(France (probably Besançon): 3rd quarter of 15th century). 239 x 165 mm. (9 3/8 x 6 1/2"). Single column, 15 lines in an elegant gothic book hand.

Rubrics in dark pink, line enders in pink and blue with white tracery and gold bezant, each leaf with a three- or four-line initial painted pink or blue with white tracery, filled with pink and blue vines and flowers, all on a burnished gold ground, ONE SIDE OF EACH LEAF WITH A HALF OR THREE-QUARTER BORDER featuring hairline vines, gold ivy and bezants, colorful acanthus, various flowers, fleshy plants, and vases with floral arrangements, the other side of each leaf with a panel border, similarly decorated. Vellum slightly yellowed, minor smudging to hairline vines and slight rubbing to paint on a few of the border decorations, one leaf with some small stains in the border (largely masked by the hairline vines), but these issues quite minor, and the leaves IN FINE CONDITION overall--very clean, bright, and well-preserved.

From a large Book of Hours probably produced in Besançon, these leaves feature exceptionally pretty borders, each with unique decoration that includes vases of different shapes, sizes, and hues (each containing a different flower arrangement), fleshy vegetation, and colorful floral accents. The large initials here, coupled with the expansive border decoration, indicate that these leaves marked the openings of major prayers, including "Obsecro te," "O Intemerata," the "Joys of the Virgin," and the "Seven Requests to Our Lord." Luxurious touches such as the several dozen gilt bezants and ivy leaves in each border, and the unusually wide margins, point to this manuscript having been quite a costly production. For additional leaves from this same manuscript at different price points, please check our website.