(Spain: ca. 1470). 172 x 122 mm. (6 5/8 x 4 7/8"). Single column, 17 lines in a rounded gothic script.

Rubrics in red and gold, one-line initials in gold on blue or red ground with gold stippling, most leaves with ONE TO FOUR MULTI-LINE INITIALS painted red, blue, purple, and/or green with white highlighting on painted gold ground, each large initial with highly decorative and colorful extenders of various lengths and shapes, most with acanthus leaves, floral sprays, and other floral elements with gold vine-stem. Vellum slightly yellowed and with a little offsetting, some leaves with a small dampstain to one edge, various instances of moderate rust-staining along the gutter and occasional marginal soiling, but the specimens mostly quite clean, the colors bright, and the excellent illumination more than making up for any of the minor defects.

From a Spanish Book of Hours or related devotional work, these leaves are exuberantly decorated with colorful initials and extenders by a top-rate atelier. The scrollwork and color combinations, highlighted by painted gold, are always charming and sometimes dazzling, and each leaf is highly individualized--a testament to the creativity and technical expertise of the artist(s). Both the script and the illumination are Italianate in flavor, though on one leaf we see a rubric in Spanish ("Los versos de Sant Bernar"), pointing to its origin and the location of its intended use. Similarly ornate decoration can be found in two Spanish manuscripts from Toledo and Castille: BL Henry Davis 656 and BNF Espagnol 12, respectively.

100-200 for leaves with no initials; $400-750 for leaves with one to four initials

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PJP Catalog: 75.018