Single leaf from an antiphonary:
Initial H with the Nativity, December 25
Austria – Melk, ca. 1430-1440
Script: Gothic bookhand
Parchment with ink, paint, and gold
This initial begins the first response of the first nocturn of Matins for the feast of the Nativity, “Hodie nobis caelorum Rex de Virgine nasci dignatus est, ut hominem perditum ad caelestia regna revocaret.” (On this day the King of heaven deigned to be born for us of a Virgin, in order to call fallen men home again to the heavenly kingdom). This leaf is one of many in the Free Library’s collection from a number of separate manuscripts from the scriptorium of the Benedictine monastery at Melk. Melk was famous for its calligraphy at the beginning of the 15th century: the abbey was reformed in 1418, at which time the abbot instituted a revival of learning and raised the bar for the quality of the scripts produced there.
Free Library of Philadelphia Lewis E M 65:7