c 1450-75 Book of Hours Leaf - Elaborate Initial


Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of hand-ruled text written in Latin on animal vellum in brown ink. (184 x 125mm – 7 ¼ x 4 7/8’’) 

One four-line illuminated initial, two two-line illuminated initial, two one-line illuminated initials and two line extenders 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 two-line illuminated “F” begins: “Famulorum…” (O Lord, we beseech Thee, to forgive the offences of Thy servants: that we which are not able to please Thee by our own acts: may be saved by the intercession of the mother of Thy Son, our Lord. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son).

The four-line illuminated “D” begins:  “Deus…” (Incline unto my aid O God. O Lord make haste to help me. At the third hour of the day they crucify Him cry, In a purple robe clad Him more to mock thereby, Piteously His head was pricked with the crown of thorn, To the place of pain His cross was on His shoulders born).

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

  • Inventory# IM-12542