c 1490-1510 Book of Hours Leaf with unusual Borders - Litany


Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 25 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin in angular gothic book-hand script on animal vellum.  (160 x 115mm – 6 ¼ x 4 ½’’) 

Forty-four one-line illuminated initials and twenty-seven illuminated line-extenders in gold on a red or blue ground.  Unusual vibrant and elaborate panel borders in colorful floral (including a strawberry – symbol of perfect righteousness, and grapes – symbol of the blood of Christ) and gemstone motif on a red or gold ground.                 

France: Rouen (Use of Rouen) c. 1490-1510.

Style and execution of the miniature paintings in the parent manuscript are closely related to the Master of the Geneva Latini (see Walter 224 & 233 for examples).                     

The one-line illuminated “S” continues the Litany of the Saints (first prescribed by Pope Gregory in 590 for a public thanksgiving following a plague that ravaged Rome): Names of saints are listed with each invocation followed by the abbreviation for “ora pro nobis” (Pray for us). Among the saints listed are Anne (patron of miners), Agatha (patron of bell makers and nurses), Lucy (patron of the blind), Margaret (patron of expectant mothers), Catherine (patron of philosophers), and Barbara (patron of architects).

This leaf also contains the “Ab” & “Per” section of the Litany - "protection from & through" (From wrath hatred & all ill will, O Lord deliver us…Through thy Nativity, O Lord deliver us…).

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-11885
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