Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Breviary of the highest quality. 30 lines of ruled text in double columns, written in Latin with dark brown and red ink in fine gothic rotunda script on animal vellum. (272x200mm – 10 ¾ x 7 7/8’’)
Seven two-line illuminated initials in burnished gold on blue or pink ground with delicate white tracery; eleven one-line initials alternating in blue with red pen-work, and burnished gold with blue penwork. Three burnished gold and blue/pink bars extend the length of the leaf, terminating in a sprays of flowers, fronds, and foliage in green, pink, red, blue, white and gold; Marginal panel (verso) extends along text, consisting of similar ornamentation. (For sister leaves see Weick, Late Medieval…Manuscripts, 1983 and Rendell, The Medieval World, 141 & 142).
Italy, Ferrara c. 1441-1448.
This leaf comes from what was once called the Llangattock Breviary after Baron Llangattock of the Hendre, Monmouth. The manuscript was purchased in 1958 and dismantled by Goodspeed’s of Boston. Philip Hofer purchased the largest portion – the first gathering with 10 leaves. The manuscript is now known to be The Breviary of Leonello d’Este, Duke of Ferrara. According to estate records it was illuminated between 1441 and 1448 by Giorgio d”Alemagna, Guglielmo Giraldi, Magnanimo, Matteo de Pasti and Bartolomeo Beninca.
The two-line illuminated ''S'' begins a lesson for the Fourth Sunday in Advent: ''Sed quia iam...'' (We also have sinned, we have fallen into wicked habits...).