Catalog Archive
Auction 107, Lot 620

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1500 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

5 x 7 inches
12.7 x 17.8 cm
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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.

A wonderful manuscript on vellum from a breviary, made for a Prince of the Church. Written in a gothic bookhand, with illuminated initials of liquid gold against grounds of red and blue with gold decorations. One historiated initial 'D', six-lines high, contains a fine miniature of David before he was anointed. Splendid borders painted on a rich maroon ground with acanthus leaves, flowers, and birds. The text is from Psalm 26 (27 KJV). This leaf is from a Breviary that was the property of Bertrand de Chalencon, Bishop of Rodez, Tours, circa 1490.


Condition: B

Overall very fine with some flaking of text ink and one tiny hole in text.

Estimate: $950 - $1,100


Closed on 6/9/2004