Catalog Archive
Auction 108, Lot 654

"[Illuminated Leaf]", Anon.

Subject: Medieval Manuscripts

Period: 1400 (circa)


Color: Hand Color

2.7 x 3.7 inches
6.9 x 9.4 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.

Tiny decorative leaf from a Latin breviary written on vellum in France. The text is in a single column in black ink with red rubrics. Both sides are illuminated with a wonderful initial in several colors on a background of polished gold leaf with margins filled with flowers and leaves on very thin tendrils in gold, blue and red.


Condition: A

Estimate: $275 - $350

Sold for: $220

Closed on 9/29/2004