c 1470-90 Book of Hours Leaves - Continuous Bifolium - 4 pages


Original continuous bifolium leaves(two leaves - four pages)  from a manuscript Book of Hours. 24 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin in an elegant angular gothic book-hand script on animal vellum; rubrics in red. (Each leaf: 178 x 125mm – 7 x 5". Overall size 10 x 7 inches) 

This is the center pair of leaves from a signature, thus the text is continuous from the recto of the first leaf to the verso, then to the recto of the second leaf and finally to its verso. Scarce, because that can only happen on the center bifolium. The two joined leaves impart the feeling and appearance of an open medieval book !

Four two-line illuminated initials, thirty-two one-line illuminated initials and twenty-six illuminated line-extenders in gold on red or blue ground.  France: Rouen, (Use of Rouen) c. 1470-90.

Unusual vibrant and elaborate panel borders on recto and verso in colorful floral  (including strawberries – symbol of perfect righteousness) and geometric motif in red, green, blue and white on gold ground.

The two-line illuminated “D” begins Psalm 62 (King James 63) complete: “Deus, Deus…” (O God, my God, to thee do I watch at break of day. For thee my soul hath thirsted; for thee my flesh, O how many ways!). 

The second two-line illuminated “D” begins Psalm 66 (KJ 67) complete: “Deus miseratur…” (May God have mercy on us, & bless us: may he cause the light of his countenance to shine upon us, & may he have mercy on us. That we may know thy way upon earth: thy salvation in all nations…).

The two-line illuminated “E” begins The Canticle of Ezechias – Isaiah 38: 10-20: “Ego dixi…” (I said: In the midst of my days I shall go to the gates of hell: I sought for the residue of my years…O Lord, save me, and we will sing our psalms all the days of our life in the house of the Lord).

The two-line illuminated “L” begins Psalm 148 (KJ 149) 1-4: “Laudate dominum…” (Praise ye the Lord from the heavens: praise ye him in the high places. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts…).

Presented in an archival 11 x 14'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-12020
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