Illuminated Hours leaf, c. 1475. Excellent condition.

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Quality calligraphy, illuminations and vellum. 


Recto:  Text in Latin written in an assured Gothic bookhand on vellum in brown ink.   Ruled in red and rubrics in red.   One two-line illuminated initial ‘S’ 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 four line fillers.


Verso:  As Recto, with five one-line illuminated initials and three 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, beginning with the one-line illuminated initial ’C’ reads: : Confitebor tibi in cithara Deus Deus meus quare tristis es anima mea, et quare conturbas me? Spera in Deo, quoniam adhuc confitebor illi: salutare vultus mei, et Deus meus.  (To thee, O God my God I will give praise upon the harp, why art thou heavy O my soul, and why dost thou trouble me?  Hope in God, because yet will I confess to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.)

The two-line initial ’S’ then begins Psalm 128 (KJV 129): Sepe expugnaverunt me a iuventute mea: dicat nunc Israel. Sepe expugnaverunt me a iuventute mea: etenim non potuerunt michi. (Often have they impugned me from my youth: let Israel now say.  Often have they impugned me from my youth: yet they could not prevailed over  me. 


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.  Presented in a museum quality mat, ready for framing.  Please note that postage is invoiced separately.  Australia $22.50. Overseas, ask for quote.


Stock No:  MBH123

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