Leaf from a Book of Hours. France,

FRENCH SCRIBE  (c.1440.)


Single illuminated leaf from a Book of Hours (201 x 144mm). Single column of text of 11 lines, ruled in red, 5 one-line initials of burnished gold on red and blue grounds, one two-line initial in red with white tracery, enclosing foliage on gold grounds, line fillers in gold on pink and blue, border of rinceaux foliage with acanthus-leaf sprays. 

This simple and attractive leaf from a French Book of Hours contains the text of Psalms 119-120, traditionally used at Vespers, evening prayers. Intended for private devotional practice, Books of Hours varied in the lavishness and luxury of their decoration, with wealthier patrons paying for more elaborate borders, initials and illustrations, so called miniatures. This leaf is a good example of a more typical book, likely produced for a moderately, though not extravagantly wealthy individual. 

Some minor spotting and discolouration at edges, otherwise excellent condition. 

Provenance: from the collection of Roger Martin (1939-2020); sale, Bloomsbury Auctions, The Roger Martin Collection of Manuscripts and Miniatures, 6 July, 2021..

Stock Code: 243930

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