Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin with dark brown and red ink in gothic script on animal vellum. (205 x 150mm – 8 x 6’’)
One three-line illuminated initial in red and white with a floral interior in blue, white and green on a burnished gold ground; eleven one-line illuminated initials and ten illuminated line extenders in gold on a blue and red ground; elaborate rinceaux border (verso) in red, green, gold, blue, liquid and burnished gold – with blue columbines (symbol of the Holy Spirit).
Northern France or French Flanders, c. 1450-70.
The one-line illuminated “S” continues the popular medieval prayer Te Deum: “Salvum…” (Save Thy people, O Lord, and bless Thine inheritance! Govern them, and raise them up forever. Every day we thank Thee. And we praise Thy Name forever, yea, forever and ever. O Lord, deign to keep us from sin this day. Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy on us. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, for we have hoped in Thee. O Lord, in Thee I have hoped; let me never be put to shame).
The three-line illuminated “D” begins the Hours of the Virgin – Hour of Lauds: “Deus…” (Incline unto my aid O God. O Lord make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end. Amen. Alleluia).
This is a remarkably appealing book of hours leaf, exceptional in all respects: It is larger than usual, nearly twice as large as the usual sheet of costly vellum. The illumination and calligraphy are skillfully executed and the leaf is in extremely fine fresh condition with bright colors and gold.
Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat