(Paris, ca. 1440). 222 x 162 mm. (8 3/4 x 6 3/8"). Single column, 16 lines of text, in a beautiful gothic book hand.
Rubrics in red, the leaves with varying numbers of line fillers and one- and two-line initials in burnished gold, blue, and magenta highlighted with white tracery, and WITH LOVELY RINCEAU BORDERS on one or both sides, these composed of delicately twining hairline stems bearing red and blue blossoms and FEATURING A PROFUSION OF BURNISHED GOLD IVY LEAVES. IN OUTSTANDING CONDITION, the vellum extraordinarily bright, fresh, and clean, and WITH MARGINS AS VAST AS ONE COULD EVER HOPE FOR.
Commissioned for use by a female (as indicated by the feminine form in the "Obsecro te"), the Book of Hours from which these leaves come could only have been a manuscript of great beauty prepared for a household of very substantial wealth and importance. The level of achievement manifested here in both the scribal hand and the execution of the illuminated decoration clearly indicates that some of the best artisans money could buy were at work on this book, and only a powerful family could afford to pay their price. Further corroboration of this fact is seen in the leaves' immense margins, which are at least as wide as on any Book of Hours leaves we have ever owned. Such a conspicuous display of purchasing power (those extra millimeters meant the slaughtering of extra animals, and that meant greater cost) announces an owner's self-congratulatory consequence that is uncommon except in the grandest of prayer books of the period. Happily, the condition here matches the importance of the manuscript, which was obviously considered from the beginning--and ever after--an object to be carefully preserved. (ST12158b)
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PJP Catalog: XMAS16.001