A leaf from the Beauvais Missal, illuminated on vellum. [Northern France, perhaps Beauvais or Amiens, late 13th or early 14th century, c. 1310]
Single leaf in double columns comprising both text and musical staves. Text in a fine gothic hand presented in two sizes, the smaller used within the 4 line red musical staves. Some red rubricated words.
Both sides of the leaf heavily illuminated with 12 historiated initials dropping 2 or 3 lines in blue or dark pink with white penwork on coloured grounds with gold illumination within each initial. The initials lead to a long foliate extension along the whole length of the text and into the lower and upper margins. Seated on one initial is a hare looking heavenwards; other initials have floriated decorations in or on ending in a pointed arrow.
There is a very small flaw in the vellum which just touches one of the initials.
292mm x 203mm
The text includes: Credo in unum deum [I believe in one God]
The prayer after Mass: DEUS, qui tribus pueris mitigasti flammas ignium: concede propitius, ut nos famulos tuos non exurat flamma vitiorum.[O GOD, who didst allay the flames of fire for the three children, grant in Thy mercy that the flame of vice may not consume us, Thy servants.]
- Robert de Hangest, canon of Beauvais Cathedral, his gift to the Cathedral in 1356. The Missal remained intact until at least the C17th.
- Didier Petit de Meurville (1793-1873) of Lyons ; his sale 1843, Lot 354.
- Henri-Auguste Brolemann (1775-1854) of Lyon, by descent to his great grand-daughter, Blanche Bontoux (1859-1955) also known as Madame Etienne Mallet.
- Sotheby’s London, May 4, 1926, Lot 161, purchased by William Permain for:
- William Randoph Hearst (1863-1951). Sold by Gimbel Bros New York in 1942 to:
- Philip C. Duschnes (1897-1970) who probably broke up the volume and sold a number of leaves to:
- Otto Ege (1888-1951) of Cleveland.