Catalog Archive
Auction 100, Lot 519

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)



5.5 x 7.5 inches
14 x 19.1 cm
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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.

Nice vellum leaf from a Book of Hours written in Normandy, around 1450. The book was attributed to Seigneur Richard du Mesnildot, Provost Royal of Coutances, 1489. This leaf has one large initial, with a bouquet of flowers in the margin, and 9 smaller ones; all in red, blue and white and decorated with gold leaf. There are 6 line fillers (one of them a small flower) in the same colors as the initials. The text is in a black Gothic bookhand with the rubric (psalmus) in red. The text is from the Hours of the Virgin, the Psalms 121 and 122. The decorated "A" is the beginning of Psalm 122.


Condition: B

Light scattered spotting.

Estimate: $150 - $180

Sold for: $100

Closed on 9/12/2002