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Apostles Peter and Paul, in a Missal

Apostles Peter and Paul, in a Missal

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1425

Shelfmark: Arundel MS 109

Item number: f.186r

Length: 43.1

Width: 28.6

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

A missal provides all the prayers, hymns, and readings necessary for the celebration of Mass over the course of the year. This deluxe 15th-century missal made for use on the altar was given to the church of St Lawrence in London by William Melreth, alderman, textile merchant of Broad Street and eventually member of Parliament, probably just before he served as Sheriff of London. Prayers, hymns and readings for the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul begin on this page. The prayer of the introductory prayer (the introit) begins with a historiated initial N showing the two saints with their identifying objects (attributes). Peter, shown as priest, holds his keys, and Paul his sword, the instrument of his martyrdom. At the lower edge of the page, the tiny inscription, "Peter and Paull," is probably a later identifying note rather than instruction to the artist, although such instructions do appear in some contemporary manuscripts.

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