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’’)
Ten one-line illuminated initials and eight 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.
A charming ink drawing (doodle) of a bearded man’s head extends from the first line of text into the upper margin!
The one-line illuminated “D” begins Psalm 117 (King James 118) 2-11: “Dicat nunc…” (Let Israel now say, that he is good: that his mercy endureth forever. Let the house of Aaron now say, That his mercy endureth forever. Let them that fear the Lord now say, that his mercy endureth forever. In my trouble I called upon the Lord: and the Lord heard me, and enlarged me. The Lord is my helper: I will not fear what man can do unto me. The Lord is my helper: and I will look over my enemies. It is good to confide in the Lord, rather than to have confidence in man, It is good to trust in the Lord, rather than to trust in princes. All nations compassed me about; and in the name of the Lord I have been revenged on them…).
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