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.
There are wo two-line illuminated initials, seven one-line illuminated initials and three line extenders in burnished gold on a red and blue ground; illuminated panel border on both the front and back of the leaf 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 two-line illuminated “A” begins Psalm 122 (King James 123) complete: “Ad te levavi…” (To thee have I lifted up my eyes, who dwellest in heaven. Behold as the eyes of servants are on the hand of their masters, as the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress: so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until he have mercy on us…).
The two-line illuminated “N” begins Psalm 123 (KJ 124) 1-3: “Nisi…” (If it had not been that the Lord was with us, let Israel now say: If it had not been that the Lord was with us, when men rose up against us, perhaps they had swallowed us up alive…).
Provenance: ex-collection of Brooklyn Museum of Art, acquired in 1919. Deaccessioned and sold to support the museum collection.