(Italy, perhaps Lombardy, ca. 1100). 432 x 305 mm. (17 x 12"). Double column, 42 lines in a pleasing attenuated Caroline minuscule.

Ruled in dry point. Faint later (15th or 16th century?) computations in several places on the recto as well as one in the margin on the verso. Formerly a structural element in a binding and consequently a bit browned, recto with light glue stains affecting much of the text (10 or 12 lines obliterated, and many words difficult to read), edges a little ragged, but still an excellent specimen despite these defects, the leaf with ample margins (so nothing lost to trimming), and with the verso quite clear and legible.

From a very stately volume on the lives of the saints, this leaf recounts the life of Saint Cyprian (d. 258), a bishop of Carthage martyred under the persecutions of the Roman emperor Valerian. This leaf's drypoint (or hard point) ruling, done with a stylus or knife, suggests that our text was written out before or around 1100, as lead point (or plummet) generally came into use in the 11th and especially the 12th century. The hand is distinctive for the unusual majuscule "Q," which is elevated noticeably from all the other letters in the text, allowing for a notably graceful, angular descent.