A Book of Hours Leaf - c 1450-75 - Colorful borders & initials


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’’) 

One three-line illuminated initial, five one-line illuminated initials and four 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 one-line illuminated “Q” begins Psalm 145 (King James 146) 7-10: “Qui custodit…” (Who keepeth truth forever: who executeth judgment for them that suffer wrong: who giveth food to the hungry.  The Lord looseth them that are fettered: the Lord enlightteneth the blind. The Lord lifteth up them that are cast down: the Lord loveth the just. The Lord keepeth the strangers, he will support the fatherless and the widow: and the ways of the sinners he will destroy. The Lord shall reign forever: thy God, O Sion, unto generation and generation).

The three-line illuminated “I” begins: :”Inclina…” (Incline thine ear, O Lord, unto our prayers, wherein we humbly pray thee to show thy mercy upon the soul of thy servant, whom thou hast commanded to pass out of this world, that thou wouldst place him in the region of peace and light, and bid him be a partaker with thy Saints. Through Christ our 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.

This is an attractive leaf in excellent condition with bright colors and gold, and with large margins. Skillful nearly invisible original patches are in the upper and lower margin.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat.

  • Inventory Number: IM-12689
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