Rare Book of Hours leaf in French and Latin, c. 1520



A printed and hand illuminated vellum leaf in Latin and late medieval French



Recto:  32 lines of text in French printed in red and black in a lettre batarde font on red-ruled vellum.  In a smaller column beside the French is the parallel text in Latin printed in a rounded gothic font.  Many hand illuminated initials in liquid gold on alternating blue and red grounds. See images below


Verso:  As Recto  See Verso image below


Source:  Paris, France


Date:   c.1520


Content:  The leaf is from the Hours of the Virgin at Vespers.  The two-line illuminated initial “M” begins the well known hymn Ave maris stella... or Mere de dieu o estoille de mer ... (All hail star of the sea, God’s mother clear and bright, The happy gate of bliss, and still in virgin’s plight.)  The hymn continues on Verso to its conclusion.  Then follows the Cantique de la vierge Marie (The Song of the Blessed Virgin Mary). 


Condition:  This leaf is in very good/fine condition. The liquid gold is bright and the coloured grounds unfaded. The high quality vellum is in excellent condition with minor edge browning only. A few pale brown spots in no way detract from the impact of this beautifully printed and illuminated leaf. 

The leaf is unconditionally guaranteed genuine.


Size:  Size of leaf: approx. 200x140 mm. Text and illuminated area : approx.  160x115 mm.  Mat size: approx. 345x285 mm.  Presented in a museum quality mat, ready to frame.  Certificate of Authenticity. Contact us for further images of this leaf.

Packing & registered, insured post within Australia: $22.50.  Overseas destinations: ask for quote.


Item No:  PSA 034

Notes:  This larger than normal leaf is from the intriguing transitional period when the production of Books of Hours was moving from manuscript to printing from movable type.  To mimic the appearance of manuscript works, they were sometimes printed on vellum and had hand-painted illuminated initials added to the printed page. Even the earliest Books of Hours included some French - often rubrics to prayers - but in the era of print, the vernacular steadily gained more space in Books of Hours.  Eventually, printed Books of Hours evolved into a Latin-French hybrid, as this example. 



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