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[PRAYERBOOK]

Prayerbook, written by the nun-scribe Anna Schöttin, in Latin, decorated manuscript on vellum
[Germany (Nuremberg)
dated 1487]
€4.000 - €6.000

"123 by 90mm, 120 leaves (plus two early paper endleaves at front), complete, collation: i-ii10, iii10 (including two singletons, but with no apparent loss to text), iv-xii10, single column of 16 lines of a precise and angular German gothic bookhand (for scribe see below), red rubrics, capitals stroked in red, one-line initials 123 by 90mm, 120 leaves (plus two early paper endleaves at front), complete, collation: i-ii10, iii10 (including two singletons, but with no apparent loss to text), iv-xii10, single column of 16 lines of a precise and angular German gothic bookhand, red rubrics, capitals stroked in red, one-line initials in red or blue, 2-line initials in pale blue or dark red (in places burgundy for larger initials), larger initials in red or blue with elaborate penwork in contrasting colour, very large initials on frontispiece and fol. 61r in variegated red and blue enclosing penwork picking out foliate tiles in red or pale green and surrounded by frame of penwork in contrasting colour, small folded vellum reference-tabs at outer edges of some leaves, spots, stains and slight signs of wear, but overall in good condition ; in sixteenth-century binding of tooled brown leather (central caubouchon within floral motifs and double filet) over bevelled wooden boards, the spine skilfully rebacked and small binding fragments from front of book (thirteenth-century liturgical manuscripts) mounted on paper endleaves there, similar fragment at back still pasted to backboard, two metal headed clasps (leather replaced), some scuffs and cracks to leather of binding, overall fair and solid condition"

"Text: The volume opens with a monastic prayerbook, with readings for the various canonical hours as well as other feasts and Sundays of the ecclesiastical year, ending on fol. 59v with the scribal colophon. The Penitential Psalms follow (fol. 61r) and a Litany of Saints (fol. 69v) in which 'Johannes' is singled out in red and blue ink). The Office of the Dead (fol. 76v) follows, before the 'Psalter of the Lord's Passion' (fol. 109r) completes the volume. Provenance: 1. Written by a female scribe who names herself ""Soror Anna Schöttii"" at the foot of the text on fol. 59v. She then locates and dates the volume to ""Norimbergiae Anno 1487"" at the foot of its last leaf. There were only two houses for women in medieval Nuremberg: the Poor Clares, but the absence of St. Clare from the litany here makes this unlikely; or the Dominican convent dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria, who does appear in the litany (both SS. Catherine of Alexandria, and the Dominican Catherine of Siena appear here). The Katharinenkloster in Nuremberg was founded in 1296, and grew to be a major cultural hub of the region, and through gift and its own productive scriptorium its library by c. 1500 was one of the largest in Germany. The house declined rapidly after the city became Lutheran in 1521, and its last member died at the close of the sixteenth century. Space left by the original scribe on the last leaf being filled with near-contemporary religious exortations probably shows continuing use of the book there, but the seventeenth- or eighteenth-century additions similar material on fols. 49r, 60r, an endleaf and replacing a line or two of text on fol. 13r, perhaps indicates that the volume was carried away from Nuremberg in the sixteenth century and continued in use elsewhere. 2. By 1708 it appears to have entered private hands: short inscription in Germanic hand at the front dated to that year. 3. A.G. & M. Hammond; their early or mid-twentieth-century oval inkstamp on verso of front endleaf, noting this book as their MS. 2 (an addition in pen to the binding fragment in situ on backboard noting that as their MS.3). They also owned a twelfth-century English Seneca fragment which is Takamiya MS. 85, now in the Beinecke Library in Yale (see R. Clemens, A Gathering of Medieval English Manuscripts, 2017, p. 82), and a collection of John Skelton's poems in manuscript, later Phillipps' MS. 10112, now Folger Library, Nb49. 4. Dr. Helmut Tenner, Heidelberg book dealer/auctioneer, offered in his auction no. 78 on 27 April 1970, lot 17, and again in sale no. 81 on 12 October 1970, lot 14"