Jewel-like initials in an illuminated m/s Breviary leaf, c.1475.

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Psalm 103 “…thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle’s”

The word “breviary”, etymologically a compendium or abridgment, is applied to the liturgical work which contains the psalms and the hymns, the readings from Sacred Scripture and from the writings of the Fathers, the prayers and the responses, which are combined to form the canonical hours of the divine office of prayer recited daily throughout the world by priests and the religious. 

Verso: Text in Latin written in two columns on high quality vellum in black ink in an assured Gothic bookhand. Pricking marks on the left margin. Ruled in red and rubrics in red. One exquisite two-line initial in pink and blue outlined in black on a burnished gold ground and finished with fine white penwork. The illuminations radiate into the margin with black tendrils bearing coloured flowers, green leaves and burnished gold ivy leaves and bezants. Many one-line illuminated initials alternating in burnished gold with black penwork and blue with red penwork.

Recto: As Verso, with many further one-line illuminated initials, several with penwork radiating into the margins.

Origin: Northern France/Flanders, for the Use of Sarum (Salisbury).

Date: c.1475

Content:  The text, beginning at the illuminated initial ‘B’ is Psalm 102 (KJV 103). Benedic anima mea Domino et omnia viscera mea nomini sancto eius Benedic anima mea Domino et noli oblivisci omnium retributionum eius Qui propitiatur cunctis iniquitatibus tuis et sanat omnes infirmitates tuas Qui redimit de corruptione vitam tuam et coronat te misericordia et miserationibus Qui replet bonis ornamentum tuum innovabitur sicut aquilae iuventus tua.

(Bless the Lord, O my soul: and let all that is within me bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and never forget all he hath done for thee. Who forgiveth all thy iniquities: who healeth all thy diseases. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction: who crowneth thee with mercy and compassion. Who satisfieth thy desire with good things: so that thy youth shall be renewed like the eagle's.)

Condition: The leaf is in pristine condition. It has clean, fine vellum and jewel-like illuminations as colourful and lustrous as the day they were done, well over 500 years ago. It is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.

Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 190x140 mm. Text and illuminated area : approx. 135x95 mm. Archivally mounted, ready to frame.

Item No:  MOT068. 

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