Illuminated & coloured initials. Book of Hours leaf, c.1480, France/Flanders.

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The Little Office of Our Blessed Lady.

Recto:  17 lines of text in Latin written in a gothic bookhand on vellum.   Ruled in red and rubrics in red.  Versal initials touched in yellow.  Two two-line illuminated initials ‘E’ and ‘C’ in raised and highly burnished gold on blue and salmon grounds finished in black and white penwork. Two one-line initials in blue with intricate red embellishments.

Verso:  As Recto, with two similar illuminated gold initials ’E’ and ‘O’. 

Origin:   Northern France/Flanders.

Date:   c.1480.

Content:  The text is a section of The Little Office of Our Blessed Lady at Sext.  The blue initial ‘G’ in the top line of Recto begins the “Gloria Patri”, a doxology (a short hymn of praise).  The rubric “Ant” in red indicates that this antiphon follows:

 In odorem unguentorum tuorum currimus: adolescentulae dilexerunt te nimis.

(Into the odour of thy ointments we run: young maidens have loved thee exceedingly).

Then follow a reading from Ecclesiasticus, which begins at the illuminated ‘E’, versicles and responses, and a prayer before the gilded initial ‘C’ begins the prayer:

Concede misericors Deus fragilitati nostrae praesidium: ut qui sanctae Dei genitricis memoriam agimus, intercessionis eius auxilio, a nostris iniquitatibus resurgamus. Per eundem Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum filium tuum, Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate spiritus sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.

(Grant aid O merciful God unto our fragility: that we which make memory of the holy mother of God: may by the help of her intercession arise from our iniquities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ thy son, who liveth and reigneth, God, with thee, in the unity of the holy Ghost, world without end.)

Condition:  The leaf is in very good/excellent condition.  There is a natural hole in the vellum hole in the top margin and two small brown spots in the left margin The colours of the illuminations remain strong and the burnished gold shines brightly.  The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.

Notes: The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary”, also known as "The Hours of Our Lady" or "The Hours of the Virgin." is a liturgical devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in imitation of, and usually in addition to, the Divine Office in the Catholic Church. It is a cycle of psalms, hymns, scripture and other readings that forms part of the Books of Hours used by lay people.

  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.

Size:  Leaf: approx. 190x130 mm.  Please note that shipping is invoiced separately.

Item No:  MBH195a

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