Catalog Archive
Auction 102, Lot 555

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1400 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4 x 5.5 inches
10.2 x 14 cm

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 very nice vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours. The leaf is part of the Hours of the Virgin, Lauds, Psalm 92 and 99. The verso is finely decorated in the margin with very small flowers. There are a total of twelve large initials all illuminated in red, blue, white and burnished gold leaf.


Condition: A

Tiny bit of light foxing.

Estimate: $240 - $275

Sold for: $220

Closed on 3/5/2003