c 1450-75 Book of Hours Leaf - Elaborate initial


Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of red ruled text written in Latin on animal vellum in brown ink with rubrics in red. (184 x 125mm – 7 ¼ x 4 7/8’’) 

One exceptional five-line initial in blue & white on burnished gold ground with floral infill surrounded on top and side by floral border in red, green, blue and burnished gold; one two-line illuminated initial, nine one-line illuminated initials and four 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.

The elaborate illuminated “D” begins the Hour of Matin: “Domine labia…” (Thou O Lord wilt open my lips. And my mouth shall declare thy praise.  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 forever shall be: world without end, Amen. 

The two-line illuminated “V” opens Psalm 94 (King James 95): “Venite…” (Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our savior.  Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms).

The one-line illuminated “A” instructs the reader to recite the Hail Mary.

The one-line illuminated “Q” continues Psalm 94 (KJ 95): 3: “Quoniam…” (For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods…).

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-12506
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