(France: 12th century). 76 x 160 mm. (3 x 6 1/4"). Text in two sizes, written in a lovely gothic book hand.

Rubrics and four-line staves in red, large initials in red or blue with contrasting penwork. Formerly used as binding scrap and thus with some expected staining, residue from binding glue, a few scuffs, and related faults, but the text and music almost entirely legible, and on the whole still a very good specimen with a pleasing hand.

In addition to its memorable appearance highlighting its use as a recyclable, this fragment features quite a lovely 12th century gothic hand and several lines of music with very little fading. The distinctive saw-tooth shape of this fragment indicates that it was once used as lining for a spine with raised bands. Parchment was still a valuable commodity in the age of the printed book, and binders of the 15th-17th centuries in particular made frequent use of vellum manuscript leaves from codices that were deemed old or outdated. Larger leaves could be used to cover entire books, whereas smaller items, like the present example, could be used as pastedowns or, when cut in different ways, as structural support to bindings.