Original leaf from a medieval Book of Hours. 16 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin with dark brown ink in gothic script on animal vellum. (164 x 120mm – 6 ½ x 4 ¾’’)
One four-line illuminated initial in burnished gold on red and blue ground with delicate white penwork; burnished gold bar extends along the length of text (recto); three-quarters illuminated rinceaux floral border (with a strawberry – symbol of perfect righteousness) in red, green, blue, yellow and burnished gold.
Northern France, c. 1450-75.
The text (recto) concludes the Obsecro Te : “Bonam spem…” (May He grant me victory over all the adversities of this world, peace of mind and body, good hope, charity, faith, chastity, humility, and patience. May He guide and protect the five senses of my body, make me fulfill the seven works of mercy, make me keep the Ten Commandments and make me firmly believe the twelve articles of the faith. May He keep me free and defend me from the seven deadly sins until the end of my life…).
The illuminated “O” begins the popular medieval prayer O Intemerata: “O Intemerata…” (O unspotted and forever blessed, unique and incomparable virgin Mary, Mother of God, most graceful temple of God, sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, gate of the kingdom of heaven, by whom next unto God the whole world liveth…).
Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat