Tiny, plain Book of Hours manuscript leaf. c1490


Recto:  15 lines of text in Latin written on vellum in brown ink in a lettre bâtarde script.  Ruled in red and rubrics in red.  Some capital initials with decorative penwork and touched in yellow.


Verso:  As Recto.


Source:  Northern France/Flanders.


Date:   c.1490


Content:  The text includes a particularly poignant prayer in the Office of the Dead which begins with the words Libera me (Deliver me). The prayer begins in the 8th line: Libera me, Domine, de morte æterna, in die illa tremenda.  Quando cœli movendi sunt et terra.  Dies illa, dies iræ, calamitatis et miseriæ, dies magna et amara valde.  (Deliver me, O Lord, from death eternal on that fearful day, When the heavens and the earth shall be moved. That day, day of wrath, calamity and misery, day of great and exceeding bitterness.)

The prayer continues on Verso.


Condition:  The leaf is in excellent condition, with clear text on clean vellum. There is one slight mark at the very top of the leaf.   It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Notes:  Líbera me is sung in the Office of the Dead and at the absolution of the dead, a service of prayers for the dead said beside the coffin immediately after the Requiem Mass and before burial. In addition to the Gregorian chant in the Roman Gradual, many composers have written settings for the text, including Tomás Luis de Victoria, Anton Bruckner (two settings), Giuseppe Verdi, Gabriel Fauré, Maurice Duruflé, Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten, Krzysztof Penderecki, Antonio Salieri.

Libera me is begun by a cantor, who sings the versicles alone, and the responses are sung by the choir. The text is written in the first person singular, "Deliver me, O Lord, from eternal death on that fearful day," a dramatic substitution in which the choir speaks for the dead person.

Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 110x75 mm. Text and illuminated area : approx. 70x50 mm.  Presented in a museum quality mat, ready for framing.  Please note that postage is invoiced separately.  Australia $22.50. Overseas, ask for quote.  


Item Number:  MBH121

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