Catalog Archive
Auction 100, Lot 512

"[Manuscript Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1400 (circa)



2.9 x 4.3 inches
7.4 x 10.9 cm

Book of Hours were prayer books designed for the laity, but modeled on the Divine Office, a cycle of daily devotions, prayers and readings, performed by members of religious orders and the clergy. Its central text is the Hours of the Virgin. There are eight hours (times for prayer ): Matins, Lauds. Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline. During the Middle Ages, the leaves making up a Book of Hours were written by hand on expensive parchment and beautifully illuminated with jewel-like pigments and gold leaf. These illuminated manuscripts combined the collaborative efforts of an array of highly skilled craftspeople; requiring the joint labors of the parchmenter, professional scribes to write the text in Gothic script, artists to illuminate the pages with decorations, and masterful binders to complete the process.

A very simple vellum leaf from Flanders. During this period the great illuminators from the Netherlands had gone to Paris and those that were left did a very plain job: almost no decorations, only a few initials that were a bit out of the ordinary. This leaf is an example. The text is from the Office of the Dead, Matins. The texts are from the Book of Job, chapters 14, 17 and 19.


Condition: B

Minor soil.

Estimate: $100 - $120

Sold for: $50

Closed on 9/12/2002