(Italy, first half of the 12th century). 298 x 190 mm. (11 3/4 x 7 1/2"). Single column, 14 lines of text in a slender, rounded late Caroline minuscule.

Rubrics in red, several large black capitals touched with red, and a total of 28 lines of Beneventan neumes, each line of neumes above a line of text, and each arranged around a red horizontal line (marked "f" in the left margin), the "f" line with a scored line above and below it, WITH A VERY FINE LARGE (45 x 60 mm) STRAPWORK "V" ("Vidi Dominum sedentem") drawn in black on a red and yellow ground. Recovered from a binding and consequently with edges of each side a bit darkened from glue, some minor blurring and fading (perhaps six words rendered difficult to read), general soiling, but still very attractive and in quite presentable condition, the fine initial extremely well preserved.

This leaf contains a variety of Antiphons, Responsories, Verses, and portions of Psalms, with texts for the feasts of All Saints. The initial here is both quite attractive and historically significant. When Italian humanists of the early 15th century looked for the oldest manuscripts they could find to serve as models for their revived classical style, they found romanesque plant initials like the present one and identified them as the products of late antiquity. From these, the humanist scribes developed the derivative form known as the Renaissance white vine style.
(ST10426b)

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PJP Catalog: 70.055

WITH A. FINE STRAPWORK INITIAL AN EARLY VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAF WITH NEUMES, FROM AN ANTIPHONER IN LATIN.