A Book of Hours Leaf - unusual decoration - c 1460 SE France


Original leaf from a medieval Book of Hours. 14 lines of red-ruled Latin text, written with dark brown ink in gothic script on animal vellum.(150 x 100mm – 5 7/8 x 4’’) 

One illuminated three-line initial in burnished gold with blue and red internal pen-work, and surrounded by a deep blue color and delicate red pen-work Six one-line illuminated initials alternating in blue with red pen-work, and gold with blue pen-work, extending into the margin. Beautiful full-panel border of burnished gold, deep blue & delicate red & blue pen flourishes.

Southeastern France, Aix or Marseilles, c. 1460. (Made for a patron most likely residing in Provence, along the stretch between Aix & Marseilles – a region host to scribes & artists from all over Europe).

This unusual leaf was formerly in the collection of Count Paul Durrieu (1855-1925), one of the first and most eminent historians of late Medieval French Illuminated Manuscripts and Keeper of Manuscripts at the Bibliotheque Nationale

This leaf continues the section known as the Psalter to the Virgin.

Books of Hours are personal prayer books of a devout and status-conscious society and are not only works of art, but cultural documents of their time. They reveal a unique combination of sacred and secular imagery - made of the finest materials, by the best craftsmen, for a small audience, which could both appreciate and afford them.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-12715