(172 x 125mm) Original
leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 19 lines of red-ruled
Latin text on animal vellum; line endings in red & blue, with burnished
gold. One four-line and two two-line illuminated initials alternating in blue and pink with delicate
white penwork and having an interior floral design resting on a liquid gold
ground; four one-line illuminated initials and two illuminated line
extenders in liquid gold on
alternating blue and red grounds. Elaborate
panel border (recto) in acanthus & diverse floral motifs (including
a strawberry - symbol of perfect righteousness, and a columbine - symbol of the
Holy Spirit) in red, blue, green, white & liquid gold. France
(Tours), c. 1490-1500.
leaf contains an exceptional miniature painting in the style of Jean Poyet� set within two
architectural columns on which is written the beginning of the prayer ''Veni
Sancte Spiritus reple tuorum corda'' (Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts).
The miniature is a beautiful painting of
the Pentecost with Mary kneeling before a gilt-edged
open book resting on a prie-dieu covered in a red cloth and the Apostles
standing behind her - all with hands clasped in prayer. A dove
representing the Holy Spirit, descends through an open window and radiates the
flames of inspiration, mixed with droplets of red representing Christ�s blood. The
inscription on the red and green canopy above Mary reads: ''Veni Sancte Spiritus'' (Come Holy
Spirit). The text begins ''Domine...''
(Thou O Lord wilt open my lips. And my mouth shall declare thy praise...).