Catalog Archive
Auction 106, Lot 602

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours

Color: Hand Color

4.6 x 6.6 inches
11.7 x 16.8 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 very nice vellum leaf of a French Book of Hours, written in either Paris or Rouen. The text is written in a neat, regular script in brown/black ink; the rubric "lectio secunda" is in red. Both sides are beautifully illuminated with large initials alternating in blue with red penwork and gold leaf with black penwork. This elaborate penwork is very complicated and extends well into the margins. Even the line fillers are decorated with gold leaf and blue ink. The text is part of the Seven Penitential Psalms, 101 and 129 (102 and 130 KJV).


Condition: A

Few spots in margins.

Estimate: $350 - $400

Sold for: $300

Closed on 3/3/2004