Manuscript book. c1580‑1620.

Processional illuminated manuscript reflecting images of Portuguese exploration, including a kangaroo or wallaby.

Monastic use, perhaps Cistercian. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on paper. Portugal (perhaps Caldas da Rainha).

Inscribed with the name Caterina de Carvalho. Fore edge has been gilded. Some pages exhibit beautiful illumination in opaque pigment in blue, pink, gold, dark red, green. Colourants include: shell gold, two distinct reds (one organic and one inorganic pigment). Paginated (upper face right corner).

SKU SF001060 Category


An example of the continuation of medieval traditions, this carefully copied Processional is distinguished by its two painted initials, as well as its numerous charming pen initials. Although in fragile condition (acidic ink used to frame pages has led to partially or completely detached sections of pages), it remains an important manuscript. Of particular interest are the images reflecting Portuguese exploration, including a kangaroo or wallaby, and two small male figures, possibly natives of Australia or elsewhere in Southeast Asia. If the manuscript can be dated with some certitude, this book interjects another sort of evidence to support the theory that it was the Portuguese explorers who were the first Europeans to come to the Australian continent.

Additional information

Ink (iron gall ink), Leather, Pigment, Paper