Original illuminated antiphonal leaf on animal parchment. Outside dimensions 16.75 x 11.75 inches (420 x 300 mm)
From an exceptionally beautiful illuminated antiphonal with eleven lines of manuscript plainchant text and music on both sides. The Latin text is skillfully written in textura rotunda with initial letters in red and blue, while the hufnagelschrift musical notation is executed on four-line staves.
Low Countries (Belgium or Netherlands) circa 1500-1520.
Recto is highly illuminated with a four panel border in accomplished Ghent-Bruges style completely enclosing the text and music. The naturalistic border includes a bird, snail and insect perched among the floral strewn border. The Blessed Virgin Mary standing on a crescent moon is attended by a host of four angels under the watchful gaze of the Holy Trinity in a large 3 1/8 inch square historiated initial “C” that begins the Hymn celebrating the Assumption of Mary “Congaudent angelorum…” (In common celebration Angels joy in Mary glorified, who without relation Of mortal man, her Son supplied, who restores creation By His body’s healing tide…)
This leaf is attributed to the Masters of the Suffrages, named after a series of miniatures of the suffrages to the saints in a Book of Hours in the Vienna National Library (reference Roger Wieck, article in Dutch Art: An Encyclopedia). A sister leaf from the parent antiphonal was on exhibition at Maruzen Nihonbashi, Tokyo in 1998.
This is a lovely leaf of extremely high quality, mastefully accomplished. In very fine condition with almost no devotional wear and minor rippling. Remnants of earlier mounting are barely discernable in the upper blank edge on verso.