Adoration of the Magi - Medieval Book of Hours Leaf c. 1460


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 16 lines of red-ruled text, written in Latin with dark brown ink in gothic script on animal vellum.  (175 x 128mm – 6 7/8 x 5’’)  An exceptional leaf with highly skilled miniature and illuminated borders. Fine fresh condition, lower margin extended with contemporary vellum on verso without loss to text or border. 

 Paris, c. 1460.      

One illuminated four-line initial in mauve & white with floral interior of red & green on liquid gold ground – all resting on an orange ground with delicate gold penwork; One illuminated two-line & seven one-line initials in burnished gold on blue & red ground with delicate white penwork.

Elaborate panel borders having highly decorative floral designs with  berries (including grapes – symbol of the Blood of Christ, & thistles – symbol of  the Passion of Christ) & acanthus leaves and a vase in blue, red, green, pink, burnished and brushed gold.

The miniature painting (95 x 72mm - 3.8 x 2.88") depicts The Adoration of the Magi. The three Magi appear with gifts in hand. Mary holds the Christ Child whose arms are outstretched as if accepting the gift of the kneeling Magus. Golden rays descend from heaven toward the infant.

The four-line illuminated “D” opens Hours of the Virgin – Hour of Sext: “Deus…” (Incline unto my aid O God.  O Lord make haste to help me…)

The two-line illuminated “A” begins Psalm 122 (KJ 123) 1-4: “Ad te levavi…” (To thee have I lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in heaven.  Behold as the eyes of servants are on the hands of their masters.  As the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress:  so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until he have mercy on us…). 

Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-11433
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