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2. MS. PB. MED. 237Boston Public Library MedivalManuscript CollectionJordan S. Sly - Lis 531t
3. Physical Description
4. 125mm
5. 1 leaf
(2 pages)
in Latin
6. 1 leaf
(2 pages)
in French
7. Illuminated Initials
8. Because this is a rather small manuscript, it supports the hypothesis that this was a Book of Hours due to their often small size. An example of the small size of some Books of Hours is those bound with a girdle binding. These books were meant to be worn on ones belt, dangling like a pouch. Because of this use, it would be impossible for the book to be much larger than approximately the size of a modern index card.
9. Along the gutters of both leaves, binding marks are visible. There are four distinct cuts where the manuscript appears to be sewn to the cords.
10. One of the initials is smeared
11. MS. Pb. Med. 237: Leaves from a Book of Hours
1 leaf (2 pages) in Latin 1 leaf (2 pages) in French
Vellum or Parchment
Illuminated Initials
125mm X 85mm
Provenance: Purchased from Philadelphia PB with Benton FD
12. Origin
S.XV med S.XV 2
13. Comparison with contemporaneous French manuscripts
14. MS. PB. MED. 237 c.1440
The Legend of St. George. Bedford Breviary
BibliothequeNationale, MS. Lat. 17294 f. 447 v.
c. 1424-1435
The Visitation Heures de Rome, c. 1450,
BibliothequeNationale, MS. Rothschild 2530, f. 45
15. The Visitation Heures de Rome,
c. 1450,
BibliothequeNationale, MS.
Rothschild 2530, f. 45
The Legend of St. George.
Bedford Breviary
MS. Lat. 17294 f. 447 v.
c. 1424-1435
MS. PB. MED. 237 c.1440
16. The purpose in comparing the manuscripts MS. PB. MED. 237 and the Legend of St. George is not to propose that they were created by the same scribe or illuminator, nor is the purpose to argue that they are related in any way. The purpose is simply to illustrate a stylistic similarity that proves further evidence that this manuscript was most likely created in France or a French speaking region, for French (or for a French speaking persons) use. While there are still many possibilities of the origin (created in a different area for use within France for instance), the probability is that this Book of Hours was created in France in order to be used by a literate, or semi-literate member of the nobility of the fifteenth-century.
It is too difficult to make many more assumptions about these leaves because they are stand-alone sheets. While the fact that they are only lightly illuminated may give some clue as to their origin and use, there is not enough evidence to make any accurate assumptions. While there are no colophons, no calendar, no scribes notes, no dates, no inscriptions, coats of arms, shelf-marks (other than those from the BPL), there is a professional quality to the manuscript that points towards it being created with purpose.
17. Chapter/Verse Approximate Transcriptions
18. Leaf 2, Recto
Dame sans mille bledmux/ Et sans
mille pme endurer./ Glouueufe migre marie./ Plaine de tresgiat courtoisie/
Don doit on ferveur et amer,/ Mont
lanlttonpoar [et] tarir/ e art u as partout
fetgnoute/ En ciel et en terre [et] en mer./ Dame de putier boutillier/ Dame de pardon treso[qui]tere/ Dame plante dunulite.
/ Fan a celui pour mon pre/ Que tu
pourquoi saine et tier/ Et sans perdue uniginte
19. Leaf 2, Recto
On 1RH, the text seems to indicate
that it is the Hymn that follows the
reading of Psalm 94 from the
Office of Our Blessed Lady, to be
said at Matins. There are two clues
which indicate this as being the
correct passage. The first clue comes
from the phrase En ciel et en terre [et] en mer.This phrase appears at the
beginning of the Hymn, Quem terra,
pontus, aethera. . .
20. Leaf 2, Recto
The second clue is the use of the
term Dame throughout the passage.
Dame in Middle French refers to a
woman of exulted status or queen.
Nancy Netzer explains this use of
the term Dame to refer to the
Virgin Mary, Mary as queen is
coincident with the representation
of her Son as king.
Nancy Netzer, ed., Secular Sacred: 11th-16th Century Works from the Boston Public Library and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 64.
21. Leaf 2, Verso
Tu es de tous bls la fontaine./
Tu es de toute loute plaine/ Tu es
celle en qui se folnta/
Gtoelle en [qui] p_mt
charhuaine/ Sans doleur amour
[et] sas pme/ Celu [qui] nous
fut et forma/ Tu es la fluer tu es
la rose/ Tu es celle en qui se le
pose/ La bont qui toute aultte
passe/ Tu es celle en qui en dose/
La lonte qui po nulle dose/
Qui sort ne faulte ne negsse/ Tu es
celle qui no soucient/ Et celle de
qui tout bien [et] biet.
22. Leaf 2, Verso
It would seem that this section is from
the Book of Hours Suffrages,
specifically the Prayer to the Blessed
Virgin & to St. John the Evangelist.
In this passage, there are many continual references to Mary, which fit with
the informal tu mentioned with
the use of Dame and in having a
personal connection with Mary.
The passage may also be from
Ecclesiasticis24, meant to be said at
Terce. Once again this is due to the
listing nature of the prayer and the
repeated phrase tu to indicate Mary.
23. Leaf 1, Verso
This leaf clearly represents the
Office of the dead. There is a clear passage which reads: Deus Deusmeus: ad te de lucevigilo.Sitivit in te anima mea: quam
multiplicitertibicaromea.This passage
is from Psalm 62, a standard Psalm
from the Officium Pro Defunctis or the
Office for the Dead. This particular
Psalm was meant to be said Ad Laudes or at Lauds. This is a clear indication of the
office that this leaf comes from
within a Book of Hours. It also works
towards the hypothesis that this
manuscript is in fact a Book of
Hours unbound.
24. Script
25. 26. 27. Gothic Textura
The script is quite clearly a Gothic Bookhand. Because most of the minims do not have diamond shaped serifs, it is clear that this is
not a Quadratabookhand. The letter shapes
have more in common with the Gothic form Textura. With Textura, most of the letter forms have straight or only slightly diamond shaped minims. With MS.PB.MED. 237, some of the letter forms have diamond shaped minims, but not to the same extent as those found in Quandratabookhand.
28. There is also another clue that illustrates indicated the form of text, there are finishing strokes and small flourishes that run throughout certain characters and the o is slightly more oval than strictly circular (as in earlier script), and there is a combination of tall and rounded s forms. Other letter forms, such as the x are also quite distinctive and have small trails that some Textura scripts share. Because Textura was quite common for liturgical texts, there is a good chance that this manuscript was prepared in this script. True to form, the document is very difficult to read, and thus perhaps not meant for the laity.
29. Questions?
30. Thank You!