Multi-volume Set Covered in Medieval Music

This four-volume set has been covered with sheets from a medieval music manuscript, likely from the 13th or 14th century, featuring antiphonal music. In this case, the bookbinder took obvious care to keep each page of the score as intact as possible. This results not only in the better preservation of the score, but also in more aesthetically pleasing covers. 

Medieval manuscripts were usually decorated to some degree, with miniature artwork, decorated initials and other embellishments. 

Below are selected examples of some of the front and back covers from this set. 

The Gregorian chant at the bottom of the cover directly below is the Regina Caeli, a Catholic hymn of Marian devotion sung during the Easter season.

 Regina caeli laetare, alleluia

(Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia)


Front cover of volume 4


Front cover of volume 1


Front cover of volume 2


Title page of volume 1

Henricus, de Segusio, Cardinal. Henrici de Segusio Cardinalis Hostiensis iur. vtr. monarchae celeberrimi : in primum [-sextum] decretalium librum commentaria, doctissimorum virorum quampluribus adnotationibus illustrata. Venetiis: Apud Iuntas, MDLXXXI [1581].

The book within is a text by Henry of Segusio (circa 1200-1271), also known as Hostiensis. The work is a commentary on the Decretals of Pope Gregory IX, one of the sources of medieval Catholic canon law.


Multi-volume Set Covered in Medieval Music