c 1480 Book of Hours Leaf - David & Goliath


Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 16 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin in angular gothic book-hand script on animal vellum. (175 x 128mm – 6 7/8 x 5’’) 

One three-line illuminated initial in blue & white with a floral interior on a gold ground; five one-line illuminated initials and four illuminated line extenders in burnished gold on red & blue ground.

Origin and Use: Paris, c. 1480.

Provenance: Ex William Foyle - Beeleigh Abbey Collection, from a Book of Hours sold at Sotheby's July 2000 (folio 93).

An unusual jewel-filled border surrounds the miniature painting in red, green, blue and white on liquid gold ground. The surrounding border is a dense floral motif in red, green, blue and liquid gold.    

Uncommon miniature painting of David and Goliath (recto):  Goliath, wearing golden armor and red-orange boots, is shown falling backwards to his death, his golden helmet falling behind him. The stone is visible at his temple and the sling is still in a young David’s right hand and his arm forward from having just thrown the rock. The death of Goliath was the military triumph that represents the dramatic beginning of David’s career. Landscaped hills and a town beneath a starry sky are seen in the background.

This leaf begins the 1st Penitential Psalm – Psalm 6: 1-6: “Domine…” (O Lord rebuke me not in thy indignation, nor chastise me in thy wrath. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak: heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. And my soul is troubled exceedingly…). 

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-11932