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. (177x130mm – 7 x 5’’)
Four two-line illuminated initials and eight one-line illuminated initials in burnished gold on pink and blue ground with delicate white tracery. Panel borders are illuminated in a delicate rinceaux floral design in blue, red, green, & burnished gold.
Northern France, c. 1440-50.
This leaf begins the Hours of the Holy Cross – Hour of Terce. The two-line illuminated “C” begins: “Crucifige…” (At the third hour of the day they crucify him cry, In a purple robe clad him more to mock thereby, Piteously his head was pricked with the crown of thorn, To the place of pain his cross was on his shoulders born).
The one-line illuminated “D” begins the Hour of Sext: “Deus in…” (Incline unto my aid O God). The two-line illuminated “H” begins: “Hora sexta…” (To the cross Christ nailed was the sixth hour of the day, And there hanging with two thieves reputed was as they: Thirsting by torments made with gall they seek to slake: Mocked was the Lamb while he our guilt on him did take).
The one-line illuminated “D” (verso) begins the Hour of None: “Deus in…” (Incline unto my aid O God).
The two-line illuminated “H” begins: “Hora nona…” (Jesus Lord at the ninth hour his spirit forth did send: Crying Eli and his soul to father did commend: With a lance a soldier did pierce through his tender side: The earth then trembled and the sun his shining light did hide).