IM-10248: (147 x 108mm) Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 12 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin with dark brown ink in gothic script on animal vellum. One two-line illuminated initial in blue with delicate white tracery, and having an internal floral motif in orange, and mauve on a burnished gold ground - extending into the margin in a delicate floral design in pink, blue, orange and burnished gold; nine one-line illuminated initials in gold on red and blue ground with white tracery.
France (Paris), c. 1380-90.
The one-line illuminated "I" continues the Canticle of Zachary - Luke 1:73-79: "Iusiurandum..." (The oath, which he swore to Abraham our father, that he would grant to us. That being delivered from the hand of our enemies, we may serve him without fear, In holiness and justice before him, all our days. And thou child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways: To give knowledge of salvation to his people, under the remission of their sins...). The two-line illuminated "D" begins: "Deus..." (O God, Who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light [of the Holy Spirit]...).
Books of Hours are personal prayer books of a devout and status-conscious society and are not only works of art, but cultural documents of their time. They reveal a unique combination of sacred and secular imagery - made of the finest materials, by the best craftsmen, for a small audience that could both appreciate and afford them.