c 1474 Breviary Leaf - France (Use of Autun) Season of Advent


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Breviary.  31 lines written in Latin in double columns with dark brown and red ink on animal vellum. (183 x 135mm – 7 3/8 x 5 ¼’’)

Eight two-line illuminated initials alternating in red and white or blue and white, with a floral or geometric interior - all on a burnished gold ground, many extending into the margin with a delicate rinceaux border in red, blue, green, yellow burnished gold. 

France (Use of Autun), c. 1474-75.

This leaf continues prayers for the Season of Advent The two-line illuminated “E” through the second two-line illuminated “E begins Isaiah 17:1-4: “Emitte…” (The burden of Damascus. Behold Damascus shall cease to be a city…).

The Illuminated “P” begins St Augustine’s sermon on the Advent of our Lord.

Provenance:  from a Breviary written for the Use of Autun c. 1474-75; property of the descendants of Sir William Forbes, 6th Baronet of Pitsligo (1739-1806) from the Library at Fettercairn House, Kindardineshire; sold at Sotheby’s London Dec 2016, subsequently dispersed.

A Breviary is composed of many books (prayers, hymns, psalms...) painstakingly but carefully written by hand, and used by monks and priests to conduct their daily services.  The painted and illuminated manuscript is among the greatest artistic triumphs of the Middle Ages, demonstrating social, intellectual, religious and cultural attitudes of medieval life.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-12809