1440-50 Choirbook Leaf - Exceptional illumination


Original manuscript leaf from an important manuscript Choirbook. This beautiful four-line stave musical sheet is on animal parchment, written in liturgical gothic script. Interlinear musical notation is in black on a red four-line stave.  (580x410mm 22 ½ x 15 ¾’’)                                     

The elaborate illuminated initial is in pink, and white, extending with leaves in green, blue and white with an inner frame of yellow and white, with an inner beautiful floral design in red, blue, green, pink, white and burnished gold on a blue ground with delicate white penwork, and resting on a burnished gold ground. The flamboyant border contains acanthus leaves and flowers in red, pink, blue, green, brushed gold and burnished gold.             

From a Gradual of the Benedictine Monastery of Santa Giustina of Padua, 1440-50.

A series of richly decorated choirbooks was made for S. Giustina in Padua in the early to mid 15th century. There are now four in the Biblioteche Capitolare in Padua.

The large illuminated “D” begins Psalm 44 (King James 45) 8: “Dilexisti iustitiam…” (Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity…). Recto reads “Alleluia…” (Alleluia, Praise becometh the upright, alleluia)

This leaf was formerly in the collection of C.W. Dyson-Perrins (noted English collector of the late 19th & early 20th centuries).

As is usual with Medieval and Renaissance parchment, the hair side of the leaf is darker than the flesh side, but may take ink somewhat better.  The differences in tone caused scribes to arrange their quires so that the hair side of one sheet faced the hair side of the next, and the flesh side faced the flesh side.

Shipped unmatted

  • Inventory Number: IM-12727