Medieval Book of Hours Leaf with Psalm 66


A vellum page from a Medieval book of hours, featuring a single column of text comprised of 14 lines. The script used is a particularly fine example of the popular Medieval and Renaissance gothic book-hand script, used extensively for French vernacular books, known as lettre bâtarde. The text is executed in black ink and ruled in fine red pigment. Specific characters have been enlarged and emphasised, decorated with blue, red, white and liquid gold. Further decorative elements have been added to the sides, composed of foliate, acanthus leaves and the depiction of a small dragon on one side.

Date: Circa late 14th century
Condition: Excellent


The book of hours was a devotional text, which gained popularity in the Middle Ages, containing psalms and prayers to be read at specific times of the day. The script of this particular page begins with part of psalm 62 and follows with psalm 66. The recto text, with the decorative dragon, reads as follows:

Psalm 62

10 ……inferiora terrae (But they have sought my soul in vain, they shall go into the lower parts of the earth)

11 Tradentur in manus gladii partes vulpium erunt (They shall be delivered into the hands of the sword, they shall be the portions of foxes)

12 Rex vero laetabitur in Deo laudabitur omnis qui iurat in eo quia obstructum est os loquentium iniqua (But the king shall rejoice in God, all they shall be praised that swear by him: because the mouth is stopped of them that speak wicked things)

Psalm 66

2 Deus misereatur nostri et benedicat nobis inluminet vultum suum super nos et misereatur nostri (May God have mercy on us, and bless us: may he cause the light of his countenance to shine upon us, and may he have mercy on us)

3 Ut cognoscamus in…… (That we may know…)

The Verso text continues with:

3 ….terra viam tuam in omnibus gentibus salutare tuum (thy way upon earth: thy salvation in all nations)

4 confiteantur tibi populi Deus confiteantur tibi populi omnes (Let people confess to thee, O God: let all people give praise to thee)

5 laetentur et exultent gentes quoniam iudicas populos in aequitate et gentes in terra diriges (Let the nations be glad and rejoice: for thou judgest the people with justice, and directest the nations upon earth)

6 confiteantur tibi populi Deus confiteantur tibi populi omnes…. (Let the people, O God, confess to thee: let all the people give praise to thee)

Weight 2.4 g
Dimensions L 18.4 x W 12.7 cm