Catalog Archive
Auction 101, Lot 528

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Incunabula

Period: 1400 (circa)



4.5 x 6.2 inches
11.4 x 15.7 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.

From an early fifteenth century Book of Hours written in 13-line Gothic Textura script in brown and red ink. Text on both sides of the vellum leaf. The illuminations include several large capital letters on both sides, plus line fill designs in gold-leaf, blue, red and white ink.


Condition: A+

A little soiling along margin edge, text fine.

Estimate: $140 - $180

Sold for: $180

Closed on 12/4/2002