Parchment, a cutting, c.185×160mm, the reverse preserving part of five lines of text in Gothic script and music in square notation on four-line red staves, the text and music mostly erased from the side with the illuminated initial.
Provenance and Sister Cuttings
(1) Leo Olschki, of Florence, bookseller and publisher, with his stock number 27755 inscribed in pencil on the reverse; apparently owned c.1913: two further cuttings, with initials B and D containing very similar winged human-head hybrid creatures, are at the Lilly Library, Bloomington, Indiana, MS Ricketts F9; they are inscribed in pencil on the reverse with the numbers 27752 and 27753 and From Olskie [sic], while he was in England 1913 . Another cutting from the same manuscript was MS 1189 in the collection of Neil F. Phillips, Q.C (1924 1997), of Montreal, New York and Virginia, and was exhibited at the Katonah Museum of Art, New York (J.B. Benton, ed., Medieval Monsters: Dragons and Fantastic Creatures (1995), pp. 24 25 and fig. 67), and subsequently Sotheby s, 2 December 1997, lot 64 and Christie s, 11 December 2019, lot 204.
(2) Les Enluminures, Paris and Chicago, 2015.
Text The illuminated initial A doubtless opens the text for Resurrection Sunday, Angelus domini locutus (in which the angel of the Lord spoke to the women who arrived at Jesus s tomb to find it empty), as can be determined by its continuation on the verso: [Jesu]m queritis iam sur[rexit Venite et videte alleluia] alleluia. An[gelus domi]ni loquutus est [mulieribus dicen]s quem queritis an [Ihesum queriti]s. Iam surrexit venite [et videte] .
Illumination The three-part hybrid creature that occupies the initial conforms to standard medieval conceptions of hierarchy: the upper part is human, the middle part is animal, and the lower part is vegetation. We are grateful to François Avril who observes that the style is that of the late 13th and early 14th-century Parisian illuminator known as Papeleu Master, after Jean Papeleu, copyist of a Bible completed in 1317 (Paris, Bibliothèque de l Arsenal, ms. 5059), and who probably also contributed to a Somme le roi (Paris, Bibliothèque Mazarine, ms. 870) written in 1295. He may perhaps be identified as Richard of Verdun, son-in-law and associate of the leading Parisian illuminator of the later 13th century, Maître Honoré. The artist and his works are discussed, by Richard and Mary Rouse, Manuscripts and their Makers: Commercial Book Producers in Medieval Paris 1200 1500 (London, 2000), I, pp. 145 54; II, pp. 126 27, and Alison Stones, Gothic Manuscripts 1260 1320, Part One (2 vols, Turnhout, 2013), I, pp. 57 58 (list of attributions) and II, cat. nos. I-29 30 and I-62.