Bedford Hours, Paris, c. 1430
London, British Museum, Ms. Add. 18850, fol. 288v
This miniature concludes the so-called Bedford Hours, one of the richest examples of its kind, and is explained by a single line in blue writing: how our Lord sent his angel to King Clovis with the three golden lilies on a blue shield. The meaning of this image may be disputable, but it is also decisive for dating the manuscript. The best explanation is the following: John the Fearless, duke of Burgundy who was assassinated in the tumultuous struggle for the French crown in 1419, had ordered a Book of Hours in 1415 for his daughter Anne, probably also for his other daughters. The illuminator of the manuscript in question is referred to as the Bedford Master: he portrayed Anne and John of Lancaster, duke of Bedford, in two large-format miniatures that survive in the volume, at the occasion of the wedding in 1423 of the Burgundian princess with the then English governor ruling on French soil.