Beautiful, dated Psalter/Prayerbook Leaf 1524 Germany


Original leaf from a richly illuminated manuscript Psalter/Prayer-book. 30 lines of Latin text. Written in unusual gothic cursive script on animal vellum. (165 x 135mm – 6 ½ x 5 3/8’’) 

(For sister leaves see The Blackburn Collection of Manuscript Illuminations, The Cleveland Museum of Art).  

North Germany, (Hildesheim?) dated 1524.

One multi-line illuminated initial in blue with white penwork on a gold ground; four three-line illuminated initials & nineteen one-line initials in gold on blue, sepia, or red ground.  Elaborate panel borders with full gold ground strewn with diverse floral motifs and, recto, blind-folded cupid holding bow & arrows & two sea-serpents facing each other with the date 1524 between them.

This leaf continues the Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary  (Psalms 122 – part of 126) written in the 13th  century by Saint Bonaventure.

The three-line illuminated “A” begins: “Ad te….” (To thee have I raised up mine eyes, O Queen, who reignest in heaven…).  

The three-line illuminated “N” begins:  “Nisi…” (Unless our Lady was in us: many dangers would have overtaken us…).

The three-line illuminated “Q” begins: “Qui…” (Those who trust in thee, O Mother of God, shall not fear the face of the enemy…). 

The three-line illuminated “I” begins: “In convertendo…” (When thou shalt turn thy most serene countenance upon us: thou shalt rejoice us…). 

The large illuminated “N” begins: “Nisi…” (Unless, O Lady, thou shalt build the house of our heart: its edifice shall not remain…).

This highly personalized prayer-book was written and illuminated in Germany, as evidenced by the painted Arms of Mansfeld (a prominent North German family) on a leaf, and the inclusion of St. Godehard (d. 1038), bishop of Hildesheim, portrayed as a miniature on another leaf. The date 1524 occurs in two locations in the prayer-book.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-12163
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