Book of Hours leaf with French language prayer. c.1460

$750.00

Splendid illuminated initial ‘D’ beginning the prayer 

Douce dame  de miséricorde, mère de pitié,” 

 

Recto: 17 lines of text in French written in a Gothic bookhand in brown ink on vellum. One five-line illuminated initial ‘D’ in pink outlined in black and finished with fine white penwork. The initial is on a ground of burnished gold and is infilled with elaborate coloured foliate designs.  Extending from the initial is a full length bar border in burnished gold, black, blue and white terminating in gold ivy leaves and a coloured flower borne on fine black tendrils.  Further such illuminations in the left and top margins. 

 

Verso:  As Recto with two further illuminated initials, one line filler and marginal illuminations.

 

Source:  Northern France

 

Date:   c.1460

 

Content:  The leaf begins at the prayer known as “The 15 Joys of the Virgin Mary”.  This prayer is often found at the end of French Books of Hours from the mid to late 15th century.  Each of the 15 sections is divided into two parts, first a direct address to Mary, recalling one of her fifteen joys as the mother of Christ and then imploring her blessing for the salvation of the praying soul.  The text reads, from the illuminated initial ‘D’: Douce dame de miséricorde, mère de pitié, fontaine de tous biens, qui portastes Ihésucrist .ix. mois en vos précieux flans et l'alaitastes de vos doulces mamelles, belle, Très doulce dame, ie vous crie merci, et vous prie que vous vueillez prier vostre doulz Filz que il me vueille enseigner, et me doint en telle manière vivre que ie puisse venir à sa miséricorde et à vraie confession et repentance de tous les péchiez…  The prayer continues on Verso to its conclusion.

 

Condition:  This leaf is in very good condition with clear text, bright illuminations and lustrous gold. One small spot in the text and slight smudging to illuminations in the left margin. The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.

 

Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 150x110 mm. Text and illuminated area : approx.125x75 mm.   Presented in a museum quality mat, ready to frame.  Please note that postage/packing is invoiced separately.  Within Australia $22.50.  Overseas, ask for quote.

 

Notes:  Books of Hours were prayer books designed for the laity who wished to emulate the cycle of daily devotions followed by the clergy but without taking actual vows.  The contents grew out of the psalter but included a mixed variety of other types of material - hymns, lessons, biblical readings, calendars etc. Its central text is the Hours of the Virgin. There are eight Hours (times for prayer): Matins, Lauds, Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline.

Item No:  MBH075


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