Illuminated Book of Hours leaf, c. 1475


“My generation is taken away: and is wrapped up from me as the tents of shepherds.”


Recto:  Text in Latin written in two sizes in an assured Gothic bookhand on vellum in brown ink.   Ruled in red and rubrics in red.   One two-line illuminated initial ‘E’ in raised and burnished gold on a ground of blue and pink outlined in black and with white penwork.  Four one-line illuminated initials and five line fillers.


Verso:  As Recto, with five one-line illuminated initials and four line fillers.


Origin:  Northern France, probably Paris.


Date:   c.1475


Content:  The text is from the Office for the Dead section of the Book of Hours.  The text on Recto is the end of Psalm 66, then follow two antiphons: Me suscepit dextera tua Domine (Thy right hand O Lord hath received me.) and  A porta inferi. (From the gate of hell).  The two-line illuminated initial ‘E’ begins The Song of Ezechias [Isaiah 38]:  Ego dixi in dimidio dierum meorum: vadam ad portas inferi. 

Quaesivi residuum annorum meorum : dixi, non videbo Dominum Deum in terra viventium. (I have said in the midst of my days, shall I go to the gates of hell. I have sought the residue of my years: I have said, I shall not see our Lord God in the land of the living).  

The Song continues on Verso: Non aspiciam hominem ultra: et habitatorem quietis. Generatio mea ablata est: et convoluta est a me, quasi tabernaculum pastorum. (I shall behold man no more: and the inhabiter of rest. My generation is taken away: and is wrapped up from me as the tents of shepherds.)


Condition:  The leaf is in excellent condition on high quality vellum and with bright illuminations. It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Notes: The Office of the Dead (its old name was Office for the Dead) was in the back of every Book of Hours the way death itself was always at the back of the medieval mind.   It was the cause of considerable anguish for medieval men and women to think of the potentially long periods of time their relatives would spend in the painful fires of purgatory. Along with the funding of funerary Masses, praying the Office was considered the most efficacious means of reducing this fiery price of obtaining paradise. These aids were essential, because only the living could help the dead. The  Office of the Dead includes a moving series of readings from the Old Testament Book of Job. The trials endured by Job become an allegory for one's time on earth, or one’s relatives in purgatory.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 205x150 mm. Text and illuminated area : approx.  110x75 mm.   Please note that postage is invoiced separately.  Australia: $20.  Overseas: ask for quote


Stock No:  MBH093

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