IM-722: (165x135mm) Original leaf from a richly illuminated manuscript Psalter/ Prayer-book. 24 lines of Latin text. Written in unusual gothic cursive script on animal vellum. (For sister leaves see The Blackburn Collection of Manuscript Illuminations, The Cleveland Museum of Art).
North Germany, (Hildesheim?) c. 1524.
One seven-line initial in red and white on burnished gold ground with gold tracery! Two three-line initials in gold on blue or red ground. Elaborate panel borders with full gold ground strewn with diverse floral motifs. Border (recto) includes a man galloping on horseback, and (verso) includes putto bowling!
The seven-line “H” begins a prayer from Canticle of Canticles (KJ Song of Solomon) 4 & 5. The two-line “D” begins Canticle of Canticles 2:10: “Dilectus meus …” (Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste my love, my dove, my beautiful one, & come. For winter is now past, the rain is over & gone. The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land…).
This highly personalized prayer-book was written and illuminated in Germany, as evidenced by the painted Arms of Mansfeld (a prominent North German family) on a leaf, and the inclusion of St. Godehard (d. 1038), bishop of Hildesheim, portrayed as a miniature on another leaf. The date 1524 occurs in two locations in the prayer-book.