Title: Breviary, Manuscript on Paper, 15th to 16th Century, France
Author: Joannes Courtois; Anonymous
Condition: Very Good
An intriguing manuscript breviary, written in Latin, likely produced in France, with sections roughly dating from the end of the 15th century to the end of the 16th century, written in three different hands from three time periods. The sections do not appear to be bound in order of age, with the oldest script being placed in the middle.
The first hand is written in an unusual script for the late 16th century, some initials being reminiscent of earlier styles. There are numerous blank spaces for large initials, 9 of them having perforated initials. It was possible that there were glued on initials copied by pricking, which were later removed, or they could have just been manuscript initials that were pricked. To the verso of the last leaf of the first script is a colophon, indicating the date and location of writ, as well as the scribe or writer himself: Courtois, Apud Cornaceses. 1599 6 calendas Augusti. Joannes Courtois. This is the only script in the manuscript with a clear note of authorship or date of writ, with the other two being largely anonymous, likely due to missing leaves. The second hand is written in a gothic script, dating from the late 15th century. There are various chants, prayers, and readings for feasts throughout the year, with texts and lyrics corresponding with the Divine Office. There is no calendar present.
The third hand appears to date from the late 16th century, and is lacking leaves at the beginning, with the first noted section being the Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, then the Office of the Dead, followed by a collection of various psalms.
There is a double ex-libris, one for a Franklin H. Chase, and one L. Froissart. There is also a catalog notice posted on the front flyleaf, along with another catalog notice found inside. Both have erroneously concluded the first section to be dated 1499.
The text of all three scripts is written in black and red ink, with many capital letters highlighted in yellow to the first two sections. There are gaps in the text, with leaves evidently lacking at the beginning of the first script, the end of the second script, and leaves lacking to the beginning of the third script.
One manuscript in 32mo (11.5 x 8.5 cm), 76, 84, 78 leaves
On note of condition, this manuscript is in very good shape, with some rippling and old stains to the vellum binding, which is loose to the spine. The text block is partially detached at the rear. Some of the red script has rubbed in the second section, as has the yellow highlighting to a lesser extent. There is minor staining to some of the leaves, heavier to the first and last few leaves. The last leaf is torn, and there are an unknown number of leaves lacking from each section.