Leaf from a Book of Hours.
Northern France, probably Paris, c. 1510-20.
Illuminated E letter on vellum, ‘Ego dixi in dimidio dierum…’. 24 lines of text with blank spaces filled by dark blue and gold bars. The same colours are used to decorate smaller initials at the beginning of each row. Both sides displayable. On its verso, an illuminated E at the bottom of the page starts Canticum (in red) ’Exultauit cor meum in domino.’
The parent book of Hours of this leaf was one of a small number produced at the height of the French Renaissance, probably in and around Paris, which have been named the ‘1520s workshop’ by Myra Ortha. For other examples see the Doheny Hours (Jaime Ortiz-Patino collection, sold Sotheby’s, 21 April 1998, lot 39), and another Book of Hours illuminated by the Doheny Master also sold in Sotheby’s, 20 June 1995, lot 121. Thin ropework borders on some of these have been taken to indicate that some of the original owners were members of the Cordelières, the order of Franciscan Tertiaries to which the women of the French royal family belonged (see Sotheby’s, 2 December 2003, lot 28d).