Bifolium Missal leaf, c.1420, Italy.

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Octave of the Ascension.  Many decorated initials.

Bifolia are much scarcer than individual leaves.  This is a very good example of an early 15th C Italian decorated Missal.

The term "octave" is applied to a period of eight days, during which certain major feasts - such as the Ascension here - are observed.

Originally, several books were required for the celebration of Mass: the Sacramentary for the officiating priest, the Lectionary for the principal assisting ministers, and the Antiphonary for the choir. When these were assembled in one book, the volume was called a complete Mass-book (Missale plenum), the Missal.

Description: Rubrics in red. Text written in two columns of 26 lines on vellum in Latin in two sizes of a precise, gothic script.  Eleven two-line alternating red and blue initials with contrasting penwork.  Three such one-line initials.  Capitals touched in yellow.

Origin:  Italy.

Date: c. 1420.

Content: The text includes the Octave of the Ascension on the first folio, followed by rubrics for the seasonal instructions in red; the second folio includes some of the prophetic lessons and ancillary texts for the eve of Pentecost.

The decorated initial ‘I’ at the bottom of the Recto of the first folio begins the Gospel reading from John 15 & 16 which continues on the Verso:

In illo tempore : Dixit Jesus discipulis suis : Cum venerit Paraclitus, quem ego mittam vobis a Patre, Spiritum veritatis, qui a Patre procedit, ille testimonium perhibebit de me : et vos testi- monium perhibebitis, quia ab initio mecum estis. Hæc locutus sum vobis, ut non scandali- zemini.

(At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: When the Paraclete cometh, whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall give testimony of me; and you shall give testimony, because you are with me from the beginning. These things have I spoken to you, that you may not be scandalised.)

The Gospel is followed by the Offertory:

Ascendit Deus in jubilatione, Dominus in voce tubae, alleluia.

(God is ascended in jubilee and the Lord with the sound of trumpet, alleluia.)

Condition:   Internally in very good, clean condition.  Externally the vellum is soiled and darkened with some spots but the text is perfectly legible and showing no ink loss.  The decorated initials retain full colour.    The bifolium is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.

Size: Bifolium: c.285x410 mm.  Archivally mounted, ready to frame. Please note that shipping is invoiced separately.

Item No: MMI030

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