Auction 103, Lot 587

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


5.5 x 7.4 inches
14 x 18.8 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 fine and beautiful large leaf from a French Book of Hours. The text is in a bold gothic bookhand with 12 initials and 6 line fillers in blue, red, white and burnished gold leaf. Both side are illuminated in the margins with flowers and leaves on hairline stems. The main part of the text is from the Hours of the Virgin, Verpers; the Canticle of the Blessed Virgin, Luke 1:46-55.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $500 - $600

Sold for: $400

Closed on 6/11/2003