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Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

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Book of Hours
Italy, Milan, ca. 1450-1475
MS M.80 fol. 109r

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Initial D enclosing skeleton, crowned, holding scythe with right hand and indicating upward with left hand, against background of black with six white crosses.
Margins decorated with floreate ornament on gold background in sections framed in gold with medallions enclosing: bust of Naphtali, holding scroll inscribed NEPTA[LI]; bust of Jonah holding scroll inscribed IONA; bust of Elisha holding scroll inscribed ELISEO; and bust of Joshua holding scroll inscribed GIOSVE. In upper margin, skull over two crossed bones; in left and right margins lozenge enclosing skull, crowned, and crossed bones; and in lower margin, skull with flowers and foliage emerging from eye sockets, over two crossed bones.

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