Original leaf from a French medieval illuminated manuscript Book of Hours. 13 lines of hand-ruled text written in Latin with dark brown ink in fine lettre bâtarde script on animal vellum with rubrics in red. One two-line illuminated initial, seven one-line illuminated initials and two line extenders in burnished gold on a red and blue ground; ¼ border (verso) in a colorful floral design (including columbines – symbol of the Holy Spirit) on liquid gold ground.
Origin: Paris, France circa 1500.
Size: 110 x 75mm – 4.25 x 2.9 inches, from a diminutive manuscript likely written for a lady.
The one-line illuminated “E” begins Psalm 18 (King James 19)18: “Et erunt…” (And the words of my mouth shall be such as my please: and the meditation of my heart always in thy sight. O Lord, my helper, and my redeemer).
The two-line illuminated “D” begins Psalm 23 (King James 24) 1-5: “Domini est terra…” (The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof: the world, and all they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas; and hath prepared it upon the rivers. Who shall ascent into the mountain of the Lord: or who shall stand in his holy place? The innocent in hands, and clean of heart, who hath not taken his soul in vain, nor swore deceitfully to his neighbor. He shall receive a blessing from the Lord…).
Provenance: ex-collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art, acquired in 1919. Deaccessioned and sold to support the museum collection.