Quality illuminations, calligraphy and vellum. c.1475 Hours leaf

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The Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Verso: Text in Latin written in an assured Gothic bookhand on vellum.   Ruled in red and rubrics in red.   Three two-line illuminated initials in raised and highly burnished gold on a ground of blue and pink outlined in black and with white penwork. Capitals touched in yellow.

Recto: As Verso, with one two-line illuminated initial as Verso and one one-line initial in blue with red penwork..

Origin:  Northern France, probably Paris.

Date:   c.1475.

Content: The text is from The Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Vespers.  The first illuminated initial E’ on Verso begins the prayer:

Exaudi nos deus salutaris noster et apostolorum tuorum petyri et pauli nos tuere presidiis quorum donasti fideles esse doctrinis.

(Hear us, God, our saviour, and protect us from the sieges of your apostles Peter and Paul whose teachings you have given us to be faithful.)

The text continues:

Omnes sancti tui quaesumus Domine nos ubique adiuvent: ut dum eorum merita recolimus, patrocinia sentiamus: et pacem tuam nostris concede temporibus: et ab Ecclesia tua cunctam repelle nequitiam: iter, actus, et voluntates nostras, et omnium famulorum tuorum in salutis tuae prosp [eritate dispone]. )

(O Lord we beseech thee, that all thy saints may everywhere help us: that while we reverently recognise their merits, we may feel their patronages: and grant us thy peace in our times: from thy Church repel all wickedness: and dispose our way, acts, and wills, and of all thy servants in the prosp [erity of thy salvation] )

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

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.

“In a kind of bibliophilic jealousy, medieval laypeople sought for themselves a book that paralleled the clergy’s Breviary. They found it in the Book of Hours, a book that bestowed direct, democratic access to God, the Virgin Mary, and the saints, unmediated by the Church”.  Roger S. Wieck. “Painted Prayers”.

Size: Leaf: approx. 180x130 mm.  Please note that shipping is invoiced separately.

Item No:  MBH178

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