(Central Italy [perhaps Rome], mid-12th century). 411 x 259 mm. (16 1/4 x 10 1/4"). Double column, 47 lines of text in a transitional Caroline minuscule.
With majuscule rubrics in red and WITH A HANDSOME SEVEN-LINE WHITE VINE INITIAL in red, blue, green, and yellow. Testamenta written across top left column of recto in a 16th century hand, note at bottom of verso indicating that this leaf was used as a wrapper for a collection of documents dated from 15 May 1570 to 18 February 1572. Recto a little yellowed, a couple of horizontal creases and a series of needle holes from spine stitching, half a dozen small patches of faded text, but still in surprisingly good condition for a binding wrapper, the verso quite clean, the margins ample, the text almost entirely legible, and the lovely white vine initial well preserved.
The fine "M" beginning the passage from John here is the type that became the models for humanistic white vine initials in the 15th century in the mistaken belief that the manuscripts in which they were found were of late classical date. The leaf has suffered some from recycling, but it retains much of the grand feeling of the original. (ST12778-0084)
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PJP Catalog: 70.058