Massive Spanish manuscript choir book in Latin, with a Peruvian Credo c.1700

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[MANUSCRIPT – CHOIR BOOK]. [Graduale Romanum].
[Spain?, ca. 1700? with additions to at least 1767]. An extremely large manuscript choir book (75.5 x 57.5 x 15.5 cm) in black and red ink on sheepskin parchment, with plainchant music (5-line staves in red measuring 56 mm with square and diamond notes in black, mostly with a c-clef on the middle or second line, sometimes an f-clef or both, sometimes with a b-flat or f-sharp) and the text in a large rotunda gothic hand (about 16 mm x-height) in black with headings and some other words in red, 3 three-line (about 25 cm) and 11 two-line (about 18 cm) elaborately decorated initials in 2 or more colours, mostly in red and blue, but some with other colours and gold, and hundreds of 1-line (about 8 cm) decorated initials (black or black and yellow interlaced gothic; red, blue or duplex red and blue so-called Lombardic, sometimes with white interior decoration; and a few others).18th-century(?) black half goatskin with black sheepskin sides, over beechwood(?) boards (the boards 17 mm thick!), on 6 double cords (hemp ropes?), each board with 2 long iron anchor/catch plates running across the entire width (all 4 the same, but with 2 iron clasps anchored on the front and catching on the back), each with 2 iron bosses, a 5th boss in the centre of the board, thin iron strips covering the seam between back and sides, iron edge-pieces at the head and foot and the upper and lower parts of the fore-edge, the anchor/catch plates and edge pieces secured with countersunk flat-head screws, the thinner plates with round-head iron pins. With a blank front paste-down and four leaves of a similar gradual (perhaps formerly part of this one) used as free endleaves at front and back and as the paste-down at the back. With parchment-covered cloth tabs, labeled in manuscript.
A massive manuscript choir book (the second of two volumes) with thick wooden boards and iron fittings, with music and text for the proprium missal (proper of the mass), with an index to both volumes at the end arranged mostly alphabetically under five headings for the introits, graduals, tracts, alleluias, offertories and communions. Most of the leaves 10-102 show a consistent style (as do their 2- and 3-line initials in red and blue) and are probably the oldest part of the book. Some parts may have been added soon after and others probably still later. The text ends halfway down 149r and the index begins immediately on the same page, continued on 149v. This index covers the texts of volume 2 only up to leaf 135 and the leaves after 102 are irregularly covered. The leaves 135 to 149 contain five credos following the text of the Roman Catholic mass: “Credo de Piedra” (1 36r-138v), “Credo Constantino” (138v-141r), “Credo Portugues” (141r-143r), “Credo Peruano” (143r-145v, a Peruvian credos) and another without title but with “Monja” or “Monia” written in the margin (146r-149r). The front paste-down is blank, but the other four endleaves appear to come from a similar choir book, are numbered 131-133, [134], and include the introit, gradual, tract, alleluia and communion for the feast of Corpus Christi (some of the slips used to repair the leaves of the main text also appear to come from a similar choir book). These also appear to be among the oldest leaves and may match 10-102 in style. The foliation is irregular, with no 127 and with the leaves between 130 and 146 (which differ in style from those before and after) numbered [130 bis], [130 ter], [130 quater], 131-133, 133 [bis], 134-135, [135 bis], 134 [bis], 135 [ter], 136-145. The index has no reference to a leaf 127, suggesting it did not begin a new part of the text. lt appears to have been cut out, leaving a stub, yet only one-and-a-half words appear to be lost: leaves 124-130 contain two versions of the Credo from the Roman Catholic mass, the first (124v-126v) ending “Et vitam venturi secu[li. Amen.]” and the second (128r-130v) complete. Perhaps leaf 127 was almost entirely decoration and was cut out to be displayed or sold.The three unnumbered leaves between 130 and 131 clearly do not match any of the others and are probably the latest in the book. Their 5-line staff is smaller (45 mm), their text is written in a broad-bibbed pen rendering of a roman printing type, and they are added to the end of the index in a different hand than the rest. They contain masses for four saints who were canonizer in the years 1746 to 1767, so they must have at least been made after 1767 and could be even later. The four are Saint Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614) from Naples, who established Ministers of the infirm or Camillians; Gerolamo Emiliani (1486-1537) from Venice, who established the Somaschi; Iosé de Calasanz (1557-1648) from Aragon, who established Piarists; and Giuseppe da Copertino (Cupertino) (1603-1663), a Franciscan from Apulla (the heel of the Italian boot). The Franciscans were the most active missionaries in Peru from the 16th to the 18th century, though many were martyred and many of their missions were destroyed by uprisings in 1742. These are followed by masses for Saint Philip Neri, canonizer 1622 (133v-134v) and the ]esuit Saints Ignatius de Loyola (134) and Francis Xavier (135). Volume 1 was apparently less extensive, for the index records leaves up to 135 for volume 2 but only up to 79 for volume 1. The large size required a whole skin for each leaf, so that the book had to be assembled from separate leaves rather than quires of bifolia, though the compiler generally arranged it so that the facing pages of an opening are either both skin side or both flesh side.Such choir books were produced at this massive scale so that they could be set on a lectern and the entire choir could gather around them to sing. Their style changed little from the 16th to the early 19th century, The combination of a mass for the Franciscan Copertino and the Peruvian credo may suggest that the choir book came from Spanish Franciscans, even though there is also a Peruvian Credo, a Portuguese Credo and masses for Jesuits. Some leaves with tears, mostly repaired at an early date, some with the text retouched on the repair, some minor abrasions and an occasional heading in the older leaves shaved, but most leaves in good condition. The binding has numerous small worm holes in the boards, but is also generally good. A massive choir book probably begun ca. 1700 but with later additions, continuing the traditions of the 16th century and including a Peruvian credo.“l49” [= 155] ll. plus 5 endleaves (1 blank and 4 manuscript), including paste-downs. 

Price: $40,000.00

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