Late medieval Book of Hours leaf, c. 1475



A leaf in excellent condition with sections of The Seven Penitential Psalms


 Recto:  15 lines of text in Latin written in a Gothic bookhand in black ink on vellum. One 2-line illuminated initial ‘M’ in burnished gold with black, blue, red and white decoration.  3 one-line illuminated initials and 3 line fillers.  Radiating into the left margin are further illuminations of gold ivy and other leaves on fine black tendrils terminating in coloured flowers.  A full length panel of illuminations runs beside the text, and includes acanthus leaves in blue and liquid gold, blue flowers, green foliage and strawberries (symbolising drops of Jesus’ blood).  Fine black “seeding” and burnished gold bezants complete the very fine illuminations.    See images below


Verso:  As Recto, with 5 one line illuminated initials, 5 line fillers and an equally fine panel of illuminations.  See Verso image below


Source:  Northern France


Date:   c.1475


Content:  The leaf is from the the Seven Penitential Psalms section of a Book of Hours. The text on Recto begins with the last verses of Psalm 37 (KJV 38): Inimici autem mei vivunt, et confirmati sunt super me et multiplicati sunt qui oderunt me inique... (But mine enemies are lively and they are strong, and they that hate me wrongfully are multiplied).  The illuminated initial ‘M‘ then begins Psalm 50 (KJV 51): Misere mei deus secundum magnam misericordiam tuam. Et secundum multitudinem miserationum tuarum deie iniquitatem meam. ( Have mercy upon me O God, according to thy loving kindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions). 


Condition:  This leaf is in very good/excellent condition.  There is a degree of of age-related surface marking and edge browning but this is confined to the margins and is masked off by the mat, displaying a crisp image with bright illuminations and lustrous burnished gold.  


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 165x120 mm. Text and illuminated area : approx.  100x110 mm.  Mat size: approx. 300x270 mm.  Presented in a museum quality mat, ready to frame.  The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.   Contact us for further images of this leaf.

Packing & registered, insured post within Australia: $22.50.  Overseas destinations: ask for quote.


Notes:  The leaf is from the Seven Penitential Psalms section of a Book of Hours. These seven psalms, 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142 (Vulgate numbering) have long been associated with penitential devotions. St. Augustine is said to have had them placed before him to read while he was on his deathbed. They have also often been commended as a defense against the seven deadly sins, each Psalm being associated with one of them.

Item No:  MBH 056

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