Catalog Archive
Auction 106, Lot 606

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)

Publication: Book of Hours

Color: Hand Color

2.4 x 3.2 inches
6.1 x 8.1 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 small, beautiful vellum leaf from an Italian Book of Hours. The text is written in a fine Renaissance letter type and illuminated with a large 'D' filled with a beautiful flower. The text is from the Hours of the Virgin, Prime.
A translation of the Latin text is: Incline unto my aid, O God. O Lord, make haste to help me. Glory. Hymn: Be mindful, author of our salvation, That thou sometime didst take on thee of a pure virgin being born, the form of our humanity. Mary mother…


Condition: A

Estimate: $160 - $200

Sold for: $120

Closed on 3/3/2004