Catalog Archive
Auction 104, Lot 678

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1470 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


5.3 x 8.5 inches
13.5 x 21.6 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.

A very nice, vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours with superb illumination on both sides. The text is finely written in batarde script and illuminated with several gold leaf initials and line-filler designs. Striking panels fill the margins with flowers and leaves on a gold background, separated by blue-and-gold acanthus leaves. The text is part of the Seven Penitential Psalms, Psalm 37.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $550 - $650


Closed on 9/10/2003