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, two two-line initials in blue on a burnished gold ground and infilled with ivy leaves in blue, orange, and white, WITH A PANEL BORDER ON EACH SIDE, THE RECTO BORDER INHABITED BY A ROOSTER, WHO IS THREATENING A YELLOW SNAIL, AND THE VERSO BORDER BY A CAT-LIKE CREATURE WITH SEVEN HUMPS, 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 smudges on vellum, but IN EXTRAORDINARILY FINE CONDITION, the gold sparkling, the paint uneroded, and the vellum almost entirely clean and fresh.

This leaf comes 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--is extremely charming. The borders here are the source of considerable delight, containing delicately painted flowers and acanthus, and featuring a belligerent rooster, an imperilled snail, and a reptilian cat nestled within the panels. Leaves from this group 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 prices.

Keywords: Book of Hours