(205 x 150mm) Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Breviary. 33 lines written in Latin in double columns with dark brown and red ink. One exceptional multi-line illuminated initial extending along much of the margin in red and blue with a bird resting on the top!. Four two-line illuminated initials alternating in dark blue with delicate red penwork and red with delicate blue penwork – all extending into the margins; numerous one-line illuminated initials in red.
France, c. 1300-25.
This leaf celebrates the Feast of St. Francis Assisi – patron saint of animals. The two-line elaborately illuminated “P” begins a hymn for St. Francis: “Plaude turba paupercula...” (Poor little group, clap your hands...).
A Breviary is composed of many books (prayers, hymns, psalms...) painstakingly but carefully written by hand, and used by monks and priests to conduct their daily services.