Auction 107, Lot 610

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1450 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.6 x 6.7 inches
11.7 x 17 cm

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.

Fine vellum leaf of a French Book of Hours, written in either a Paris or Rouen scriptorium. It is written in a neat, regular script in black ink with red rubrics. The recto is beautifully illuminated with a large initial 'H' with elaborate pen work extending to fill the margins. At the bottom of the verso is a catchword, sunt et mis - used by the binder to correctly collate the pages of the manuscript. The text is from the Office of the Dead, Job 14.


Condition: A

Minor soil in margins.

Estimate: $350 - $400

Sold for: $180

Closed on 6/9/2004