Manuscript Breviary leaf, c. 1475 with jewel-like illuminated initials.

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Liturgy for Ash Wednesday

Verso:  Text in Latin written in two columns on high quality vellum in black ink in three sizes of an assured Gothic bookhand.   Pricking marks on the right margin.  Ruled in red, rubrics in red and some initials touched in yellow.  Eight exquisite two-line illuminated initials in pink and blue outlined in black and finished with fine white penwork.  The initials are on highly burnished gold grounds and infilled with a variety of coloured foliate designs.  Four have illuminations radiating into the margins of black tendrils bearing coloured acanthus and other flowers, green leaves and burnished gold ivy leaves and bezants.

Recto:  As Verso, with a further nine equally fine two-line illuminated initials.

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

Date:   c.1475

Content: The illuminated initial ‘C’ at the bottom of the left column on Verso begins the antiphon:

Convertimini ad me in toto corde vestro in jejunio et fletu et planctu ait dominus et scindite corda vestra et non vestimenta vestra et convertímini ad Dóminum.

(Be converted to Me with all your heart, in fasting and in weeping and in mourning. And rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your God.)

Then follows the Collect, beginning with the illuminated initial ‘P’ at the top of the right column:

Præsta, Domine, fidelibus tuis: ut jejuniorum veneranda sollemnia, et congrua pietate suscipiant, et secura devotione percurrant. Per Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, Filium tuum, qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula sæculorum.

(Grant, O Lord, to Thy faithful people that they may begin the venerable solemnities of fasting with becoming piety, and may persevere to the end with steadfast devotion. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.)

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

Size: Leaf: approx. 190x140 mm.

Item No:  MOT102

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