Catalog Archive

Auction 102, Lot 564

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1490 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4.5 x 6.2 inches
11.4 x 15.7 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.

From an early Book of Hours, naming the saints. Written in 13-line Gothic textura script in brown and red rubrics, on a fine sheet of vellum (on both sides of the sheet). Each line begins with an illuminated capital in gold leaf, blue, red and white ink. Other illuminated designs further embellish the leaf.


Condition: A

Good condition.

Estimate: $200 - $250

Sold for: $190

Closed on 3/5/2003