Catalog Archive
Auction 101, Lot 532

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


5.4 x 7.3 inches
13.7 x 18.5 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.

Lovely vellum leaf from a Book of Hours written in Normandy. The book was once owned by Seigneur Richard du Mesnildot, Provost Royal of Coutances, 1489. The text is part of the Office of the Dead, Psalm 129. The leaf is beautifully illuminated with nine initials and several line fillers in red, blue, white and gold leaf. The large initial "D" on the verso includes a small bouquet of flowers in the margin.


Condition: A

Bit of light spotting in margins.

Estimate: $150 - $200

Sold for: $120

Closed on 12/4/2002