MS 5581
Text End of the Office of the Dead and part of Credo in polyphonic mensural notation possibly by Johannes Parvus
Description MS in Latin on vellum, probably Low countries, 1530's, top quarter of 1 f 31x16 cm with the margin of joining f 31x3 cm, single column (29x12 cm remaining) 7 lines of a fine late Gothic bookscript influenced by lettre bâtarde, ruled with 8 5-line staves, formal polyphonic mensural notation of Discantus and Tenor parts, two large initials in pink and blue with white scrolling brushwork enclosing sprays of green foliage and red flowerbuds.
Context From a large choirbook of the size and high quality of the Arundel Choirbook, Lambeth Palace Library MS 1 written ca 1525, which is 68x48 cm. The layout would be with the Discantus and Tenor parts on left verso page and the two other parts to the facing recto page. The partial leaf is recovered from a quarto binding of archival documents.
Provenance 1. Bloomsbury Auctions 8 July 2016 lot 26; 2. Richard Linenthal, London, December 2016.
Commentary Attributed by Dr. Margaret Bent and Dr. Jeffrey Dean to possibly Johannes Parvus who was Papal scribe of the Sistine Chapel, but also copied magnificent choirbooks elsewhere in Europe. The present choirbook was most likely copied in the Low Countries for a cathedral or another major institution due to its high quality.
Place of origin Low countries
Dates 1530s