One of Queens’ oldest printed books, this copy of the Roman Pontifical (a Catholic episcopal book of liturgy) was produced in the printing workshop of Stephan Plannck in Rome in 1485. Like many theological texts of the period, it was printed in black and red with music notation using square notes.
The volume illustrates the slow shift from manuscript to print through the presence of illuminations – a traditional decorative feature of manuscripts. The illumination takes the form of an initial ‘P’ on a gold background with painted acanthus flowers, accompanied by a border incorporating painted foliate motifs and a green wreath with unidentified inscribed initials. Such illuminations were produced outside of the printer’s workshop by artists, some of them from the manuscript trade. Probably completed in around 1500, the style of decoration in this incunable suggests that the work was carried out in northeast Italy.
Author: Catholic Church
Title: Pontificale Romanum (Rome, 1485)
Shelfmark: U.1.4 (catalogue record)