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 three-line
illuminated initial in blue on a burnished gold ground with a floral interior
in pink; two two-line illuminated initials in blue/mauve with delicate
white tracery on a burnished gold ground,
having floral interiors in blue, pink or green on burnished gold ground; three one-line illuminated initials &
three line-extenders in burnished gold, on blue & red ground with delicate
white tracery. Panel border contains highly decorative floral designs with
berries & acanthus leaves in blue, pink, green, orange & brushed & burnished
gold. Northern France (Brittany?), c. 1450-60.
Presentation in the Temple: The
Virgin Mary holds the Christ Child, who looks directly at the reader. Simeon stands behind the altar with hands
clasped, an attendant to his left, Joseph to Mary's left, & a woman with
dove-basket behind Mary. The surrounding border contains highly
decorative floral designs in multiple colors & burnished gold with a pelican (symbol of Christ's sacrifice
on the Cross) & an amusing drollery.
of Jesus at the Temple is described in the Gospel of Luke
2:22-40. Forty days after the birth of Jesus, Mary & Joseph took
the child to the Temple in Jerusalem (as tradition dictated). Once there,
they encountered Simeon the Righteous who prophesized that the infant would
redeem the world.
The two-line illuminated ''D'' begins: ''Deus...'' (Incline unto my aid O
God...). The illuminated ''M'' begins the hymn:
''Memento Salutis...'' (Remember O Creator...). The illuminated
''I'' begins Psalm 125 (King James 126) 1-2: ''In convertendo...'' (When our Lord turned
the captivity of Sion...).