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. Two two-line illuminated initials, five one-line illuminated initials and two illuminated line extenders in burnished gold on a red and blue ground; ¼ borders (recto & verso) in a colorful floral design 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 125 (King James 126) 6-7: “Euntes…” (Going they went and wept, casting their seeds. But coming they shall come with joyfulness, carrying their sheaves).
The two-line illuminated “B” begins: “Beata es…” (Blessed are you, O virgin Mary, who bore the Lord, the Creator of the universe. You brought forth him who made you, and remain forever a virgin).
The two-line illuminated “A” begins the popular 9th century hymn 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…).
Provenance: ex-collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art, acquired in 1919. Deaccessioned and sold to support the museum collection.