Maiden with long, flowing hair and laywoman’s costume, holding a leafy or flowering sprig in her outstretched left hand. The figure is likely to be a cutting from a larger, as yet unidentified single-leaf woodcut or incunable leaf.
Binding: Sixteenth-century inboard blind-tooled roll binding, later rebacked. 139 × 99 × 83 mm. Mid-brown tanned calf over wooden boards, probably of oak. The upper board has two copper-alloy catch plates each attached by two iron nails. The lower board has the stubs of two tanned-leather straps each attached by two iron nails. The straps and clasps are now missing. The tooling, all blind, is executed with a fillet and a single roll. The roll (135 × 14 mm) forms a frame to each board, which is then filled with three vertical strips imprinted from the same roll. It has images of Prudentia, Lucretia, and Venus, with a foliate ornament above Prudentia, a grotesque above Lucretia, and Cupid above Venus; lettered ‘prvden | lvcrecia | venvs’; similar but not identical to EBDB roll no. r000303 (http://db.hist-einband.de, last accessed 13 Apr. 2004); evidently the same roll as that used for the binding of Berlin SB, Ms. germ. 8o 48, also from Medingen (see Aderlass und Seelentrost, 272; ex informatione Regina Cermann). Rebacked with light-brown tanned leather. The hooked pastedowns are cut from leaves of a late thirteenth-century missal. On the upper board a nineteenth-century label inscribed ‘XXII’.
Provenance: Medingen, near Lüneburg (Lower Saxony), Cistercian nuns, BMV. Identified by Lipphardt as one of an extensive group of manuscripts made for this convent, all datable to the period 1470–1520 (Achten); see the prayer naming the town of Lüneburg on fol. 28v, with mention of an abbess. The first holder of this office in Medingen was Margarete Puffen, attested from 1479 as prioress, elevated to the rank of abbess in 1494. Whereas Lipphardt dates the manuscript on stylistic grounds and with reference to the sixteenth-century binding to the period of Abbess Elisabeth von Elvern (1513–24), Uhde-Stahl argues, on the basis of close affinities between the script of this manuscript and Hannover LB, Ms. I 74, which she considers to be datable before 1479, and an association between the lions on fol. 217v (see XYL-28.2) and the arms of Tylemann de Bavenstede, Provost of Medingen 1478–97, for the period 1494–97. See W. Lipphardt, ‘Niederdeutsche Reimgedichte und Lieder des 14. Jahrhunderts in den mittelalterlichen Orationalien der Zisterzienserinnen von Medingen und Wienhausen’, Niederdeutsches Jahrbuch, 95 (1972), 66–131; Lipphardt, ‘Die liturgische Funktion deutscher Kirchenlieder in den Klöstern niedersächsischer Zisterzienserinnen des Mittelalters’, ZFKT 94 (1972), 158–98, at 164 no. 18; Lipphardt, ‘Medinger Gebetbücher’ (‘Medinger Lieder und Gedichte’), in VL 6 (1987), 275–80; B. Uhde-Stahl, ‘Figürliche Buchmalereien in den spätmittelalterlichen Handschriften der Lüneburger Frauenklöster’, Niederdeutsche Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte, 17 (1978), 25–60, at 39 and 45–6, ills 19, 23, and 28; G. Achten, ‘De gebedenboeken van den cisterciënzerinnenkloosters Medingen en Wienhausen’, in Miscellanea Neerlandica. FS Jan Deschamps, ed. E. Cockx-Indestege and F. Hendrickx (Louvain, 1987), III 173–88. The use of numerous similar printed cuttings, integrated into border miniatures, is recorded in another Medingen manuscript, Hannover LB, Ms. I 74, whose script, initials, and illumination are virtually identical with those employed here; see H. Härtel and F. Ekowski, Handschriften der Niedersächsischen Landesbibliothek Hannover. Erster Teil Ms I 1--Ms I 174 (Wiesbaden, 1989), 62, who assign this book to the second quarter of the sixteenth century on the basis of a watermark supposedly datable to c.1540 (?). For a close parallel to script and illumination, in a manuscript datable to c.1515–20, see Berlin SB, Ms. germ. 8o 48, illustrated in Achten 180; Aderlass und Seelentrost, 273 (colour plate). Purchased by the Bodleian at the James Brice sale (Sotheby’s, 27 July 1887), lot 535, for £8.
shelfmark: MS. Lat. liturg. f. 4, fol. 141v.
Two lions passant with raised forepaws, facing each other. Likely to have been taken from an as yet unidentified woodcut illustration in a printed book.
Provenance: Medingen, near Lüneburg (Lower Saxony), Cistercian nuns, BMV. Purchased by the Bodleian in 1877. See XYL-28.1.
shelfmark: MS. Lat. liturg. f. 4, fol. 217r.