(Germany: First half of 12th century). 300 x 208 mm. (11 3/4 x 8 1/8"). Single column, 27 lines with interlineal musical notation, in a lovely proto-gothic hand.
Rubrics in red, both leaves with several two-line initials in red, one leaf with a very pretty foliate initial in red, measuring slightly larger than four lines, its tail extending into the margin. With marginal notations in a later (probably 15th century) hand, and one leaf with a few words in a different (17th century?) hand. Recovered from a binding and thus the vellum somewhat browned and wrinkled, red ink (including the large initial) variably faded or darkened in places, some mild staining in vertical margins, but the leaves generally quite well preserved, with none of the obscuring stains that glue typically leaves behind, and featuring an entirely legible attractive scribal hand.
In an attractive hand that carries over many conventions of Caroline minuscule, these leaves also contain an early form of staveless musical notation. Although the script here has begun to take on a slightly slanted appearance and certain letter forms of the proto-gothic, it still exhibits the exclusive use of the long "s" and "et" symbols, adopts few ligatures and abbreviations, and resists entirely the fusion of double letters, making it both an interesting transitional script and extremely pleasant to read. The interlineal musical notes situated above the text "in campo aperto" (which literally means "in an open field") are diastematic neumes, meaning that they reflect changes in pitch by being placed in a higher or lower vertical position above the text (though without horizontal lines that were added later and that evolved into the modern staff notation). Our leaves contain text from the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation. Believed to have been written by the Apostle John while he was imprisoned on the island of Patmos, these chapters describe the apocalyptic visions revealed to the saint along with instructions to write to the Seven Churches of Asia, describing all that he saw. The large "A" that opens this section is a fine example of Romanesque vine-stem work. With various points of interest to engage the viewer, these leaves would be appropriate for many different collections, but they would perhaps make especially good additions to a teaching library. (ST15921b)
2,000 for the leaf with simple red initials and $2,500 for the leaf with the Romanesque initial
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