An original leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours. 16 lines of text, ruled in red, written in Latin in angular gothic book-hand script on animal vellum.(175 x 128mm – 6 7/8 x 5’’)
One three-line illuminated initial in blue and white with a floral interior on a gold ground; one two-line illuminated initial, six one-line illuminated initials and five illuminated line extenders in burnished gold on red and blue ground.
Northern France (Normandy) c. 1490-1500.
An unusual jewel-filled border surrounds the miniature painting in red, green, blue and white on liquid gold ground. The surrounding border is a dense floral motif in red, green, blue and liquid gold.
The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (recto) depicts the Virgin Mary, wearing blue & violet robes, kneeling on a green floor with hands clasped; One angel with green wings hovers above her while placing a gold crown on her head; a second angel with red wings holds the Virgin Mary’s robes; a starry night sky is seen in the background above a dark brown wall. God the Father, enthroned, blesses the Virgin Mary with his right hand, while in his left he holds a gold cross-topped orb; red and gold baldachin above and behind him.
This leaf opens the Hours of the Virgin – Hour of Compline. The three-line illuminated “C” begins: “Converte…” (Convert us O God our Savior. And avert thine ire from us. 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, Amen).
The two-line illuminated “U” opens Psalm 12 (King James 13): “Usquequo…” (How long O Lord, wilt thou forget me…).