IM-10287: (125x85mm) Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 15 lines of red-ruled, Latin text, written with dark brown ink in lettre batarde script on animal vellum. One two-line illuminated initial in blue with delicate white tracery on a burnished gold ground, and having a floral interior of green and pink on burnished gold ground; eight one-line illuminated initials and six line-extenders in burnished gold, on blue & red ground with delicate white tracery. Panel border contains highly decorative floral designs and acanthus leaves in blue, green, red and brushed & burnished gold - a rooster rests on a plant at the top of the panel!
Northern France (Brittany?), c. 1450-60.
The one-line illuminated "S" begins Psalm 126 (King James 127) 4-5: "Sicut..." (As arrows in the hand of the mighty, so the children of them that have been shaken. Blessed it the man that hath filled the desire with them; he shall not be confounded when he shall speak to this enemies at the gate). The two-line illuminated "B" begins Psalm 127 (KJ 128) 1-6: "Beati..." (Blessed are all they that fear the Lord: that walk in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labors of thy hands: blessed art thou, and it shall be well with thee...).
Books of Hours are personal prayer books of a devout, status-conscious society. They are works of art, & cultural documents of their time - revealing a unique combination of sacred & secular imagery - made of the finest materials, by the best craftsmen, for a small audience that could both appreciate and afford them.