Skip to main content

Breviary leaf

@ Trinity College



Vellum leaf from a medieval breviary disbound and sold by Otto F. Ege as part of his "Fifty Original Leaves from Medieval Manuscripts" portfolio. Although described by Ege as being French in origin and dating from the late 13th century, modern scholars believe that this volume was English and composed circa 1420-1430. This leaf is described in Dr. Scott Gwara's Ege Handlist as Item #16. 7cm x 10cm. Otto Ege's original description of the leaf: "Breviaries were seldom owned by laymen. They were service books and contained the Psalter with the versicles, responses, collects and lections for Sundays, weekdays, and saints' days. Other texts could be included. A Breviary, therefore, was lengthy and usually bulky in format. Miniature copies like the one represented by this leaf are rare. The angular gothic script required a skilled calligrapher. It would be difficult for a modern engrosser to match, even with steel pens, the exactness and sharpness of these letters formed with a quill by a XIIIth century scribe. Green was a decorative color added to the palette in the late XIIIth century in many scriptoria. The medieval formulae for making it from earth, flowers, berries, and metals are often elaborate and strange. This manuscript was written on fine uterine vellum, i.e., the skin of an unborn calf. It evidently had hard use, or may have been buried with its owner."
Ege, Otto F. (manuscript dealer)
Created Date:
C. 1420 1430 15th Century 2019 11 08
Materials in this collection are believed to be in the public domain, and thus are free of any copyright restriction. We ask that you acknowledge Trinity University Coates Library if any of the materials are used.
View Original At:

From Collection

Early Books & Manuscripts

Record Contributed By

Trinity College