Original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 24 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin in angular gothic book-hand script on animal vellum. Rubrics in red. (178 x 125mm – 7 x 5’’)
One three-line illuminated initial in blue and white on a red ground with gold penwork; two two-line illuminated initials in liquid gold on red ground with gold penwork; nine one-line illuminated initials and six illuminated line extenders in gold on red or blue ground.
Unusual vibrant and elaborate borders in colorful floral and geometric motif in red, green, blue and white on gold ground.
France: Rouen, (Use of Rouen) c. 1470-90.
Three-quarter miniature painting of The Visitation: The Virgin Mary, wearing blue robes, greets her cousin, the genuflecting St. Elisabeth, with hands extended. St. Elizabeth is about to give birth to St. John the Baptist. Behind them is a landscape with hills, a town and turrets. Golden rays emanate from the heavens above over the two women. The miniature is framed within a gold bar surrounded by an elaborate floral border.
This leaf opens the Hours of the Virgin – Hour of Lauds: “Deus…” (Incline unto my aid O God…) The two-line illuminated “D” begins Psalm 92 (King James 93) complete: “Dominus…” (The Lord hath reigned, he is clothed with beauty: the Lord is clothed with strength, and hath girded himself. For he hath established the world which shall not be moved. Thy throne is prepared from of old: thou art from everlasting…).
The two-line illuminated “I” opens Psalm 99: “Iubilate…” (Sing joyfully to God, all the earth: serve ye the Lord with gladness…).