Original leaf from an exceptionally large and costly medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 14 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin with dark brown ink in gothic script on animal vellum.(210 x 145 mm - 8.4 x 5.8")
Two two-line illuminated initials, nine one-line illuminated initials and five illuminated line-extenders in burnished gold on red and blue ground with delicate white penwork. The miniature paintings from this book were painted in the style of the Master of the Harvard Hannibal.
Northern France, c. 1430.
The two-line illuminated ''L'' begins Psalm 121 (King James 122) complete: ''Letatus...'' (I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord. Our feet were standing in thy courts, O Jerusalem. Jerusalem, which is built as a city which is compact together...Because of the house of the Lord our God, I have sought good things for thee).
The two-line illuminated ''E'' begins Ecclesiasticus (KJ Sirach) 24: 15: ''Et sic...'' (And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem).
Books of Hours are personal prayer books of a devout and status-conscious society and are not only works of art, but cultural documents of their time. They reveal a unique combination of sacred and secular imagery - made of the finest materials, by the best craftsmen, for a small audience that could both appreciate and afford them.
Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat