Saturday 24 October 2015

An Unrecognised York Breviary in New York

Earlier this year I catalogued a Missal of the Use of York, one of only a dozen known to survive, with an interesting provenance, owned by someone who wanted to sell it to a public institution. Maggs handled the deal and everyone involved is happy with the result: it is now at Lambeth Palace Library.

In the process of cataloguing it I became familiar with the features that distinguish the Use of York calendar from the much more common Use of Sarum, as outlined by Richard Pfaff, The Liturgy in Medieval England: a History, 2009, pp.445–62.

While browsing Digital Scriptorium (from which all the images below are taken) in advance of a recent visit to the Grolier Club, New York, I noticed that their MS 3 has most of these features.

Saturday 17 October 2015

The Litany of the Psalter and Passion Sequences Written by Pietro Ursuleo

I have written a few times before about an interesting manuscript written by the scribe Pietro Ursuleo. Today I found a reproduction of a leaf that I had not seen before, from its litany of saints [1]:

Thursday 15 October 2015

Erik Drigsdahl's site,

Over the past several weeks some people have contacted me to ask about Erik's site,, which seems to be down again.

I've put a copy of it, for the time being, on my own webspace: it can be found at

I'm unusually busy at present, but hope to resume normal blogging soon ...

Friday 2 October 2015

Evidence of Another Pair of Medieval Reading-Glasses, in Brooklyn

On a recent visit to New York I looked at some of the manuscripts at the Brooklyn Museum. Among the more interesting ones is MS 19.74, with decorative motifs free-floating in the margins, in the manner of manuscripts illuminated by the Master of the David Scenes [1], such as these, accompanying the gospel extracts at the beginning of the volume: