Catalog Archive
Auction 102, Lot 565

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1490 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4.5 x 6.3 inches
11.4 x 16 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.

Numerous decorative capitals and designs in the text of both sides of the leaf. Written on vellum in 13-line Gothic Textura script in brown and red rubrics. The illuminations include several large capital letters and designs in gold leaf, blue, red and white ink, as well as two line-fillers per side.


Condition: A

Nice, clean script on sturdy vellum.

Estimate: $140 - $180

Sold for: $100

Closed on 3/5/2003