Illuminated leaf from a medieval Book of Hours. Northern France, c.1480.

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"Let them praise his name in dance: on timbrel, and psaltery..."

Recto:  14 lines of text in Latin written on vellum in a gothic bookhand,  Ruled in red.   Three one-line illuminated initials and four line fillers in raised and burnished gold on blue and salmon grounds outlined in black and with fine internal white penwork.   

Verso:   Four similar illuminated initials and one line filler.

Origin:   Northern France.

Date:   c.1480.

Content:  The text is from the Hours of the Virgin I, Lauds, and is a section of Psalm 149 (KJV 150).

The first line on Recto is the end of Verse 3.

[Laudent nomen eius in choro: in tymp]ano, et psalterio psallant ei.

Quia beneplacitum est Domino in populo suo: et exaltavit mansuetos in salutem.

Exultabunt sancti in gloria: laetabuntur in cubilibus suis.

Exaltationes Dei in gutture eorum: et gladii ancipites in manibus eorum.

(Let them praise his name in dance: on timbrel, and psaltery let them sing to him.

Because our Lord is well pleased in his people: and he hath exalted the meek unto salvation.

The saints shall rejoice in glory: they shall be joyful in their beds.

The joyfulness of God in their throats and two-edged swords in their hands.)

Condition:  The leaf is in very good/excellent condition. There is a natural hole in the vellum, well away from the text.  The illuminations remain colourful and bright.  It  is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.

Size:  Leaf: approx. 150x105 mm.  Please note that shipping is invoiced separately.

Notes:   The heart of every Book of Hours is the series of prayers called the Hours of the Virgin, also called the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary,  Each Hour is composed of psalms, hymns, biblical readings, and short phrases (antiphons, versicles, and responses). 

The Hours of the Virgin date back to at least the ninth century. By the late twelfth century, the Hours appeared in Psalters, prayer books popular with laypeople. With a rising economy and the growth of the merchant class, the thirteenth century saw an increase in lay literacy. By the middle of the century, the Hours of the Virgin "spun off" from the Psalter and formed the core of the laypeople's prayer book, the Book of Hours.

The Virgin Mary is, of course, not mentioned in the numerous psalms of the Old Testament that comprise much of the Hours. Framing the psalms, however, are prayers that offer a mystical interpretation of the psalms and reveal the role played by the Virgin in mankind's salvation.

The "Hours" (times for prayer) are

Matins and Lauds at night or upon rising

Prime (first Hour) at 6:00 a.m.

Terce (third Hour) at 9:00 a.m.

Sext (sixth Hour) at noon

Nones (ninth Hour) at 3:00 p.m.

Vespers (evensong) in the early evening

Compline           before retiring.

Item No:   MBH204

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