Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 14 lines of Latin gothic textura script in dark brown and red ink on animal vellum. (180 x 125mm - 7 x 5'')
One illuminated two-line initial, eight illuminated one-line initials and eight line-extenders in burnished gold on a red & blue ground with delicate white tracery. Delicate rinceaux border in burnished gold, red, pink, green and blue.
Northern France or French Flanders, c. 1450
The one-line illuminated ''M'' begins Psalm 122 (King James 123) 3-4: ''Miserere...'' Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us: for we are greatly filled with contempt. For our soul is greatly filled: we are a reproach to the rich, and contempt to the proud).
The two-line illuminated ''N'' begins Psalm 123 (KJ 124) 1-7: ''Nisi...'' (If it had not been that the Lord was with us, let Israel now say: If it had not been that the Lord was with us, When men rose up against us, perhaps they had swallowed us up alive when they fury was enkindled against us, perhaps the waters had swallowed us up...).
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 14 x 11'' mat