Idiosyncracy or IdiosynCrazy?
The confrontation with the unexpected always is one of the great funs of research. Today I came upon with an antiphonary, made in the North Holland town of Monnikendam in the years 1517-1519. The initials and decorated borders are amazing: I didn’t see such weird decorations before on this scale - throughout the entire 239 pages of the manuscript - and made in such an enigmatic style. In combination with the unsual way the Hufnagel notation is executed it makes this manuscipt a real idiosyncratic product from the late middle ages. And we know who is responsible for all this. At the end of the book it has an extensive scribal colophon that informs us about the maker of the book: Bernardo, son of Nicolas Abkes from Edam. He made it between 1517 and 1519 in the monastery where he lived: Galilea, in the neighbourhood of Monnikendam.
Today it is kept in the Museum Catharijneconvent in Utrecht (BMH h27) and it’s there that I examined it today. And was struck by it’s utter weirdness!