Illuminated leaf from a manuscript missal


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Illuminated leaf from a manuscript missal
Illuminated leaf from a manuscript missal


ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT. Illuminated leaf from a manuscript missal. Beauvais, France, circa 1285. Single vellum leaf, measuring 7-1/2 by 11 inches, scribed in black, orange, red, white, and blue inks. Handsomely matted and window framed, entire piece measures 14 by 16-1/2 inches.

Lovely, richly illuminated leaf from a 13th-century French missal, with the Latin text and musical notation for a Gregorian chant, featuring two beautiful, large, illuminated capital initials in blue, orange, and gilt that have been transformed into fanciful winged and tailed animals through the use of descenders.

This lovely illuminated vellum leaf is from a large French missal (a volume containing all of the text and musical notation for all that is sung at mass for the entire year) written in Latin. This particular missal was an incomplete volume—one of three—given to a church in Beauvais, France, by one of its canons, Robert de Hangest. The leaf features two large capital initials beautifully rendered in gold, blue, orange, and white, with burnished gold dots. The initials have been turned into fantastical beasts with wings and spiked tails through the use of descenders, while other descenders bear flowers at their ends. The musical notation is in black on red staves, while the text is in both red and black. The verso contains similar text and music, with one of the elaborate initials.

An exceptional leaf in very nearly fine condition, beautifully framed.

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