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    Single Leaf from the Llangattock Breviary

    [Illuminated Manuscript Leaf on Vellum]. Single leaf from the Llangattock Breviary. [Ferrara: ca. 1441-1448].
    Quarto (10.6875 x 7.875 inches; 271 x 199 mm.). Written in dark brown and red ink in an Italian gothic hand. Double columns, thirty lines, ruled in hard and silver point (justification: 6.375 x 5 inches; 163 x 127 mm.). Four full-length illuminated bar borders of highly burnished gold and blue or pink with central plant knots and elaborate terminal and/or marginal sprays of foliage and flowers in blue, brown, green, orange, pink, and red and burnished gold bezants on scrolling penwork stems and tendrils. Two two-line initials in highly burnished gold, one on a blue ground, one on a pink ground, with white tracery. Forty-six one-line versal initials in alternating burnished gold with blue penwork and blue with red penwork.

    This exquisite leaf is from the Llangattock Breviary, which was brought to Wales in the early nineteenth century by the Rolls family, later the Barons Llangattock, The Hendre, Monmouth, and sold in their sale, Christie's, 8 December 1958, Lot 190. The manuscript was purchased by Goodspeed's of Boston and dismantled in 1959. The largest portion (the first gathering of ten leaves) was purchased by Philip Hofer and later given to Harvard (Houghton Library, MS. Typ. 301; see Roger Wieck, Late Medieval and Renaissance Illuminated Manuscripts (1983), p. 130 and fig. 74).

    The manuscript is now known to be the Breviary of Leonello d'Este, Duke of Ferrara 1441-1450, recorded in the Este accounts as having been illuminated between 1441 and 1448 by Giorgio d'Alemagna, Bartolomeo Beninca, Guglielmo Giraldi, Magnanino, and Matteo de' Pasti.

    This leaf is accompanied by the original invoice from Goodspeed's Book Shop, dated 4/27/59, the original shipping label and portion of envelope postmarked "APR 28 '59," and an Autograph Manuscript Note (bookseller's description) from "Goodspeeds, Old & Rare Books," dated May 4, 1959, written in blue ink, on The Lincoln Library, Shippensburg, Pa. letterhead, with a note that it appeared in "Cat April 1959, Item #1."

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
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