Square Neumes from a Thirteenth-Century Noted Breviary
Type: Leaves & Fragments
Portable Noted Breviary with Handsome Neumes. Single folio on vellum. Northern Italy, ca. 1250-1300: 312 mm x 225 mm. Four-line staves with on staff-line highlighted in red and one in albumen. Ruled in diluted black ink. Catchword “cubuit” on the verso. Various custos signs and guide letters throughout. Decoration: nine large rubricated initials indicating major textual divisions. Rubricated. Text: this is a portable breviary shared by three choir monks (the middle one holding the book), and because lessons V-VIII are indicated, the text comes from Matins. The selections focusing on St. John (especially the mention of Drusiana, his companion) suggest that the folio is from the Feast of St. John the Evangelist celebrated on 27 December. Condition: used as a book cover, hence worn, creased, cockled, soiled and with losses as shown.