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(Northern France [probably Paris], ca. 1460s). 130 x 98 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 7/8"). Single column, 14 lines in a fine gothic book hand.
Attractively matted. The text similarly decorated as in the previous entry, but with the panel border on the verso inhabited by a leaping dog, the same side WITH A GOLD-FRAMED MINIATURE (measuring 35 x 33 mm.) OF SAINT CLAUDE OF BESANÇON attired in his bishop's regalia, standing in a hallway between two arch-topped doors, reading a book. ◆A fine, fresh leaf, with only the vaguest sense of soiling.
Born in 603 and living well into his 90s, Saint Claude (or Claudius) became Archbishop of Besançon in 685 and after his death was so popular that his shrine became one of the major destinations for pilgrims in France, the town where he was buried actually changing its name from Condate to Saint Claude. Lore surrounding this saint strains credulity, and the historian Henry Wace has said that "on this saint the inventors of legends have compiled a vast farrago of improbabilities." Perhaps chief among the myths is the belief that his body remained in an incorruptible state (at least until it was destroyed during the French Revolution). However well preserved his corpse remained, his feet were exposed three times each day to be kissed by the many pilgrims who flocked to his shrine. In the Hours of Henry VIII in the Morgan Library, there is a miniature showing Claude resuscitating a dead man. (ST12021-239)