Catalog Archive
Auction 101, Lot 533

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Psalter


4 x 5.5 inches
10.2 x 14 cm
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The Psalter, or Book of Psalms, contained a calendar and other devotional texts used in the Christian liturgy and for private devotions. All one hundred and fifty Psalms were recited each week, the majority at Matins and Vespers. During the Middle Ages, the leaves making up a Psalter 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 beautiful leaf from a medieval Psalter, written by hand in the north of France. There are many initials in red, blue, white and gold leaf. Along one margin is a wide line with bunches of very finely drawn flowers at the top and the bottom. This leaf is from the beginning of a Psalter, Psalm 1:4 to Psalm 2:8 which was to be recited each Sunday.


Condition: A

Minor soil in margins. Remnants of hinge tape at top.

Estimate: $240 - $275

Sold for: $180

Closed on 12/4/2002