Bryn Mawr College Library Special Collections

illumination from Gordan MS 51

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

Gordan MS 24 England, s. XV1

Speculum humanae salvationis

1. ff. 1r-2v [Alphabetical index:] Absalon suspenditur 24. . . Christus superauit diabolum 29.

2. ff. 3r-7v [Heading in upper margin:] Prohemium

[Prologue:] Incipit prohemium cuiusdam noue compilacionis cuius nomen et titulus est speculum humane saluacionis. Expediens videtur et vtile quod primo. . . In xlio capitulo agitur de septem gaudiis eiusdem gloriose uirginis. Et sic terminantur capitula huius libri et uoluminis. Expliciunt capitula.

3. ff. 8r-84r [Text:] Incipit speculum humane saluacionis./

In quo patet casus hominis et modus reparacionis/. . .

Expl.: quod nobis omnibus prestare dignetur dominus ihesu christe/ Qui cum patre et spiritu sancto est in perpetuum benedictus. Amen. Explicit speculum humane saluacionis.

J. Lutz and P. Perdrizet, eds., Speculum humanae salvationis, 2 vol. (Mülhausen and Leipzig, 1907).

Parchment (thick and furry), ff. i + 84 + i, 232 x 170 (160 x 108) mm, modern foliation. Written in ca. 28-33 unruled lines with single vertical and horizontal bounding lines full length in ink. Prickings visible in three outer margins.

I-X10, XI6. Horizontal catchwords in lower left margin, verso, enclosed in a penwork frame. Quire signatures on first leaf of each quire, leaf signatures (1f, 2f, 3f. . .) first half of each quire. Leaves of first quire incorrectly signed.

Written by a single scribe in a gothic cursive either below the top line or through the top line. Running heads in top right corner of margin, recto, finding aids in outer margin in the same hand as text.

The text of the Speculum begins with a 13-line blue initial with penwork embellishments running down the inner margin. The prologue begins with a similar 4-line initial. Each letter of the alphabet in the index begins with a 2-line blue initial with red penwork ground with flourishes. Similar 2- to 4-line initials are scattered through the text. The text also includes plain 4-line red or blue initials sometimes with decorative extensions of the same color (see f. 56v for a particularly decorative design), and plain 1- to 2-line red and blue initials. The color choice and ornamentation is seemingly at random. Finding aids sometimes underlined in red.

Binding: Original chamfered wooden boards covered with doeskin. Brass catch on back; clasp missing from front cover. Doeskin missing from spine.

Written in England in the first half of the fifteenth century. Early note of presentation to Lichfield Cathedral inscribed in ink in a large, ornamental, gothic bookhand on recto of back flyleaf: "Istum librum dedit dominus Ricardus Gully nuper vicarius choral. ecclesie Cath. Lychfeld' Capellanis cantariarum infra clausum dicte ecclesie fundatarum. ad inperpetuum inter ipsos remanendum." On verso of same leaf in ink: "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1/virgo deo digna precantibus esto benigna: 5". Philip J. C. Howard sale (London, 1 Aug. 1934) to Maggs. In the library of Howard L. Goodhart, and given by him to Phyllis Goodhart Gordan (bookplate) and John Dozier Gordan, Jr.

secundo folio: f. 2: Michol luget

f. 4: et hanc figurant

Bibliography: De Ricci, p. 1681, no. 24.

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Last Update: June 6, 2003