Digital Commonwealth

Single leaf from a 15th-century gradual : in Latin

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Item Information

Single leaf from a 15th-century gradual : in Latin
Former owner:
Ball, John Henry
Former owner:
Ball, John Brayfield
Former owner:
Lucas, Sydney Edward
Catholic Church
Manuscripts, Latin (Medieval and modern)
Antiphonaries (Service books)
Boston Public Library
Rare Books Department
Collection (local):
Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts (Collection of Distinction)
1 leaf : parchment, ill. ; 550 x 382 (365 x 270) mm.
Terms of Use:
No known copyright restrictions.
No known restrictions on use.
Notes (ownership):
Provenance: Round pink label reading "Ball Collection 33" in upper right recto.
Notes (acquisition):
Purchased by the BPL from Maggs in 1961.
Notes (citation):
For published descriptions, see: Sacred/Secular exhibition, no. 15; Einhorn, J. Spiritalis Unicornis (Munich, 1976), see esp. pp. 212-215, 359-375 and figs. 110-120.
Ms. leaf.
Title devised by cataloger.
Origin: Written in South Germany or Switzerland in the late fifteenth century. Two other leaves from the same manuscript are MS pb Med. 205 and MS pb Med. 207.
In Latin.
Notes (object):
Collation: Parchment leaf. Folio number "3" written in upper right corner of recto in black ink, also in center of upper margin.
Layout: One column, five staves. Bounding and writing lines in light plummet. Square notation on a four-line red staff, C and G lines noted.
Script: Written in a rounded Gothic bookhand in black ink with red rubrics.
Decoration 1: On recto, two-staff-high floriate initial [A] in colors on gold background, for "Aspiciens a longe," the first Responsory of the First Sunday of Advent, historiated with the Holy Hunt; the Virgin sits in an enclosed garden, a small unicorn on her lap. At the left, the Angel Gabriel, as the Huntsman, holds a spear and three leashed hounds with his left hand and brings a trumpet to his lips with his right. In the garden, Old Testament objects with metaphorical and prefiguratorial significance, identified with banderoles, clockwise from upper left as follows: "Virga aaron" (rod of Aaron, Numbers 17:6), "Rubus moysi" (burning bush, Exodus 3:2), "Porta ezechielis" (the closed door of the Temple, Ezechiel 44:1-3), "Urna aurea" (golden jar that held the manna, Hebrews 9:4), "Vellus gideonis" (the fleece by which Gideon was tested, Judges 6:36-40), "Ortus conclusus" (the enclosed garden, Song of Songs 4:12), and "Fons signatus" (the sealed fountain, Song of Songs 4:12).
Decoration 2: Scrolling vines and flowers in upper and lower margins in colors, enclosing busts of Old Testament figures, each with a banderole of an Old Testament quote said to foretell the coming of Jesus, some periphrastic. Upper margin, left to right: Jeremiah: "Mortum faciet dominus super terram" (sic. Jer. 2:6); Baalam: "Orietur stella ex Jacob" (Numbers 24:18). Lower margin, left to right: Zechariah: "Ecce rex tuus veniet tibi. Capitulo 9am" (Zechariah 9:9); Isaiah: "Ecce virgo concipiet et pariet filius" (Isaiah 7:14); David: "De fructu ventris tui ponam super sedem" (Psalm 131:11); Micah: "Tu Bethleem terra iuda ex te mihi exiet dominum" (sic. Mic. 5:2); Malachi: "Statim veniet ad templum sacram suum dominator" (Mal. 3:1).
Binding: Tipped into custom matte.
Table of Contents:
1. ... veniet et salvabit ... / R. Aspiciens a longe ecce video ... / ... Ite obviam ei et dicite ...
Call #:
RARE BKS MS pb Med. 206