With Very Lively Inhabitants, and among the Most Attractive Small Hours Leaves We've Owned


(Northern France [probably Paris]: ca. 1460s). 130 x 98 mm. (5 1/8 x 3 7/8"). Single column, 14 lines of text in a very fine gothic book hand.

Rubrics in red, leaves with variable numbers of line fillers and one- and two-line capitals in blue with white tracery, the initials on a burnished gold ground and infilled with ivy leaves in blue, orange, and white, ALL OF THE LEAVES WITH A PANEL BORDER ON EACH SIDE, ONE OR BOTH OF THE PANEL BORDERS INHABITED BY AN ANIMAL OR FANCIFUL CREATURE, the remarkably charming residents placed amidst a tangle of acanthus leaves, flowers, buds, thistles, fruit, and other vegetation painted in brushed gold, blue, green, pink, and other colors. A very few minor signs of use, but generally IN EXTRAORDINARILY FINE CONDITION, the gold sparkling, the paint uneroded, and the vellum almost entirely clean and fresh.

These leaves come from a large fragment of a beautifully executed little Book of Hours done by very sophisticated artists whose illumination in general--and zoomorphic inhabitation in particular--are extremely (and sometimes immensely) charming. The borders here are the source of considerable delight, containing carnations, thistles, roses, daisies, violets, strawberries, grapes, a variety of berries, and featuring either a small animal (such as a dog), a large insect, or a fanciful bird--the latter including a phoenix-like creature, and a fowl with an enormous tail feather. These are certainly among the most attractive and delightful small Book of Hours leaves we have ever offered for sale. Please check our website for additional offerings from this manuscript at various price points.