr.), and how to make a reverence. They are full-length representations of ladies and gentlemen wearing costumes of the period rendered in great detail.

The book ends with an index of the rules and of the dances. Marco Fabritio Caroso da Sermoneta lived in the second half of the C16th and died in 1605. Giacomo Franco (1556-1620) was a relative of the famous Giovanni Franco and a pupil of Agostino Carracci. Such copies as now appear in the market are generally throughly cleaned, resized etc. It is rare to find one, as here, in its original state.

BM STC p. 151. Adams C 755. Brunet I p. 1594 ‘Livre rare et recherché’. Graesse II p. 53. Fontanini II p. 461. Gamba 1294. Mortimer-Harvard It. C16th 106. Lipperheide II 3055.


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GARISENDI, Antenore or VIZANI Pompeo


Torneo fatto sotto il Castello d’Argio Da’ SS Cavalieri Bolognesi il di IX. Febraio 1578.

Bologna, Giovanni Rossi, 1578.


FIRST EDITION. 4to. pp. 112. Roman and Italic letter within printed line border, title with woodcut ornaments, woodcut historiated initials, discreet restoration at blank upper margin of title and gutter of last leaf, very light age yellowing in places. A very good copy in eighteenth century rose and gilt embossed paper boards, later eps.

Rare first edition of this fascinating description of a chivalric ‘tournament’ held in Bologna for the carnival of 1578, containing descriptions of the various scenes enacted for the occasion, including the names of the participants and details of the poems and songs recited. It is a blow by blow account with speeches, poems and songs reported verbatim. The local participants are identified by the stylised names of chivalric romance, ‘gli Cavalieri Ardenti, Fideli, placito’ and the rest by place of origin such as “Cavaliero di Scotia, Cavalieri Portoghesi”.

The ‘Knight of Scotland’ speech is of particular interest as he may be identified with the semi-mythical James Crichton better known as “The Admirable Crichton” who arrived in Italy at around this time having served in the French army. In his speech the ‘Scottish Knight’ makes many references to Merlin and to the ‘Great Queen of Scotland’ and his adventures and travels in France. The show was staged in the Piazza delle Scuole (now the Piazza Galvani) on a gigantic platform, which was built up above the heads of the surrounding onlookers.

This was the second and last tournament organized by the Accademia della Viola, initially founded in 1561 as the Academy dei Desti, by Ettore Ghisileri, Legnani Vincent and others, with the intention of reviving the ancient traditions of the knightly orders of Europe. The present account was compiled by Pompeo Vizani (1540-1607), also a member of the Academy of Viola, who signed the work under the pseudonym Antenor Garisendi. Vizani, a descendant of an important aristocratic Bolognese family, also helped organize the spectacle. At the end of the volume he recalls, not without some pride, that “questi signori Cavalieri per motivo proprio, et senza altra occasione, che del Carnovale, fanno quello, che a’ pena fanno altre Citta’ a’ contemplazione, et con l’aiuto de’ loro Principi, et con grandissime occasioni”.

A most interesting insight, and first hand account, of popular chivalric entertainment in late Renaissance Italy. This first edition is rare with few copies in libraries outside Italy. We were able to locate only three copies in the US.

Not in BM STC It. C16th or Adams Graesse or Brunet. Edit 16, CNC 20438. Cicognara. 1387.


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FAIRBURN’s Collection of Songs

The Harmonist’s Preceptor, or Universal Vocalist.

London, J. Fairburn, c. 1830.


12mo. (18 x 10.5 cm), pp. 318. Unpaginated and without signatures. Engraved title page and frontispiece with hand-coloured illustrations. 8 additional, uncoloured woodcuts on the following four leaves, by Cruikshank. Later, light blue boards. Light stain to a few pages, a good copy.

Chapbook of popular songs, rarely found complete.


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Manuscript Vellum Leaf from an Antiphonal.

Italy, c. 1420.


Large folio (c.  45 x 32 cm), seven lines of text and musical notation in neumes in red and black on both sides, recto with a large ornamented initial in red and blue, and two smaller initials (one in red, the other in blue) red markers, later pagination in upper right-hand corner, minimal surface wear and very light spotting in places only; a decorative and well-preserved leaf, mounted, both sides displayable.

The initial opens the text to be sung at Michaelmas (September 29) ‘In tempore illo consurget Michael,’ which is  based on chapter 12 of the Book of  Daniel, where the Archangel, patron Saint (in the Western Church) of sick people, mariners, and grocers is described as ‘the great prince who standeth for the children of Thy people.’ The large format and letters enabled the assembled clergy ‘to sing from one sheet.’


