c 1450-75 Book of Hours Leaf - Annunciation to Shepherds


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin with dark brown and red ink in gothic script on animal vellum. (205 x 150mm – 8 x 6’’)

One three-line illuminated initial in red and white  - with an interior painting of The Annunciation to the Shepherds  on gold ground; two two-line illuminated initials, eight one-line illuminated initials and six illuminated line extenders in gold on a blue and red ground; elaborate rinceaux border (recto) in red, pink, green, gold, blue, liquid & burnished gold.

Northern France or French Flanders, c. 1450-75.

The historiated initial depicts the Annunciation to the Shepherds: Two shepherds are shown – one shielding his eyes from the bright rays emanating from above, and the other kneeling with hands clasped  A flock of sheep can be seen in the background.  

The three-line historiated initial begins: “Deus in…”  (Incline unto my aid O God…).

The two-line illuminated “V” begins the hymn Veni , Creator Spiritus “Veni…” (Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest, and in our souls take up Thy rest; come with Thy grace and heavenly aid to fill the hearts which Thou hast made).

The one-line illuminated “M” begins:  “Memento…” (Remember, O Creator Lord, that in the Virgin's sacred womb Thou wast conceived, and of her flesh didst our mortality assume. Mother of grace, O Mary blest, to thee, sweet fount of love, we fly; shield us through life, and take us hence to thy dear bosom when we die. O Jesu!  Born of Mary bright! Immortal glory be to Thee; praise to the Father infinite, and Holy Ghost eternally. Amen).

The two-line illuminated “A” begins Psalm 119 (King James 120): 1-3 “Ad dominum…” (In my trouble I cried to the Lord: and he heard me…).

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-12856