Single leaf with miniature on vellum extracted from a Book of Hours. ?Paris: circa 1450-1475. 5 3/4 x 4 inches (14.5 x 10.5 cm), the recto bearing a fine arch-topped miniature of the Annunciation to the Shepherds, surrounded with elaborate vine and acanthus borders, the text written in a textura quadrata of good quality, with a richly ornamented four-line initial "D" illuminated in gold and colors; the verso 15 lines, with one- and two-line illuminated initials, line fillers etc. Leaf inlaid into a leaf of paper, the margins shaved just to the edge of the border decoration, the sheet with traces of a guard, apparently at one time mounted in an album. Housed in a double-sided frame.
An attractive and slightly unusual example of an otherwise conventional miniature of this subject; there is a female shepherdess in the foreground, spinning wool (from the flock in the middle ground) on a distaff, attended by a dog by her feet, apparently wholly unconcerned by the apparition of the angel. Studies in Iconography 24, (2003), pp. 165-198 published a paper by Leslie C. Jones and J. J. G. Alexander entitled The Annunciation To The Shepherdess. This theme, the indifferent woman at her spinning, is noted by them on p. 175, remarking a related example in a Use of Paris Hours at the Getty. The article discusses the argument that the shepherdess is a primarily literary construct from the Old French pastourelle literature, which given the fine dress of the present figure and her courtly demeanor seems entirely plausible.
Apparently Ex. Collection, Rev. A. L. Luber
C Estates of WR Appleby and Elinor Appleby
Sold for $938
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