Catalog Archive
Auction 105, Lot 596

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Early Printing

Period: 1520 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours


4.5 x 7.4 inches
11.4 x 18.8 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 lovely vellum leaf from the transitional period with printed text embellished with hand-painted initials in red, blue and gold. The text is surrounded by metal-cut illustrations of knights, saints, scholars and angels.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $150 - $200

Sold for: $120

Closed on 12/3/2003