c 1420-40 Book of Hours leaf - Ave Maris Stella


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of red-ruled, Latin text, written with dark brown ink in gothic book-hand script on animal vellum.  (200 x 145mm – 7 7/8 x 5 ¾’’)

Two two-line illuminated initials in burnished gold on blue and pink ground extending into the margin; nine one-line illuminated initials in deep blue with delicate red penwork.

France (probably Paris), c. 1420-40.

The two-line illuminated “A” begins Ecclesiasticus (King James Sirach) 24:14: “Ab initio…” (From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place I have ministered before him).

The next two-line illuminated “A” begins the popular medieval prayer: Ave Maris Stella (Hail, O Star of the ocean, God's own Mother blest, ever sinless Virgin, gate of heavenly rest. Taking that sweet Ave, which from Gabriel came, peace confirm within us, changing Eve's name. Break the sinners' fetters, make our blindness day, Chase all evils from us, for all blessings pray. Show thyself a Mother, may the Word divine born for us thine Infant hear our prayers through thine. Virgin all excelling, mildest of the mild, free from guilt preserve us
meek and undefiled. Keep our life all spotless, make our way secure till we find in Jesus, joy for evermore…).

Shipped unmatted


  • Inventory# IM-13127