Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of red-ruled text written in Latin, on animal vellum in dark brown ink with rubrics in red. (118 x 90mm – 4 5/8 x 3 ½’’)
Three two-line illuminated initials in blue or red with white tracery on burnished gold ground with internal floral motif in orange, blue & white; four one-line illuminated initials & two illuminated line-extenders in burnished gold on blue & red ground with delicate white penwork.
Panel borders are illuminated in a delicate rinceaux floral design including columbines (symbol of the Holy Spirit) & strawberries (symbol of perfect righteousness) in blue, red, green, & gold. Two two-line illuminated initials (recto) extend into the margin with a delicate ivy leaf design in ink & burnished gold.
France, c. 1450.
The two-line illuminated “D” opens the Hours of the Holy Spirit – Hour of Vespers: “Dextre dei…” (The finger of God's right hand, the ghostly virtue still, Us defend, and set us free from every kind of ill: To the end the hellish ghost do us no hurtful deed: Under His wings He us keep, and there us nurse and feed…).
The two-line illuminated “S” begins the Hour of Compline: “Spiritus…” (The Spirit the comforter assist us by His might: Our steps to direct and guide to clear us with His light: That when God at last shall come to be the judge of all. At His right hand He may please us joyfully to call…).
The illuminated “H” begins: “Has horas …” These hours Canonical with devotion to Thee, And with godly respect O Holy Ghost I did say, That by inspiration visited we may be, In Thy heavenly region to live always with Thee…).
Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat