(England (probably London): second quarter of the 15th century). 213 x 153 mm. (8 3/8 x 6"). Single column, 18 lines in a gothic book hand.

Numerous one-line initials and line-enders in red or blue, a few two-line initials in red or blue with contrasting penwork, EACH LEAF WITH A THREE- TO FIVE-LINE INITIAL RICHLY GILT AND EMBELLISHED WITH ACANTHUS LEAVES PAINTED BLUE, DARK PINK, AND ORANGE, ONE INCORPORATING THE FACE OF A BEAST, EACH LEAF WITH A THREE-QUARTER BORDER, AND ONE WITH A FULL BORDER, consisting of gold and painted bars, regularly accentuated with acanthus leaves, sprays, and floral motifs, many of the three-quarter borders terminating in long sprays of flowers and bezants. Vellum with variable (usually slight) browning, leaves occasionally trimmed a bit close, but with no loss, marginal decoration a touch rubbed in a few examples, one leaf with a few small stains and smudges affecting margins and a few lines of text, but overall very attractive specimens in excellent condition and with a robust decorative program.

In these unusual examples of English illumination, the artist favored large, flamboyant designs and a colorful palette to delight the eye. The gold has been thickly applied while the fleshy acanthus leaves add even more volume to the already large initials and cornerpieces. The overall effect is one of vitality and celebration, as if the page is blooming before our very eyes.
(ST15277a)

500-1,500 each (depending on condition and degree of decoration)

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PJP Catalog: 75.011

OFFERED INDIVIDUALLY ILLUMINATED VELLUM MANUSCRIPT LEAVES WITH EXUBERANT INITIALS AND BORDERS, FROM A. BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN.