Illumination on vellum from the Ghistelles Hours. 



Available to view at our Curzon Street shop.

LARGE HISTORIATED INITIAL AND FULL BORDER, the initial 3-line showing the Trinity enthroned, the border including a rabbit, a bird, a dragon, a long-tailed lion, and a woman hanging down to place a garland on the head of a stylishly dressed young man, all illuminated in gold and colours.

Size of leaf: 115 x 80mm (text: 62 x 46mm). 11 lines of text in two sizes, rubrics in red.


A leaf from one of the earliest Flemish Books of Hours, and most likely illuminated for John III Ghistelles (d.1315) and his wife Margaret of Luxembourg. Another leaf from this manuscript appeared in our Bulletin no. 6 (item 3) and showed a figure bearing the arms of the family (gules, a chevron, spotted ermine: or, a lion sable). The already incomplete manuscript, identified by Rosy Schilling as having once belonged to Sir Sydney Cockerell, was broken up in the 1940s and sold through Heinrich Eisemann. Leaves are now dispersed in public and private collections (see C. de Hamel in Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in New Zealand Collections, 1989, pp.91-2). 

The Calendar (now at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore) points to the diocese of Tournai and includes a list of markets in Bruges, St. Trond, Lille and Messime, and it has tables for calculating Easter made out for several years from 1300 onwards; presumably, therefore, the book was made in 1299 or 1300.

This leaf contains the Introit for Trinity: Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas atque indivisa Unitas confitebimur ei quia fecit nobiscum misericordiam suam.

Stock Code: 224975

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