FROM A LARGE BOOK OF HOURS IN LATIN AND FRENCH

(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, several one-line initials and one two-line initial in burnished gold on dark pink and blue ground with white tracery, each side with a panel border composed of hairline vines with gold ivy and bezants, a few colorful flowers, and EACH FEATURING THE FACE OF A MAN EMITTING ACANTHUS LEAVES FROM HIS MOUTH. A few tiny marginal spots, one of the faces slightly rubbed, otherwise IN BEAUTIFUL CONDITION.

In addition to the floral decoration and vines often found in the borders of Books of Hours, this leaf features a duo of delightful inhabitants in the form of faces emitting colorful acanthus from their mouths. Each figure is individualized, the face on the recto with dark hair, flushed cheeks, and a prominent nose; on the verso is a face with a much paler complexion, a tonsured hairstyle, a large but very short nose, and fine, gray whiskers. This kind of imaginative work, together with luxurious touches such as the many gilt initials, several dozen gilt bezants and ivy leaves in each panel border, and the unusually wide margins, point to this manuscript having been a costly production. For additional leaves from this same manuscript at different price points, please check our website.
(ST17060R)