A Book of Hours Leaf, c 1450 - for the English Market - Litany


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 18  lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin with dark brown ink & red rubrics in fine gothic script on animal vellum. (158 x 112mm – 6 ¼ x 4 3/8’’) 

Two illuminated two-line initials in burnished gold on red and blue ground with delicate white penwork; twenty-five illuminated one-line initials alternating in deep blue with delicate red penwork and burnished gold with delicate violet penwork.

Flanders (Use of Sarum), c. 1450 – produced to follow the English rites, for the English market.

The Litany of the Saints from this book listed several Saints associated with Britain, including George (patron of Britain), Swithin (Bishop of Westminster), Eusebius (martyred Irish Benedictine), Burinus (Apostle of Wessex), and Julian (early English Martyr).

The Two-line illuminated “E” begins Psalm 131 (King James 132) complete: “Ecce…” (Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity…For there the Lord hath commanded blessing, and life for evermore).  

The two-line illuminated “K” begins the Litany of the Saints (first prescribed by Pope Gregory in 590 for a public thanksgiving following a plague that ravaged Rome): “Kyrie…” (Lord have mercy upon us…). Names of saints are listed with each invocation followed by the abbreviation for “ora pro nobis” (Pray for us). Among the saints listed are: Sts. Michael (patron of battles), Gabriel, Raphael,  John the Baptist, Peter and Paul. 

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-11610
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