Auction 107, Lot 617

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1480 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

4.2 x 6.2 inches
10.7 x 15.7 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.

Splendid vellum leaf from a French Book of Hours, probably from the region of Tours. Both sides are decorated in the margins with wide panels of acanthus leaves and flowers in very bright colors. The text is written in a batarde script in brown ink with several initials and line fillers executed in liquid gold, red and blue. The text is from Psalm 1.


Condition: A

Small flaw in vellum in bottom margin.

Estimate: $350 - $400

Sold for: $220

Closed on 6/9/2004