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Brooke antiphonal

Reference code
Brooke antiphonal
second half 15th century (1462-70?)
Level of description
Extent and format
Vellum; ff. v + 62.
Large folio.
Goatskin binding, red, blind-tooled, bosses, corners, etc., in metalwork.

Fragments from a servicebook, fols. i, v. '8469', in ink, fol. i. See A Catalogue of the Manuscripts ...
Scope and content
Choirbook containing choral parts of masses for SS Cosmas and Damian, and the BVM. Apparently written for a Benedictine community (possibly of nuns) with a cult of SS Cosmas and Damian.

Two large illuminations, six historiated initials, many smaller initials, and borders; later initial, fol. 15v.


(1) Mass for SS Cosmas and Damian, fols. 1-19, followed by antiphons, etc., of the office, fols. 19-32, and the antiphon 'O quam gloriosa es Venetia urbs inclita' (on the translation of the saints to San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice), fols. 32v-3v;-

(2) Masses for the Assumption, Nativity, and Feasts of the BVM, fols. 33v-50, followed by the Salve Regina and other antiphons, fols. 51v-8v;-

(3) Asperges, etc., fols. 59-61v;-

(4) Later addition of antiphons for the Feast of All Saints (Second Vespers), fols. 15v, 61v-2v.

The two large illuminations (the miracle of the black leg, fol. 1, and martyrdom of SS Cosmas and Damian, fol. 19) and three historiated initials (decapitation, funeral and translation of the saints, fols. 24v, 27v, 32v) are attributed by M. L. d'Ancona (Studi.. in onore di T. de Marinis, III (1984), 45-104, pls. 4, 5) to Girolamo da Cremona; three further historiated initials by a different artist (Assumption, Nativity, and standing figure of BVM and child, fols. 34, 39, 51v) are tentatively attributed (ibid.) to Franco dei Rossi. These attributions have displaced earlier attributions to Andrea Mantegna and an assistant, based on later inscriptions added beneath an initial U, fol. 15v:- 'MGR (Magister) Andreas et Franciscus de Mantinea Ornarvnt Cartas Artibvs Egregiis' and, in smaller lettering, 'Fr. lacobus de Mantua PP. M' (propria manu).

G. M. Canova suggested ('Girolamo da Cremona in Veneto: una nuova ipotesi per l'antifonario dei Santi Cosma e Damiano' in Studi.. in memoria di Mario Rotili (Naples, 1984)) that the Brooke antiphonal was made for the Benedictine convent of Sta Maria della Misericordia in Padua to commemorate a gift to the convent in 1462; J. J. G. Alexander, 'The provenance of the Brooke Antiphonal', A.J., 49, part 2 (1969), 385-7, suggested a connection, c. 1470, with San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice. See also New Pal. Soc., 1st ser. (1909), pls. 171-3; Ker, MMBL, I (1969), 313; J. J. G. Alexander, The Painted Page (Royal Academy, London, 1994), no. 123.
Previous reference number(s)
Archival history
Collected by Thomas Brooke, F. S. A. (1891), I, 19-21, pl.ii, frontispiece.
Related units of description
See also the condition report on the manuscript and binding by Christopher Clarkson, 1 Nov. 1993 (copy on file in SAL).