Breviary Leaf - circa 1475 - Beautiful initials!


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Breviary.  31 lines written in Latin in double columns with dark brown and red ink on animal vellum. (183 x 135mm – 7 3/8 x 5 ¼’’) 

Six two-line illuminated initials alternating in red and white or blue and white with a floral interior on a burnished gold ground extending into the margin with a delicate rinceaux border in red, blue, green, yellow burnished gold;  numerous one-line illuminated initials alternating in dark blue with delicate red penwork and burnished gold with delicate violet penwork – many extending into the margins.         

 France, c. 1475.

The two-line illuminated “D” begins:  “ Dirigere…” (O Lord God, King of heaven and earth, may it please Thee this day to order and to hallow, to rule and to govern our hearts and our bodies, our thoughts, our words and our works, according to Thy law and in the doing of Thy commandments, that we, being helped by Thee, may here and hereafter worthily be saved and delivered by Thee, O Savior of the world, who livest and reignest for ever and ever…).

The two-line illuminated “E” begins verses from several Psalms starting with 40:5, 89:13, 84:7-8, 33:16 (King James 41:5, 90:13, 85:7-8, 34:16) “Ego…” (I said: O Lord, be thou merciful to me: heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee. Return, O Lord, how long? And be entreated in favor of thy servants. Thou wilt turn, O God, and bring us to life: And thy people shall rejoice in thee. Show us, O Lord, thy mercy; and grant us thy salvation. The eyes of the lord are upon the just and his ears unto their prayers).

The two-line illuminated “L” (verso) begins Psalm 118 (KJ 119) 33-39:  “Legem…” (Set before me for a law the way of thy justifications, O Lord: and I will always seek after it. Give me understanding, and I will search thy law; and I will keep it with my whole heart. Lead me into the path of thy commandments; for this same I have desired. Incline my heart into thy testimonies and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes that they may not behold vanity: quicken me in thy way…).

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory Number: IM-11920