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Human head in the penwork of a 14th-century medieval music manuscript fragment

Human head in the penwork of a 14th-century medieval music manuscript fragment

Human head in the penwork of a 14th-century medieval music manuscript fragment

Parchment, part of a single leaf, c.180×130 mm (ca. 7×5 inches), recovered from the spine of a book-binding, hence the "comb"-like shape with slits cut for the sewing bands of the spine, written in two columns, preserving the lower 19 lines of text (recto) or text and music on four-line red staves with music in square notation (verso); with wear, darkening, and other damage (see scans and photos).TextThe prayer on the recto which begins "Omnipotens sempiterne deus qui hodierna die unigenitum tuum ulnis sancti Symeonis ..." shows that the text comes from the Feast of the Purification. The main decorated initial (on the verso) marks the beginning of the mass chant "Per omnia secula seculorum ..." and in the right column the decorated initial begins "V[ere dignum et iustum] est equum et sal[utare] ...". From the text, and the size of the leaf, the parent manuscript was doubtless a Processional.OriginThe use of green (a relatively uncommon colour) and the design within the initial, in which leaf-patterns are created by colouring-in the surrounding space, suggest that the parent manuscript may have been English.Free postage!

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