Catalog Archive
Auction 104, Lot 666

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1400 (circa)



2.7 x 3.8 inches
6.9 x 9.7 cm
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A Breviary is liturgical book used for the celebration of the Divine Office. All members of monastic orders and the clergy are committed to the daily recitation prayers, devotions and reading contained in the breviary. During the Middle Ages, the leaves making up a Breviary 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 in a laborious manner with handmade paints and gold leaf, and masterful binders to complete the process.

A miniscule vellum leaf from a Latin Breviary, written in France around 1400. The text is in a single column in black and red. Both sides are fully decorated with a total of 15 initials in several colors on a background of polished gold leaf. On the verso are two larger initials illuminated with miniature paintings of flowers with the margin filled with flowers and leaves on very thin tendrils in gold, blue and red.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $250 - $300

Sold for: $200

Closed on 9/10/2003