Missal: opening of the Canon of the Mass, in Latin, decorated manuscript on vellum; Germany, late fifteenth or early sixteenth century
Two large leaves, with single column of 16 lines in the most formal late gothic bookhand red rubrics, capitals touched in red, three 2-line initials in red or blue, one large initial ‘T’ (opening “Te igitur …”) in scalloped red and blue sections in blue and red with outlines left in blank parchment, this encased in ornate red, blue and pale purple penwork picking out foliage, two small natural flaws in last leaf, upright margin of second leaf trimmed away, else excellent condition, 320 x 220mm.; in cloth-covered card binding.
Schøyen Collection, London and Oslo, their MS 1595, acquired Quaritch, London, in July 1992.
The hand here represents the last and most formal phase of late medieval bookhands, with angular and bold letters, finished with decorative wedges added at their heads and feet and hairline decorative strokes to the extremities of the letters, all executed in a grand format. These same features would provide the models for the type of the earliest printed books.