Littera Scripta

Member of ANZAAB - Australia

Australia's specialist dealer in medieval and renaissance documents. Original illuminated manuscript leaves, 11th to 16th centuries.

Original printed leaves, 15th to 17th centuries.

Books of Hours, Bibles, music, liturgy, secular and sacred commentary.

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Digitalis copper engraving, 1696. Munting.
Botanical copperplate engraving of Digitalis (Foxglove) from the first edition of Abraham Munting's opus magnum, 1696. The illustrations are remarkable for their elegance and originality. The plant dominates the foreground, filling the entire page. It is presented in a delightful pastoral scene with a farmhouse and cattle. The latin name is written on an elegantly fluttering banderole. Excellent condition, sharply printed with a clear plate mark on watermarked paper.
1474 Incunable leaf. Rainerius "Pantheologia".
A wonderful example of the skill of early printers. This 1474 leaf was printed by Zainer in Augsburg, with coloured initials added by hand after the printing. A huge leaf, folio size, 405x285 mm. Text is from the second edition of the Pantheologia - a theological work of Dominican Raniero Giordani of Pisa (d. 1351). It was organised alphabetically as a dictionary of important theological concepts. Written c. 1331 and influenced by the works of Thomas Aquinas. The red initial ’T’ begins Chapter 6 of Rainerius’ discussion on animal sacrifices.
Splendid illuminated initial on a Northern Italian Missal leaf, c.1425
One of several manuscript Missal leaves we will bring to the Fair. Text includes the Feasts of St. Valentino and the Conversion of St. Paul. Six two-line decorated initials alternating in red with blue pen flourishes and blue with red pen flourishes. The illuminated initial is on a raised and highly burnished gold ground and includes three burnished gold bezants. It is a fine example of Northern Italian illumination in the early 15th century. Condition: Recto, very good, slight ink loss to a section that has a crease running through it. Verso with considerable ink loss and a few spots.
Dragon in the illuminations. Book of Hours leaf, c.1490.
Detail of a French Book of Hours, c.1490, with a dragon lurking amongst acanthus leaves. The dragon depicted on this Book of Hours leaf may well have been included in the illuminations as a reminder to the devout reader of the evils associated with the creature and to direct him or her to the safety and truth of the holy text where salvation was to be found. A fine leaf with a different panel of illuminations on the Verso.
Very early monastic bible leaf, Late 11th - early 12th century. Beautiful Carolingian script.
A late 11th century. Bible leaf, Italy, 1075-1125 with an archetypal Carolingian script. Hair follicles from the animal used for the parchment are clearly visible. The leaf's margins have been cropped to become a flyleaf in a slightly smaller volume at a later date and the four brown marks, one near each corner, were caused by the rusting of metal bosses in the new volume’s binding. The text is from the First Book of Samuel, chapters 24 & 25. A remarkable example of large, very early Italian monastic Bibles with clear, rounded and generously spaced late Carolingian minuscule script.
Illuminated Book of Hours leaf, France, c.1440.
Extensive, vibrant illuminations on a manuscript French Book of Hours leaf, c.1440. Surrounding the text on three sides are illuminations in a style called rinceaux. A bar border in burnished gold, black and white has coloured buds at its top, centre and bottom from which sprout delicately coloured & gilded acanthus leaves. Other flowers, real and imagined, ivy leaves and foliage in colours and gold are borne on swirling black tendrils. Within the tendrils in the bottom margin is a strawberry, a symbol of a drop of Christ’s blood. Verso has almost identical illuminations.
Manuscript "pocket bible" leaf, mid 13th century with text from 2 Maccabees.
Mid-12th century manuscript Bible leaf, Northern France, c.1250. Latin text written in black & brown ink on fine vellum in an extremely precise gothic minuscule script in two columns of 47 lines. Blue and red decorative initials beginning the chapters. Two manicules (pointing hands) in the left margin of Recto added at a later date. The text is from 2 Maccabees, chapters 6, 7 and 8. The parent book of this leaf was a high quality bible of the Crusades period, used in the study of theology or preaching of the Gospel around the medieval countryside.