6021. Missal fragment, mid-15th century

MISSAL FRAGMENT, MID 15TH CENTURY. Fragment of monastic Missal (probably Benedictine use), in Latin, illuminated manuscript on vellum. Most probably Low Countries, fifteenth century (probably first half).

26 leaves (including a final blank leaf now used as pastedown, and plus 1 endleaf at front), the last section of a Missal most probably rebound within original boards of book, collation: i2, ii-iii8, iv6, v2 (with catchwords in agreement with following text in all but first bifolium), first bifolium with instructions for participants in Masses (noting actions of "fratres", the monastic brethren): single column, 27 lines in a fine scrolling hand influenced by lettre bâtarde, the remaining leaves with readings for actual Masses (blessing of the bread and salt, for the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, the angels, the dead, the apostles, the martyrs, confessors and virgins, for the moment of death, for Easter, for All Saints, a 'general mass', and one for the feast of St. Benedict, the text ending with a series of short adaptations of masses for various temptations): double column, 30 lines in a fine and angular late gothic bookhand, capitals in ornate pen flourishes (some including human faces), red rubrics, contemporary foliation in red and blue capitals at head of page, one-line initials in red or blue with contrasting penwork, larger initials in blue or liquid gold with ornate contrasting penwork extending up and down margins, seventeen large initials in pink or blue heightened with white penwork, enclosing curling sprays of foliage and on highly burnished gold grounds with semi-circular notches out of their edges, initials terminating in sprays of acanthus leaves and foliage ending in single-line foliage with gold ivy leaves and pointed bezants with hair-like protrusions, one of those initials very large (8 lines in height), with marks at end of initial bifolium of another square manuscript cutting once pasted there (probably a large initial or devotional miniature taken from a choirbook), and marks at end from a large oval item (probably a bookplate) once pasted there, the initial bifolium with the ex libris of "S. Tiersonnier 1704" (who is also recorded as the owner of a printed book in the recent Burrus sale at Christie's, Paris, 15 December 2015, lot 118, also dated "1704"), some spots and stains and wormholes, but overall in good and presentable condition.
Binding of brown leather over wooden boards (probably original or early with slightly later gilt-fillet added), shortened at spine and rebacked to accommodate just this fragment of the original codex, metal clasps at head and foot, chips to edges of boards and some wear, in fitted cloth covered case. Dimensions of leaves: 210x135 mm.

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).