c 1450-75 Book of Hours leaf - Wonderful marginal doodle


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’’)

 Two two-line illuminated initials, two one-line illuminated initials and three 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.

Charming ink drawings (doodle) of two men’s heads extend from the top line of text  (verso) into the margin one facing the panel border, and one on his head!

The two-line illuminated “L” begins Psalm 124: 4-5: “Benefac” (Do good, O Lord, to those that are good, and to the upright of heart. But such as turn aside into bonds, the Lord shall lead out with the workers of iniquity: peace upon Israel).

The two-line illuminated “M” begins: “Maria semper…” (O Virgin Mary, thou who wast counted worthy to bear the Christ, the Maker of Heaven and earth, rejoice for evermore, in that thou didst send forth from thy womb the Savior of the world).

The two-line illuminated “D” begins: “Deus qui…” (O God, you who desired that your Word should take up the flesh from the blessed Mary in the womb of the virgin, by the angelic annunciation; grant to your supplicants, that we, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with you).

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-12536
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