(Italy: late 15th century). 288 x 215 mm. (11 1/4 x 8 1/2). Double column, 37 lines in a fine humanist hand.
Matted. Paragraph marks in blue and red, one three-line initial in red. Gwara, Handlist no. 40. A hint of soiling in lower margin of verso, but A VERY FINE SPECIMEN, the leaf extremely clean and bright, and the margins ample.
The humanist script exhibited here is based on the earlier Caroline minuscule that dominated Western Europe between approximately 800 and 1150. Both styles are highly legible and quite elegant in their simplicity, being characterized by neat lettering and generous spacing between letter forms. The present manuscript leaf, eschewing any superfluous decoration that might distract from the text, puts the focus entirely on the beauty of the scribal hand. Examples of humanist script--in any state, let alone the fine condition seen here--are highly sought after and not easy to acquire. This leaf comes from a manuscript that was dismembered by biblioclast Otto Ege; other leaves from the same manuscript also appeared in his "Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts." Ege's specimen label for these leaves noted that "It is most unusual to find the writings of a Church Father presented in a humanistic book hand. (ST16379-150)
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PJP Catalog: 78.032