A Book of Hours - Coronation of the Blessed Virgin c 1450-75


Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 24 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin in angular gothic book-hand script on animal vellum. (148 x 108mm – 5 ¾ x 4 ¼’’) 

One three-line illuminated initial in blue & white with a floral interior  on a gold ground; one two-line illuminated initial in burnished gold with delicate blue penwork; eight one-line illuminated initials  alternating in blue with red penwork and gold with blue penwork; seven illuminated line extenders in blue and gold.             

France (probably Paris) c. 1450-75.

Three-quarter miniature painting of The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (recto):  The Virgin Mary, wearing red and blue robes, kneels on a red and gold-tiled floor with hands clasped.  God the Father and God the Son are enthroned while together placing a gold crown on her hear. God the Holy Spirit, in the form of a white dove hovers above looking directly at the reader.  A red and gold baldachin with gold stars on the ceiling covers all.   The background wall is diapered tiles in red, blue and gold. Surrounding the miniature is a gold bar and lush floral motif in red, blue, green, pink, and liquid and burnished gold.

The miniature painting opens the Hours of the Virgin – Hour of Compline.  The three-line illuminated “C” begins:  “Converte…” (Convert us O God our Savior…).

The two-line illuminated “S” begins Psalm  128 (King James 129) 1-4: “Sepe…” (Often have they fought against me from my youth, let Israel now say…).  

A dramatic and beautifully rendered medieval miniature leaf. The faces are very well painted, and the lush border enhances the presentation. In very nice condition with minor devotional rubbing. Staining at the upper margin fortunately does not intrude into the painted area. A lovely leaf !

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-12046