IM-11694: (148 x 100mm – 5 ¾ x 4’’) Original leaf from a medieval manuscript Book of Hours. 17 lines of ruled gothic textura script, written in Dutch with dark brown ink, on animal vellum. Rubrics (headings) in red. One eight-line illuminated initial in deep blue with delicate white penwork with pink interior with delicate gold penwork on a burnished gold ground which extends around the entire text as a burnished gold bar with segments of blue and pink with white penwork. One two-line illuminated initial in burnished gold on pink and blue ground with delicate white penwork; five one-line illuminated initials alternating in blue and red. Margins, recto, are illuminated in a graceful floral and vine design in burnished and brushed gold, red, green and blue with three pinecones (symbol of spiritual illumination or the Third/Inner Eye) and a very whimsical creature prancing across the bottom of the leaf!
Netherlands, c. 1475
The one-line illuminated “G” begins: “God…” (Incline unto my aid O God. O Lord make haste to help me. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end…).
The Dutch (Low Countries) were the first to break the tradition of using Latin in Prayer Books and Books of Hours. In England, France and Italy, Latin continued to be the primary liturgical language throughout the 1400’s.