Auction 107, Lot 608

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1400 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

2.7 x 3.8 inches
6.9 x 9.7 cm

A Breviary is liturgical book used for the celebration of the Divine Office. All members of monastic orders and the clergy are committed to the daily recitation prayers, devotions and reading contained in the breviary. During the Middle Ages, the leaves making up a Breviary 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 in a laborious manner with handmade paints and gold leaf, and masterful binders to complete the process.

Very decorative leaf from a French breviary. The text is in a single column in black with red rubrics. Both sides are illuminated with large initials (two on recto and one on the verso) in several colors on a background of polished gold leaf. Each initial is finely decorated with tiny flowers. The margins are filled with delicate vines of flowers and leaves on very thin tendrils in gold, blue and red.


Condition: A+

Estimate: $275 - $325

Sold for: $220

Closed on 6/9/2004