Auction 104, Lot 670

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours

Color:

Size:
2.6 x 3.7 inches
6.6 x 9.4 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 tiny vellum leaf from a Book of Hours, probably in the neighborhood of Delft. The verso is decorated with one initial in gold leaf with delicate blue penwork in the margin and several smaller initials in red and blue ink. The text is in brown/black ink with the rubrics in red and is from Psalms 1 and 14. Partial translation: Psalm 1: Not so the wicked, not so: but like the dust, which the wind driveth from the face of the earth. Therefore the wicked shall not rise again in judgment: nor sinners in the council of the just. For the Lord knoweth the way of the just: and the way of the wicked shall perish. Psalm 14: Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle? or who shall rest in thy holy hill? He that walketh without blemish, and worketh justice. He that speaketh truth in his heart, who hath not used deceit in his tongue…

References:

Condition: A

Minor stain in margin.

Estimate: $140 - $180

Sold for: $100

Closed on 9/10/2003

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