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 red and white with a red rose interior on a gold ground; three two-line illuminated initials in liquid gold on red ground with gold penwork; ten 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 Annunciation to the Shepherds (recto): Three male and one female shepherd, their sheep behind them grazing, react to an angel seen in the sky announcing the birth of Christ. The men all look up while the female looks straight ahead, hands clasped in prayer. The background is a hilly landscape with river and walled town in the valley and blue towers on blue hilltops in the distance. Surrounding the miniature is a gold bar and lush floral motif on liquid gold ground.
The miniature opens the Hours of the Virgin – Hour of Terce. The three-line illuminated “D” begins: “Deus…” (Incline unto my aid O God…). The two-line illuminated “M” begins the hymn: “Memento Salutis…” (Remember, O Creator Lord, that in the Virgin's sacred womb Thou wast conceived, and of her flesh didst our mortality assume…).
The two-line illuminated “A” begins Psalm 119 (King James 120) complete: “Ad domini…” (In my trouble I cried to the Lord: and he heard me…).