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 4 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. A griffin is painted into one of the centre extensions facing the initial ‘O’. On the reverse side of the leaf there is a very large, thick extension painted in dark pink and blue with a lion’s head painted on the top. Another dragon-type creature sits atop another extension facing the ‘E’ initial of ‘Ecce sacerdos…’ being fed by another dragon.
292mm x 203mm
The text includes:
Ecce sacerdos magnus, qui in diebus suis, placuit Deo, [behold the great priest who in his days pleased God] , an antiphon and responsory in the Liturgy of the Hours.
Sacerdotes dei benedicite Dominum sancti et humiles corde laudate Deum [Priests of God, bless the holy Lord, and the humble of heart praise God]
- 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.