Original continuous bifolium leaves (two leaves – four pages) from an illuminated medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of red ruled text written in Latin on animal vellum in brown ink. Overall dimensions : 9.75 x 7.25 inches (Each leaf: 184 x 125mm – 7 ¼ x 4 7/8’’)
This is the center pair of leaves from a signature, thus the text is continuous from the recto of the first leaf to the verso, then to the recto of the second leaf and finally to its verso. Scarce and seldom seen, because that can only happen on the center bifolium. The two joined leaves impart the feeling and appearance of an open medieval book !
Twenty-three one-line illuminated initials in burnished gold on red and blue ground with delicate white penwork. The panel borders contain a highly decorative floral design with flowers, berries, and acanthus leaves in blue, red, green, pink, and burnished gold.
France (Anjou), Use of Angers, c. 1450-75.
The one-line illuminated “Q” begins Psalm 30 (King James 31) 8 – 25: “Quoniam…” (For thou hast regarded my humility, thou hast saved my soul out of distresses. And thou hast not shut me up in the hands of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a spacious place. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am afflicted: my eye is troubled with wrath, my soul, and my belly: For my life is is wasted with grief: and my years in sighs. My strength is weakened through poverty and my bones are disturbed…O how great is the multitude of thy sweetness, O Lord, which thou hast hidden for them that fear thee! Which thou hast wrought for them that hope in thee, in the sight of the sons of men. Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy face, from the disturbance of men. Thou shalt protect them in thy tabernacle from the contradiction of tongues. Blessed be the Lord, for he hath shown his wonderful mercy to me in a fortified city…).
Angers was the cradle of the Plantagenet dynasty and one of the intellectual centers of Europe during the reign of Rene of Anjou, (1434-80). When this leaf was scribed the two branches of the Plantagenet dynasty, House of Lancaster & House of York, were engaged in the War of the Roses.
Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat