Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of hand-ruled text written in Latin on animal vellum in brown ink. Size is 184 x 125mm – 7 ¼ x 4 7/8 inches.
This leaf is extensively embellished with two two-line illuminated initials, eight one-line illuminated initials and eight line extenders in burnished gold on red and blue ground with delicate white penwork.
The illuminated panel borders on each page 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 “E” begins Psalm 125 (King James 126) 6-7: “Euntes…” (Going they went and wept, casting their seeds. But coming, they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their sheaves).
The two-line illuminated “N” begins the complete text for Psalm 126 (KJ 127): “Nisi…” (Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it. It is vain for you to rise before light, rise ye after you have sitten, you that eat the bread of sorrow. When he shall give sleep to his beloved, behold the inheritance of the Lord are children: the reward, the fruit of the womb. As arrows in the hand of the mighty, so the children of them that have shaken. Blessed is the man that hath filled the desire with them; he shall not be confounded when he shall speak to his enemies at the gate).
The two-line illuminated "B" opens Psalm 127 (KJ 128): “Beati…” (Blessed are all they that fear the Lord: that walk in his ways…).
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.
Beautifully executed leaf in excellent condition with bright colors and gold. Small wormtrack in outer margin with no loss of text.
Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat