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Book of Hours

Horæ Beatæ Mariæ Virginis

Vellum leaf from an illuminated Medieval Manuscript
France; Late 15th Century
Latin Text; Gothic Script
18.5 by 13 cm

This manuscript leaf came from a Book of Hours, sold probably at one of the famous shrines to which wealthy laymen made pilgrimages. To meet the demand for these books, the monastic as well as the secular scribes produced them in great numbers. The freely drawn, indefinite buds here entirely supplant the ivy, fruits, and realistic wayside flowers which characterized the borders of manuscripts of the preceding half century. The initial letters of burnished gold on a background of old rose and blue with delicate white line decorations maintain the tradition of the earlier period. The vellum is of silk-like quality that often distinguished the manuscripts of France and Italy.

Keywords: 1400s, Book of Hours, decoration, France, formal, gothic, initials, script

Manuscripts | Cary Collection