A finely decorated vellum leaf from a Renaissance Book of Hours, containing one single column of 20 lines, ruled in red, of written text in Latin. The text is a fine example of the popular Medieval script, used extensively for French vernacular books, known as lettre bâtarde. The leaf is executed in red, green, black, blue, grey and gold and bordered with a golden, rope-like frame which ends in a beautiful bow, shaded with light green along all of its length. The vellum features a series of illuminated and beautifully rendered initials, with the most elaborate one highlighting the beginning of Psalm 62, Deus deus meus, ad te de luce vigilo. The Psalm 62 is attributed to David and it is a warning not to let anyone’s power erode one’s trust in God.
Date: Circa 15th century AD Condition: Extremely fine, the leaf has been professionally framed and trimmed.
The Book of Hours is a book of Christian devotion, which evolved from the psalter. It gained popularity during the Middle Ages, and typically consisted of psalms, prayers, and other devotional texts. It is the most common surviving type of manuscript, but each copy was unique – whether on account of a different selection of texts, or different decoration. As a result, books of this type offer some of the most interesting examples of medieval calligraphy and decorative practice.
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