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’’)
Two two-line illuminated initials, five one-line illuminated initials and two line extender 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.
France (Anjou), Use of Angers, c. 1450-75.
The two-line illuminated “N” begins the Canticle of Simeon – Luke 2:29-32: “Nunc…” (Now thou dost dismiss thy servant, O Lord, according to thy word in peace; Because my eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples: A light to the revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of thy people Israel).
The one-line illuminated “H” begins: “Hora…” (When as Compline was come was laid in His tomb, Christ His body precious the hope of life to come. Embalmed it was: scriptures thus accomplished we see: Still this death to have in mind my care O let it be. These hours canonical with devotion to Thee And with godly intention O Christ we address…).
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