6020. Manuscript biblical texts dated 1525

MANUSCRIPT DATED 1525. Compendium of Biblical texts with extracts from Cassiodorus, Boethius, Prudentius, Claudian and Church Fathers and authorities, in Latin, decorated manuscript on paper. Germany, dated 1525.

191 leaves (plus one modern endleaf at front), apparently complete, catchwords within red lines, single column, 18 lines of a squat book hand influenced by secretarial practises, capitals touched in red, titles underlined in red, paragraph marks and rubrics in red, larger initials in blue, enclosing foliate shapes and scrolls picked out in dull red penwork, and the whole initial encased within ornate red penwork, one initial with arms picked out in trick in red pen (fol. 223v), first leaf with contents list of biblical components above penwork flourishes and flowerheads, similar penwork flourishes (perhaps including a monogram or name) on fol. 126v and last leaf, watermark at top of page and gutter (a crown, but too obscured for identification), nineteenth-century pencil numbers "3" and "45" on front endleaf, some small spots and stains, else good condition.
Nineteenth-century dark leather over pasteboards (restored at spine), marbled endleaves, fitted beige cloth-covered case. Dimensions of leaves: 140x100 mm.

On first impression this manuscript appears to add to the perennial question of how long scribes took to execute their work, as its copyist chose to date the completion of many individual sections. The initial main text of the Parabolis Salomonis (prefaced by extracts from Roman writers and Church authorities) takes up the initial 56 leaves, and is dated to the Feast of St. Luke (18 October), 1525. The following text, the Prologus Ecclesiastes opens on fol. 57r, and ends on 76r with a date clause noting its completion on the Feast of SS. Simon and Jude (28 October) in 1525. Then follows the Cantica Canticorum from fol. 76v to 87v, which was ended "altera symonis et iude" (the next day after the feast) in 1525. The next text is the Liber Sapientiaebegins on fol. 87r and ends with some additional extracts from Augustine on fol. 126v, with just the year '1525'. This is followed by Ecclesiasticus from fol. 127r to 223r, ending with a date of the Feast of SS. Crispinus and Crispianus (25 October) in 1525. The Liber Iob runs from fol. 223v to 184v, and ends with the date of All Saints (1 November) in 1525. Further extracts from Roman writers and Church authorities end the volume, with a final date clause of "1525". However, simple arithmetic does not produce straightforward answers, as the section with Ecclesiasticus most probably written out of order, and while the scribe took some 10 days to write 19 leaves of one of the initial sections, he then appears to have copied 12 further leaves in a single day. Further research, perhaps into the holidays the scribe was obliged to observe between these dates, may resolve this.

We would like to thank Dr. Timothy Bolton for his cataloguing of the present lot.

Provenance: From the library of Ove Hassler (1904-87), Dean in Linköping, Sweden, and his son, Eivind Hassler (1939-2009).