With rich color and gold, this leaf from a choir book joins majesty and mystery with a sense of playfulness. The letter A becomes a throne for Christ, robed in silks, as he sits before a cloth of gold held by barely perceptible crimson angels. Meanwhile, in the margins, a gentle black bear perches on a vine; nearby is a lizard and a hunter aiming his arrow at a crane. This was the first page of a richly decorated book of hymns. The text set to music here was sung on the first Sunday of Advent, the season preceding Christmas.
The kneeling abbot was added later, obscuring the image of the original, unknown donor underneath.
St. Peter's, Salzburg (before 1504) [entire manuscript] ; by donation to Raitenhaslach Monastery, Bavaria (in 1504) ; Stifts Seitenstetten, Austria (until ca. 1927) ; sale, Maggs Brothers, London (1928, no. 289) [as individual bifolium] ; Private Collection, Europe (after 1928–before World War II) ; the same Private Collection, United States (during World War II) ; the same Private Collection, Switzerland (after World War II) ; sale, Christie's, London (November 21, 2012, no. 5) ; [ Dr. Jörn Günther Antiquariat (November 2012–sold January 2013)]