Catalog Archive
Auction 101, Lot 534

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4.3 x 6.5 inches
10.9 x 16.5 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.

A wonderfully decorated vellum leaf written in Renaissance France, probably in the region of Tours. Both sides are beautifully illuminated with margins filled with floral panels and many initials and line fillers. The text, written in a brown/black batarde hand, is from the Office of the Dead, Psalms 50 and 64.


Condition: A+

Near flawless condition with bright colors. Remnants of hinge tape in top margin.

Estimate: $350 - $400

Sold for: $325

Closed on 12/4/2002