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Prayerbook in Middle Dutch, manuscript on paper
[The Netherlands
dated 1556]
€5.000 - €7.000

150 by 95mm, 222 leaves (plus two modern paper endleaves at each end), wants first leaf or so, else complete, written in single column of 17 lines in a fine calligraphic vernacular hand, rubrics in larger version of same underlined in red, references to sources in smaller version of same underlined in red and set in margins, capitals touched in red, an ""AMEN"" in such capitals at end of each main text, that at end of volume above ""1556"" in red pen, innermost gutters of leaves at each end repaired with modern paper skilfully overlaid, outermost edges of first and last leaves repaired in same way, spots and stains, else in good and presentable condition ; contemporary binding sewn on 4 double thongs, boards with frames of foliage and birds around a central panel with acorns, flowerheads and a standing bird, binding restored and repaired at edges, two working metal clasps

The script of this volume is handsome, and that as well as its elegant and measured layout suggests that this was prepared for a patron with some wealth and influence. The initial two meditations address ""Mijn lieve brooder"" (see fols. 15v, 20v and 22r), but as these texts were evidently copied from elsewhere, the patron may well have been a secular. The book opens with two meditations that claim to be soothing and calming to dying people (fols. 2r and 22r), followed by a prayer to God the Father to be said daily before breakfast (fol. 28r) and another to be said before going to sleep (fol. 31v). These are followed by further prayers to the Holy Trinity (fol. 36r), to God for safety (fol. 42r), on a quotation from Iob (fol. 53r), on Deuteronomy 32 (fol. 61r), on Luke 21 (fol. 69r), on Isaiah 34 (fol. 75r), on 1 Peter 4 (fol. 79v), on Psalm 117 (fol. 86r), on Isaiah 31 (fol. 86v), on Psalm 141 (fol. 99v), on Corinthians 7 (fol. 118r), on Timothy 5 (fol. 125r), on the Pater Noster, the Lord's Prayer and a series of seven other prayers (fol. 136r). Then follows a series of contemplative texts and prayers addressing God, Jesus and sin (fol. 163v), with these arranged like offices