c 1475 Book of Hours Leaf - Dutch - Elaborate borders


Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 17 lines of ruled gothic textura script, written in Dutch with dark brown ink, on animal vellum.(148 x 100mm – 5 ¾ x 4’’)  Rubrics (headings) in red.  One seven-line illuminated initial in deep blue with delicate white penwork and a pink interior with delicate gold penwork on a burnished gold ground which extends around the entire text as a burnished gold bar with segments of blue and pink with white penwork.  Two two-line illuminated initials  in burnished gold on pink and blue ground with delicate white penwork; four one-line illuminated initials  alternating in blue and red.

Margins, recto, are illuminated in a graceful floral and vine design in burnished and brushed gold, red, green and blue with strawberries (symbol of perfect righteousness) and a bird resting on a branch!           

Netherlands, c. 1475

The seven-line illuminated “H” begins:  “Heere du salt…” (Thou O Lord wilt open my lips. And my mouth shall declare thy praise. Incline unto my aid O God. O Lord make haste to help me.  Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end…).

The Dutch (Low Countries) were the first to break the tradition of using Latin in Prayer Books and Books of Hours.  In England, France and Italy, Latin continued to be the primary liturgical language throughout the 1400’s.

Presented in an archival 14 x 11'' mat

  • Inventory# IM-11704