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Beginning of 16th century.


(71x67mm.) THE CHRIST CHILD sitting on the grass and HOLDING A GLOBE against a short brown wall, beyond the wall a far landscape with high mountains and clouds, WITHIN AN orange INITIAL K with staves of acanthus leaves and jewels, highlighted in white, on a light pink ground of scattered flowers outlined in black. On the right trace of a four-line stave ruled in red.

(71x57mm.) A BOY CLUBBING A DOG in a mountainous landscape WITHIN AN INITIAL I of pale pink and blue acanthus leaves including a grotesque face, on a ground of liquid gold. On the left trace of a four-line stave in red and text.

(71x66mm.) AN ASCENDING SOUL helped by an angel ABOVE A LONG-HORNED STAG SWIMMING, in a large landscape, WITHIN AN INITIAL S of green, mauve, and orange acanthus staves, touched in white, on a yellow ground.

(75x71mm.) A MAN FROM BEHIND KNEELING IN PRAYER TO CHRIST, seated on a rainbow amongst the clouds of the sky (as at the Last Judgement), in a deep landscape, WITHIN AN INITIAL R with acanthus blue staves highlighted in white, on a green ground adorned with acanthus leaves and outlined in black. On the right fragment of a red four-line stave.

(67x68mm.) A MAN KNEELING BEFORE A PRIEST ADMINISTERING COMMUNION, on the back an altar with two women, jointing their hands in prayer and watching the scene, and an altarpiece of the Crucifixion, WITHIN AN INITIAL Q with blue acanthus leaves highlighted in white and adorned with pearls, on a green ground patterned with curling hairline tendrils and outlined by a double black fillet. On the right faint trace of a red four-line stave.

Framed all together; on the reverses remains of text and 4-line red staves; slight rubbing in a couple of places, else in very good condition.

According to the textual and musical fragments on the reverse of a couple of our cuttings, the five capitals come from a Gradual. Indeed, the K probably opened the Kyrie eleison (since there are remains of the Gloria on the reverse of the letter); the Q marked the Communion for Corpus Christi. The iconography also contributes to the identification.

The sophisticate acanthus staves are typical of early sixteenth century German initials in both illuminated and printed books. The illuminator of our initials, however, was aware of the rules and the power of the Renaissance painting, known in Germany trough the masterpieces of Dürer, Cranach and Altdorfer. The atmospheric landscapes characterized by distant silverblue shapes of mountains, the effect of the movement in the water, the smooth brush, the attention paid to details such as the subtle termination of the stave curled around Christ’s tiny foot or the costumes in the Communion scene (the woman’s one indicating a date around 1520) make this artist and accomplished painter of the early Renaissance.

The Gradual from which our initials came seems to have been lavishly adorned with historiated initials, not just for the introits. This rich project was exceptional and certainly reserved for very important books.

PROVENANCE: W.M. Voelkle and R.S. Wieck, The Bernard Breslauer Collection of Manuscript Illuminations, Cat. of the exhibition, New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, 9 December 1992 – 4 April 1993, New York 1992, nos. 50-54.


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Illuminated Manuscript in Latin on a leaf from an Antiphonal.

Central Italy, mid-14th century.


Folio (475 x 340 mm). On recto seven four-line staves in red, music in square notation alternating with seven line text in brown ink in a gothic bookhand; a couple of initials with pen-work flourishing, in red with blue, in blue with red; numbered 291 on upper margin. INITIAL I (body: 145 x 25 mm) composed wholly of a human figure with hat, dressed in light blue and red, on a blue background with white tracery; leafy extensions in light pink and blue developing from the hat and the feet into the inner and upper margins. On verso seven four-line staves in red, music in square notation alternating with seven line text written in brown ink in a gothic bookhand; red pen-work initial with blue flourishing. Slightly worn in the lower part with loss of a few letters, otherwise good.

TWO VERY APPEALING LEAVES FROM A MID-14TH CENTURY ANTIPHONAL DECORATED BY A CENTRAL ITALIAN ARTIST. The initial I opens the response ‘In montem Oliveti oravi ad patrem pater si fieri potest’ on Holy Thursday. According to the Catholic liturgical year, these two leaves marked, in the same Antiphonal, the beginning and the end of Lent (from Ash Wednesday to Holy Thursday).

Two early attractive, unsophisticated leaves; the characteristic foliate extensions, the palette of delicate colours and the style indicate a Central Italian origin (possibly Tuscany), from the mid-14th century.


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