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A Serbian Octoechos Octoechos, in Church Slavonic, manuscript on vellum...

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A Serbian Octoechos
Octoechos, in Church Slavonic, manuscript on vellum [Serbia, 14th century]
An exceptionally early and rare Serbian manuscript in Church Slavonic.

275 x 190mm. 61 leaves, a fragment, collation: 16, 2-42, 5-64, 71, 8-102, 11-138, 144, 156, with only the three gatherings of 8 complete and consecutive, 34-38 lines written in a small Serbian bookhand of the Raška school in brownish-black ink, ruled space: 220 x 140mm, titles, initials and rubrics in red, occasional decorative point on cross-strokes, occasional diacritics and ligatures, majuscule titles on ff.1 and 36, additional material added in a much smaller and less formal hand on the final verso (lacking about half of the text of an Octoechos, see Contents below, some staining, a few margins repaired with paper, some leaves slightly defective). Bound in modern black leather over oak boards, sewn on 3 cords, by Ruth Kirkby in 1993.

Provenance:
(1) 55 leaves were sold at Sotheby’s 20 June 1989, lot 34, and a further 6 at Sotheby's, 29 November 1990, lot 95, bought by Sam Fogg and acquired and rebound by:

(2) The Schøyen Collection, MS 261.

Content:
Octoechos, a fragment including Sunday, parts of Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of the first tone; parts of Sunday, and Monday to Wednesday of the second; part of Tuesday of the third; parts of Sunday, Monday and Wednesday of the sixth, Thursday of the sixth to Friday of the seventh; part of Sunday of the eighth and a set of exapostilaria for eleven weeks and other miscellaneous stichera.

The Octoechos contains a repertoire of hymns ordered in eight parts according to eight echoi (tones or modes) for use in many rites of Eastern Christianity, the Western equivalent being the tonary. Both contain the melodic models of an octoechos system; however, while the tonary serves simply for a modal classification, the octoechos is organized as a cycle of eight weeks of services.

The present manuscript is written in Church Slavonic of the Serbian recension. Occasional Bulgarian elements in the language suggest that the text may have been transmitted via a Bulgarian source. Early Serbian manuscripts are extremely rare on the market. A similar manuscript is illustrated in V. Mosin, Cirilski Rukopisi Jugoslavenske Akademije, 1952, pl.28.

This catalogue note is drawn from the descriptions provided for this manuscript by Prof Ralph Cleminson.

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[ translate ]

A Serbian Octoechos
Octoechos, in Church Slavonic, manuscript on vellum [Serbia, 14th century]
An exceptionally early and rare Serbian manuscript in Church Slavonic.

275 x 190mm. 61 leaves, a fragment, collation: 16, 2-42, 5-64, 71, 8-102, 11-138, 144, 156, with only the three gatherings of 8 complete and consecutive, 34-38 lines written in a small Serbian bookhand of the Raška school in brownish-black ink, ruled space: 220 x 140mm, titles, initials and rubrics in red, occasional decorative point on cross-strokes, occasional diacritics and ligatures, majuscule titles on ff.1 and 36, additional material added in a much smaller and less formal hand on the final verso (lacking about half of the text of an Octoechos, see Contents below, some staining, a few margins repaired with paper, some leaves slightly defective). Bound in modern black leather over oak boards, sewn on 3 cords, by Ruth Kirkby in 1993.

Provenance:
(1) 55 leaves were sold at Sotheby’s 20 June 1989, lot 34, and a further 6 at Sotheby's, 29 November 1990, lot 95, bought by Sam Fogg and acquired and rebound by:

(2) The Schøyen Collection, MS 261.

Content:
Octoechos, a fragment including Sunday, parts of Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of the first tone; parts of Sunday, and Monday to Wednesday of the second; part of Tuesday of the third; parts of Sunday, Monday and Wednesday of the sixth, Thursday of the sixth to Friday of the seventh; part of Sunday of the eighth and a set of exapostilaria for eleven weeks and other miscellaneous stichera.

The Octoechos contains a repertoire of hymns ordered in eight parts according to eight echoi (tones or modes) for use in many rites of Eastern Christianity, the Western equivalent being the tonary. Both contain the melodic models of an octoechos system; however, while the tonary serves simply for a modal classification, the octoechos is organized as a cycle of eight weeks of services.

The present manuscript is written in Church Slavonic of the Serbian recension. Occasional Bulgarian elements in the language suggest that the text may have been transmitted via a Bulgarian source. Early Serbian manuscripts are extremely rare on the market. A similar manuscript is illustrated in V. Mosin, Cirilski Rukopisi Jugoslavenske Akademije, 1952, pl.28.

This catalogue note is drawn from the descriptions provided for this manuscript by Prof Ralph Cleminson.

[ translate ]
Sale price
Unlock
Estimate
Unlock
Time, Location
11 Jun 2024
UK, London
Auction House
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