Illuminated French Book of Hours leaf c.1480


A fine panel of delicate rinceaux illuminations beside the text.



Verso: 14 lines of text in Latin and French written on vellum in black ink in a high quality gothic bookhand.  Rubrics in red. An intricate panel of illuminations runs the length of the text in a style known as rinceaux. 


Recto:  As Verso, with an equally fine panel of illuminations.


Source:  Northern France, probably Paris


Date:   c.1480


Content:  The text on Verso is towards the end of the prayer Obsecro te.  It reads: [Septem opera] misericordie complere me faciat et duodecim articulos fidei et decem precepta legis firmiter tenere et credere me faciat. Et a septem peccatis  criminalibus me liberet et defendat usque in finem. Et in novissimis meis diebus ostende michi facciem tuam et annuncies michi diem et horam obitus mei.  Oracionem, supplicem exaudias et suscipias et vitam eternam michi tribuas, audi et exaudi me, dulcissima Maria, mater Dei et misericordie.  Amen. Ave Maria.

(May it rule and protect the five senses of my body, and make me perform the seven works of mercy, and may it make me firmly grasp and believe the twelve articles of the faith and the ten commandments pf the law.  May it free and defend me from the seven deadly sins until my end.  

And in my last days may it show me thy face, and reveal unto me the day and hour of my death.  Hear this prayer of supplication and receive me and grant me everlasting life.  Hear me and listen to me, most sweet Mary, mother of God and of mercy.  Amen.  Hail Mary.)


Condition:  The leaf is in very good/fine condition, on clean vellum with just the expected edge browning which is masked off by the mat.  The very pretty illuminations retain their original bright colours and lustrous burnished gold.  The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 185x130 mm. Text and illuminated area : approx.  100x100 mm.  Presented in a museum quality mat, ready to frame.  Please note that postage is invoiced separately.  Within Australia, $22.50. Overseas, ask for quote 


Notes:  "There are two special prayers to the Virgin that appear in nearly all Books of Hours.  They are known by their incipits (opening words): "Obsecro te" (I beseech you) and "O intemerata" (O immaculate Virgin).  Written in the first person singular, the prayers address the Virgin directly in especially plaintive, urgent tones.  They are among the most moving of all prayers in the Books of Hours and encapsulate the essence of late medieval spirituality, especially as it relates to the cult of the Virgin…"   Roger S. Wieck, Painted Prayers.

Item Number:  MBH119

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