BEINECKE RARE BOOK AND MANUSCRIPT LIBRARY
GENERAL COLLECTION OF RARE BOOKS AND
MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE MANUSCRIPTS
Beinecke MS 553
(formerly Papyri 1878a 1878b)
Orthodox Eastern Church. Liturgy and ritual. Menologion. Outline drawings of
saints and prophets and 2 scenes from the New Testament, from a pattern book.
Arabic manuscript. Egypt? 15th-17th century. Paper. 2 ff. (220 x 317 mm. and
80 x 298 mm.) Arabic script headings. Mounted between glass.
Comments: The first leaf has 32 outline drawings of saints and prophets who
appear in the Greek liturgical calendar for December, so it can be assumed that
they were designed for pattern drawings for a Menologion of the Greek Church.
The second leaf has an Annunciation scene and a Descent of Christ into Limbo.
In this scene the outlines of the figures have tiny pin holes carefully and
evenly pricked. This would indicate that they were to be used for "pouncing,"
that is they were transfer patterns. The watermark on the browned paper is not
identified, but may be Italian.
H.P. Kraus catalogue 105, no. 140. Gift of Edwin J. Beinecke, 1964.
Bibliography: H.P. Kraus, Catalogue 105: A Collection of Papyri (New York
[n.d.]) 90, no. 140; K. Snipes, "A Preliminary Study of the Yale Menologium
Pattern Sheets," Yale University Library Gazette 42 (1968) 140-53, with plates;
"Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at Yale: A Selection," Yale University
Library Gazette 52 (1978) pp. 273-274, no. 87 [fragment 2 measures 80 x 298
mm., not 89 x 198 mm.].