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Speculum humanae salvationis, 1400 - 1450

Identifier: Gordan MS 24


ff. 1r-2v [Alphabetical index:] Absalon suspenditur 24. . . Christus superauit diabolum 29. ff. 3r-7v [Heading in upper margin:] Prohemium ff. 8r-84r [Text:] Incipit speculum humane saluacionis./


  • 1400 - 1450


1 Volumes



Custodial History

Written in England in the first half of the fifteenth century. Early note of presentation to Lichfield Cathedral inscribed in ink in a large, ornamental, gothic bookhand on recto of back flyleaf: "Istum librum dedit dominus Ricardus Gully nuper vicarius choral. ecclesie Cath. Lychfeld' Capellanis cantariarum infra clausum dicte ecclesie fundatarum. ad inperpetuum inter ipsos remanendum." On verso of same leaf in ink: "1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1/virgo deo digna precantibus esto benigna: 5". Philip J. C. Howard sale (London, 1 Aug. 1934) to Maggs. In the library of Howard L. Goodhart.

Other related names

  1. Lichfield Cathedral, former owner
  2. Howard, Philip J. C., former owner
  3. Maggs Bros. Ltd., bookseller
  4. Goodhart, Howard Lehman, former owner
  5. Goodhart, Howard Lehman, donor
  6. Gordan, Phyllis Goodhart, owner
  7. Gordan, John Dozier Jr., owner

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Given by Howard Lehman Goodhart to Phyllis Goodhart Gordan and John Dozier Gordan, Jr.

Physical Description

Parchment support (thick and furry)

Original chamfered wooden boards covered with doeskin. Brass catch on back; clasp missing from front cover. Doeskin missing from spine.

ff. i + 84 + i, 232 x 170 (160 x 108) mm

Written in ca. 28-33 unruled lines with single vertical and horizontal bounding lines full length in ink. Prickings visible in three outer margins.

Gothic cursive script, written by a single scribe.

The text of the Speculum begins with a 13-line blue initial with penwork embellishments running down the inner margin. The prologue begins with a similar 4-line initial. Each letter of the alphabet in the index begins with a 2-line blue initial with red penwork ground with flourishes. Similar 2- to 4-line initials are scattered through the text. The text also includes plain 4-line red or blue initials sometimes with decorative extensions of the same color (see f. 56v for a particularly decorative design), and plain 1- to 2-line red and blue initials. The color choice and ornamentation is seemingly at random. Finding aids sometimes underlined in red.

Modern foliation

Find It at the Library

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