Book of Hours Leaf - c 1450-75 - Ave Maris Stella


Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of hand-ruled text written in Latin on animal vellum in brown ink. (184 x 125mm – 7 ¼ x 4 7/8’’) 

Three two-line illuminated initial, five one-line illuminated initials and six line extenders in burnished gold on red and blue ground with delicate white penwork. The panel borders contain a highly decorative floral design with flowers, berries, and acanthus leaves in blue, red, green, pink, and burnished gold.     

A charming flower-like ink drawing (doodle) extends from the last line of text (verso) into the lower margin!

France (Anjou), Use of Angers, c. 1450-75.

The two-line illuminated “B” begins: “Beata es…” (Blessed are you, O virgin Mary, who bore the Lord, the Creator of the universe. You brought forth him who made you, and remain forever a virgin).

The two-line illuminated “A” begins the hymn:  “Ave maris stella…” (Hail, O Star of the ocean, God's own Mother blest, ever sinless Virgin, gate of heavenly rest. Taking that sweet Ave, which from Gabriel came, peace confirm within us, changing Eve's name. Break the sinners' fetters, make our blindness day, Chase all evils from us, for all blessings pray. Show thyself a Mother, may the Word divine born for us thine Infant hear our prayers through thine…). 

The two-line illuminated “M” begins Luke 1:46: “Magnificat…” (My soul doth magnify [the Lord]).

Angers was the cradle of the Plantagenet dynasty and one of the intellectual centers of Europe during the reign of Rene of Anjou, (1434-80). When this leaf was scribed the two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty, House of Lancaster & House of York, were engaged in the War of the Roses.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-12581