Catalog Archive
Auction 101, Lot 531

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


5.4 x 7.5 inches
13.7 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.

Vellum leaf from a Book of Hours written in Normandy for the use of Coutances and once owned by Seigneur Richard du Mesnildot, Provost Royal of Coutances in 1489. The text is from Isaiah 38, starting with verse 13. Both sides are decorated with initials and line fillers executed in a fine hand in red, blue, white and burnished gold leaf.


Condition: A

Bit of light spotting in margins.

Estimate: $110 - $150

Sold for: $120

Closed on 12/4/2002