Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of red-ruled Latin text, in dark brown ink, on animal vellum. (197 x 138 mm - 7.9 x 5.5").
One two-line illuminated initial in red with delicate white penwork & an interior floral design in red, and blue on a burnished gold ground and extending into the margin in a rinceaux floral design in blue, red and burnished gold; nine one-line illuminated initials & seven illuminated line-extenders in burnished gold on red & blue ground with delicate white penwork.
The text is surrounded on 3 sides with an elegant rinceaux panel border in a delicate floral motif with ivy leaves in red, blue, green, orange & burnished gold, and one illuminated bar extends beyond the length of the text in red, blue & burnished gold.
Northern France (Paris), c. 1420-40.
The one-line illuminated "B" begins Psalm 123 (King James 124) 6-8: ''Benedictus...'' (Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us to be a prey to their teeth. Our soul hath been delivered as a sparrow out of the snare of the fowlers. The snare is broken, and we are delivered. Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth).
The two-line illuminated ''Q'' begins Psalm 124 (KJ 125) complete: ''Qui...'' (They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Sion: he shall not be moved forever that dwelleth in Jerusalem. Mountains are round about it: so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth now and forever...).
Presented in an archival 14x11'' mat. This leaf was written and illuminated in France at a pivotal point in the Hundred Year's War - England defeated France decisively in Agincourt in 1415 and took Paris in 1420. Not until Joan of Arc's heroism (1428-29) could France regain hope of restoring its capital. The book from which this came was likely in daily use at that time